NNSA Announces Special Tools & Processes for B53 Dismantlement
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced that its Pantex Plant has developed a new process and special tooling that will accelerate dismantlement of the B53weapons system.
NNSA’s SS-21 process fully integrates the weapon system with the facility, tooling, operating procedures and personnel involved in the dismantlement program to form a safe, efficient and effective operating environment.
D’Agostino said the B53 is very large and difficult to take apart. “You don’t attack these things with a screwdriver and a crescent wrench,” he said.
With the design and fabrication of tooling and procedures complete, the project team is expected to receive authorization to begin disassembling the B53 after NNSA completes an extensive safety review that includes approval of a Documented Safety Analysis and completion of a Nuclear Explosive Safety Study.
80+% of the 53 stockpile have already been dismantled & for these remaining few we’ve developed a whole new process & tooling to “accelerate dismantlement”. We’ve conducted numerous NES studies over the years & I can’t ever recall using a screwdriver & crescent wrench to disassemble a 53. Nor do I recall anyone at LANL/SNL/DOE/NNSA saying the existing process at the time was unsafe.
If the Seamless Safety for the 21st Century (SS-21) is so much better, why is it still necessary for NNSA to complete an extensive safety review that includes approval of a Documented Safety Analysis and completion of a Nuclear Explosive Safety Study?
If the Seamless SS-21 process is so wonderful why do PTs at PX refer to it as an endless, mind-numbing process of delays?
An insignificant workload that in the recent past took a few months to complete now requires several months to complete even with a so-called “accelerated dismantlement” process. A 10-fold increase in the cost to do the work is not mentioned anywhere.
Now, if we can just reduce the speed limit on our highways to 5mph we can be so much safer.
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Saturday, April 17, 2010
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