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

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
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 »
ANOTHER NUCLEAR OPTION?
Byrd Rule Could Trip Up Health Legislation
8 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Even if House Republicans manage to get enough members of their party on board with the latest version of their health care bill, they will face another battle in the Senate: whether the bill complies with the chamber’s arcane ... Byrd rule, which stipulates all provisions in a reconciliation bill must affect federal spending and revenues in a way that is not merely incidental." Democrats should have the advantage in that fight, "unless the Senate pulls another 'nuclear option.'”

Source:
ONE WEEK
Senate Votes To Fund Government
11 hours ago
BREAKING
ON TO SENATE
House Passes Spending Bill
12 hours ago
BREAKING

The House has passed a one-week spending bill that will avert a government shutdown which was set to begin at midnight. Lawmakers now have an extra week to come to a longer agreement which is expected to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year in September. The legislation now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to pass before President Trump signs it.

PRESIDENT CALLS MEDICAID FUNDS A “BAILOUT”
Puerto Rico Another Sticking Point in Budget Talks
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

President Trump’s portrayal of an effort to funnel more Medicaid dollars to Puerto Rico as a "bailout" is complicating negotiations over a continuing resolution on the budget. "House Democrats are now requiring such assistance as a condition for supporting the continuing resolution," a position that the GOP leadership is amenable to. "But Mr. Trump’s apparent skepticism aligns him with conservative House Republicans inclined to view its request as a bailout, leaving the deal a narrow path to passage in Congress."

Source:
POTENTIAL GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN?
Democrats Threaten Spending Bill Over Obamacare
1 days ago
BREAKING

Democrats in the House are threatening to shut down the government if Republicans expedite a vote on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, said Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer Thursday. Lawmakers have introduced a one-week spending bill to give themselves an extra week to reach a long-term funding deal, which seemed poised to pass easily. However, the White House is pressuring House Republicans to take a vote on their Obamacare replacement Friday to give Trump a legislative victory, though it is still not clear that they have the necessary votes to pass the health care bill. This could go down to the wire.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login