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Thursday, October 4, 2012

DOE IG report on W76 LEP cost over runs

Anonymously contributed: ========================================================================================= DOE IG report on W76 LEP cost over runs ========================================================================================= "The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is refurbishing the aging W76 nuclear warhead with the goal of extending the warhead life by 30 years. However, the W76 Life Extension Program (LEP) has experienced significant delays in startup and in achieving production goals. NNSA may be unable to complete the W76 LEP within established scope, cost and schedule parameters, unless it adopts a more effective approach to reducing unit costs. This concern is exacerbated by the fact that the Program is faced with a relatively flat budget over the next few years, even though its annual scope of work is projected to increase significantly. The Program's budget increases for Fiscal Years (FY) 2013 and 2014, for example, are projected to be only 2.9 percent in each year more than FY 2011 levels. The Program's production schedule, however, shows production increasing 59 percent during the same period. The increase in production appears to be unsustainable given the projected funding. The goal of reducing the unit cost of W76 LEP production appeared to be one of the only paths to keeping the Program on track without adversely affecting other NNSA programs. Although a senior NNSA official expressed confidence that NNSA would achieve the increased production rates within the out-year budget estimates, Program officials could not provide plans detailing actions necessary to achieve the needed cost reductions. Although Program officials disagreed with our methodology for calculating unit cost, in general, they agreed that our analysis, including the risks going forward, were consistent with NNSA's concerns about Program execution in future years. "

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Scientist and Engineer staffing does not vary all that widely. Seems like a lot of Technicians were exchanged for Other Managers with transition.

Anonymous said...

Another Knapp and McMillan success story. I bet they will get their full-PBI on the W76 in spite of this debacle.

Anonymous said...

It looks like Knapp's plan of eliminating all the LANL W76 Engineers is finally beginning to "pay off". It took a while, but Knapp's efforts to "unplug" nuclear weapon expertise at LANL is finally succeeding. Hecka'va job Knapp, hecka'va of job....

Anonymous said...

If there was not already sufficient reason in the recent congressional hearings for pulling the plug on NNSA over Nungate security and technicium safety, this may seal the deal. Cost AND schedule over runs on B61 AND W76.

Anonymous said...

When you read the "full" report it still speaks to the fogbank problem. Ten years later and in spite of this being the "critical path" Knapp never "managed" the risk. Ten years later!!! The guy is worthless!

Anonymous said...

For those that are trying to pin this one on Knapp, he may not be completely innocent, but the bulk of the blame falls elsewhere. This is McMillan's baby.

Anonymous said...

Knapp is fully responsible for this disaster. Since McMillan appointed Knapp, he is ALSO fully responsible.

Anonymous said...

The DOE-IG is too late as always. The W76-1 LEP has already been declared a "success" by LANS, several years ago.

All the LANL Managers (Benner (AD for Weapons) and Owen (W-Division Leader)) responsible for this mess have been promoted by Knapp, including Knapp (PADNW) himself. All these guys are now sucking the tits of the LANS "cash cow"; just what they wanted. Heck'va job guys, heck'va job.....

Anonymous said...

Yeah all the bonuses, awards, promotions and accolades have been handed out at LANL for the resounding success of the W76 LEP. The DOE-IG report arrived just in time to make "fire starters" with this cold weather here in Los Alamos. The problem with these reports is that they have "no teeth", no consequences...

Anonymous said...

It would seem that no one of consequence really cares about the sad state and slow decline of the nuclear weapons research complex.

Oh, well. Let's hope we never need to rely on our nuclear weapons arsenal. We'll get by with the current policy of "pretend and extend" for several more decades if we are lucky.

Anonymous said...

Everyone seems to be worried about cost and schedule overruns when the real issue is whether the refurbished weapon will work at all. Fortunately I guess we will never know, but I for one am skeptical.

Anonymous said...

Everyone seems to be worried about cost and schedule overruns when the real issue is whether the refurbished weapon will work at all. Fortunately I guess we will never know, but I for one am skeptical.

October 7, 2012 2:51 PM

I recall in a LANL certification meeting someone new to LANL said "what's all the rush trying to meet nuclear weapon delivery schedules, we'll never use these weapons anyway". Spoken by a retired Navy Admiral.....Dr. Pete Nanos.

Anonymous said...

The problem with these reports is that they have "no teeth", no consequences...

October 7, 2012 6:50 AM

Well duh! That's why it's a U.S. GOVERNMENT Inspector General report. No teeth, no consequences.

Anonymous said...

I know for a fact that Knapp considers DOE-IG, DNFSB, and NNSA a nuisance. The only customers he has is the military and he'd be happy to do away with these folks too. He considers himself to be the Grand Poobah of Nuclear Weapons. He's GOD ALMIGHTY!

Anonymous said...

Does this delay make a large portion of trident II warheads basically duds?

Anonymous said...

Does this delay make a large portion of trident II warheads basically duds?

October 8, 2012 9:25 AM

No.

Anonymous said...

Does this delay make a large portion of trident II warheads basically duds?

October 8, 2012 9:25 AM

No.

October 8, 2012 8:43 PM

Fact is, we don't know. With all the "bells and whistles" that went on the only way to have demonstrated this was underground. And that didn't happen!

Anonymous said...

Fact is, we don't know. With all the "bells and whistles" that went on the only way to have demonstrated this was underground. And that didn't happen!

October 13, 2012 6:32 AM

Of course not, you idiot. Would you like the US to return to underground testing? No one in any political party is suggesting that. So to you, all stockpile stewardship projects since 1992 are of unknown benefit? What a troglodyte.

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