Tag Archives: United States nuclear posture

The Renewal of the US Nuclear Arsenal

Bomb dropped at Nagasaki Japan in 1954 had a plutonium core. Image from wikipedia

The U.S. nuclear weapons complex is greatly expanding (Oct. 2014) the production of fissile cores to levels not seen since the end of the Cold War three decades ago.  The dramatic increase comes as part of a long-term billion-dollar effort to renew the nuclear arsenal under President Barack Obama,…[T]the Department of Energy, which oversees the nuclear weapons laboratories, is planning to produce 80 explosive plutonium cores—the key to every warhead—a year by 2030, according to The Guardian…Over the next decade, the federal government plans to spend $355 billion modernizing the nuclear arsenal even though there are 15,000 cores in reserve in a Texas facility…

Plans to expand nuclear weapons production come at a time when the Energy Department is still recovering from a significant accident earlier this year at the nation’s only repository for nuclear weapons waste. The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico has been closed since February, when a drum of radioactive waste exploded and exposed 22 workers to radiation.

Excerpt from Obama Increases Nuclear Weapons Production and Research, AllGov.com, Oct. 27, 2014

See also US Nuclear Posture

US Nuclear Posture Review and its Loopholes

Modernizing the Nuclear Bomb

The Nuclear Weapons Establishment is Here to Stay

The National Nuclear Security Administration  released the final Request for Proposals for the new multi-billion-dollar contract, which for the first time will combine management of the two plants that perform national security missions in different states 1,000 miles apart.  In addition to Y-12 National Secuirty Complex in Oak Ridge and the Pantex Plant near Amarillo, Texas, there is an option to include the tritium work done at the Savannah River nuclear site in South Carolina (pdf).

The contract proposals, which are expected to cost millions of dollars to prepare, are due March 13, 2012. Bidding teams are likely to include multiple companies in partnerships.  Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services currently has a management role at both Y-12 and Pantex. B&W Y-12, a partnership of B&W and Bechtel National, has managed Y-12 since 2000.  Ryan Cornell, a corporate spokesman for B&W, confirmed that the company plans to bid on the combined Y-12/Pantex contract…..

A number of changes were made following the draft, including a decision to offer a separate contract for security services at Y-12 and Pantex. Originally, the NNSA had planned to include the protective force as part of the overall managing and operating contract.  The final RFP for the Y-12/Pantex management contracts includes a separate “severable” line item for the project management of the Uranium Processing Facility at Y-12. The UPF is a proposed multi-billion-dollar production facility that’s in the final design stages, with preliminary construction expected to begin in late 2012 if the necessary approvals and funding are in place.

Excerpt from: By Frank Munger, Government seeks bids on Y-12/Pantex contracts, Knoxville News Sentinel, Dec. 15, 2011