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Monday, November 5, 2012

Specialized Planning Needs Contribute to B-61 Expense Boost: Pentagon

Anonymoulsy contributed:


Global Security Newswire
Nov 5, 2012

Specialized Planning Needs Contribute to B-61 Expense Boost: Pentagon

Completing planned updates to the U.S. stockpile of B-61 nuclear gravity bombs would require the Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico to carry out significantly more engineering activities than the National Nuclear Security Administration has acknowledged, an oversight responsible in large part for the agency's incorrectly low projection of the effort's expense, according to U.S. Defense Department findings reported by the Albuquerque Journal on Sunday.

Staffing demands for B-61 modernization activities would probably necessitate more than the 600 specialists anticipated by the Sandia laboratory, according to an abstract of findings by the Defense Department's Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office. The National Nuclear Security Administration -- a semiautonomous branch of the Energy Department -- has not described how it would provide additional specialists to update the bomb's schematics and assemble the altered weapon with new parts, the CAPE office indicated.

A 2010 NNSA estimate placed at $3.9 billion the expense of extending the lives of the decades-old tactical armaments, thought by nongovernmental analysts to number around 400. The agency's projection reached $6.8 billion by July, and the Defense Department later suggested the price tag would rise to $10.4 billion and the program time line would increase by 36 months.

Plans to update and reproduce almost every interior B-61 part are a large, unnecessary contributor to the initiative's projected expense, according to detractors of the effort.

One-time Sandia laboratory vice president Bob Peurifoy said there are no indications of any necessity for steps now being taken to rebuild the 29 key elements that almost constitute the weapon in its entirety.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The National Nuclear Security Administration -- a semiautonomous branch of the Energy Department -- has not described how it would provide additional specialists to update the bomb's schematics and assemble the altered weapon with new parts, the CAPE office indicated."

What a joke! Since when does NNSA have any say on staffing requirements for the Labs? That decision is dictated by the like of Bret Knapp who also has never answered the question because he has decimated this expertise at LANL.

Anonymous said...

With the re-election of Barack Obama with his strong mandate and liberal Democratic gains in the Senate, it is only a matter of time until the whole B61 refurb program is scrapped.

The fast rising costs for it and the lack of expertise at the NNSA labs to even support this effort will be the final nails in the coffin for the B61.

Anonymous said...

The fast rising costs for it and the lack of expertise at the NNSA labs to even support this effort will be the final nails in the coffin for the B61.


November 8, 2012 10:50 AM

Did you say "lack of expertise". For those of us who know the truth, there is NO B61 Engineering Expertise left at LANL. Come on, Benner's cronies, Buntain, another joke!

Anonymous said...

Au Contraire. "We" have Bret Knapp engineer extraordinare. If he cannot legislate a solution, at least he'll take credit for one. Barring that, he'll create the illusion of progress by cleaning house and reorganization. Do not worry. You have the best and brightest looking out for you.

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