‘Red Team’ Proposes Splitting Up Uranium Work Among Existing Y-12 Sites

Global Security Newswire Staff
May 2, 2014, 8:16 a.m.

A much-an­ti­cip­ated ex­pert plan for mod­ern­iz­ing urani­um op­er­a­tions at the Y-12 com­plex calls for dis­pers­ing some of the work among ex­ist­ing fa­cil­it­ies.

The U.S. Na­tion­al Nuc­le­ar Se­cur­ity Ad­min­is­tra­tion on Thursday pub­lished the re­port writ­ten by a spe­cially con­vened “Red Team.” The pan­el was tasked with ex­amin­ing cost-sav­ing al­tern­at­ives to the cur­rent plan of build­ing a 340,000-square-foot Urani­um Pro­cessing Fa­cil­ity at the Y-12 Na­tion­al Se­cur­ity Com­plex, loc­ated near Oak Ridge, Ten­ness­ee.

The primary ob­ject­ives of the Red Team were to come up with a path that would per­mit Y-12 to shift urani­um pro­cessing work out of the dec­ades-old “9212” build­ing no later than 2025, and at a cost of no more than $6.5 bil­lion. Rather than build­ing the “big box” UPF com­plex that would house all urani­um activ­it­ies, the ana­lys­is re­com­mends some work be shif­ted in­to the Highly En­riched Urani­um Ma­ter­i­als Fa­cil­ity, which was built sev­er­al years ago, the Knoxville News Sen­tinel re­por­ted.

Oth­er pro­cessing work could be handed over to two oth­er Y-12 build­ings: the “9215” build­ing where some urani­um-ma­chin­ing work cur­rently takes place, and to “Beta-2E,” where war­head com­pon­ents are put to­geth­er and checked for qual­ity, the re­port said.

The Red Team of spe­cial­ists — culled from vari­ous sci­entif­ic and man­age­ment back­grounds — fore­sees that some new fa­cil­it­ies would still need to be built at Y-12, par­tic­u­larly in or­der to handle urani­um-cast­ing activ­it­ies that re­quire tight se­cur­ity. However, those fa­cil­it­ies would not have to be nearly as big as the build­ings en­vi­sioned for the Urani­um Pro­cessing Fa­cil­ity.

For its plan to be suc­cess­ful, the Red Team sug­gests a “seni­or ca­reer ex­ec­ut­ive” from the En­ergy De­part­ment be se­lec­ted to take charge of the pro­ject rather than a polit­ic­al ap­pointee.

Na­tion­al Nuc­le­ar Se­cur­ity Ad­min­is­tra­tion spokes­man Josh Mc­Co­naha said the agency was still re­view­ing the re­port, after re­ceiv­ing it two weeks ago.

The Oak Ridge En­vir­on­ment­al Peace Al­li­ance was sharply crit­ic­al of the re­port, call­ing it in a news bul­let­in a “re­cipe for dis­aster.” The anti-nuc­le­ar ad­vocacy group said it was skep­tic­al the Red Team plan could be im­ple­men­ted giv­en the semi­autonom­ous En­ergy De­part­ment branch’s spotty track re­cord over­see­ing oth­er ex­pens­ive and com­plic­ated atom­ic-weapon pro­jects.

What We're Following See More »
SEVEN-POINT LEAD IN A FOUR-WAY
Quinnipiac Has Clinton Over 50%
45 minutes ago
THE LATEST

Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump 51%-41% in a new Quinnipiac poll released today. Her lead shrinks to seven points when the third-party candidates are included. In that scenario, she leads 45%-38%, with Gary Johnson pulling 10% and Jill Stein at 4%.

Source:
PROCEDURES NOT FOLLOWED
Trump Not on Ballot in Minnesota
2 hours ago
THE LATEST
MIGHT STILL ACCEPT FOREIGN AND CORPORATE MONEY
Chelsea to Stay on Board of Clinton Foundation
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

Is the Clinton family backtracking on some of its promises to insulate the White House from the Clinton Foundation? Opposition researchers will certainly try to portray it that way. A foundation spokesman said yesterday that Chelsea Clinton will stay on its board, and that the "foundation’s largest project, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, might continue to accept foreign government and corporate funding."

Source:
INTERCEPT IN MIDDLE EAST
Navy Calls Iranian Ships’ Actions Dangerous, Unprofessional
4 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Four Iranian ships made reckless maneuvers close to a U.S. warship this week, the Pentagon said Thursday, in an incident that officials said could have led to dangerous escalation." The four Iranian vessels engaged in a "high-speed intercept" of a U.S. destroyer in the Strait of Hormuz. A Navy spokesman said the Iranina actions "created a dangerous, harassing situation that could have led to further escalation including additional defensive measures" by the destroyer.

Source:
$300 SAVINGS CARD
Under Pressure, EpiPen Maker Drops Prices
4 hours ago
THE LATEST

Amid public outcry and the threat of investigation by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mylan has agreed to effectively drop the price of EpiPens. "The company, which did not lower the drug's list price, said it would reduce the patient cost of EpiPen through the use of a savings card, which will cover up to $300 of EpiPen 2-Pak."

Source:
×