GAO Urges NNSA to Specify Los Alamos Plutonium Analysis Project Parameters

GAOThe Government Accountability Office has called on the Energy Department‘s National Nuclear Security Administration to specify the pit production-related parameter for NNSA’s plutonium analysis project at Los Alamos.

GAO said Tuesday the NNSA identified the requirements for the revised Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement project in order to obtain equipment for its plutonium analysis but failed to identify the capacity needed to produce a nuclear weapon pit.

“Not identifying this parameter likely contributed to the project potentially not providing sufficient analysis capacity to support planned pit production and may have contributed to different understandings among senior agency officials about how well the project will support pit production,” GAO noted.

GAO added that the revised CMRR project schedule and cost estimates did not meet the complete recommended practices that call for the maintenance of a schedule containing the necessary work activities.

NNSA limited the revised project’s schedule to near-term work that ends in 2017, the government watchdog observed, adding that NNSA must “develop a CMRR project schedule that includes all necessary work activities.”

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