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Monday, December 22, 2014

DoE IG highlights continuous LANL hydrotest delays

DoE IG highlights continuous LANL hydrotest delays 


December 16, 2014

Follow-up on the Los Alamos National Laboratory Hydrodynamic Test Program

A primary mission of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is to ensure the safety, reliability, and performance of the Nation's nuclear weapons stockpile. NNSA relies on computer models and simulations to achieve this mission. Data from nonnuclear hydrodynamic tests (hydrotests) is used to validate and refine these computer models for the annual assessment of the stockpile. Hydrotest data also supports the development of new materials, components, and safety features, evaluations of replacement parts, and materials for vital Life Extension Programs. Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) performs hydrotests for weapons in the stockpile. In September 2005, the Office of Inspector General reported that LANL did not complete hydrotests as scheduled because LANL had not fully implemented key project management tools or adopted programmatic changes that could increase its efficiency in conducting such tests.

Our current audit showed that LANL continued to experience delays in executing hydrotests. According to NNSA's National Plans, LANL scheduled a total of 19 tests during FYs 2010 through 2013. Of the scheduled tests, 12 (63 percent) experienced delays ranging from 1 to 3 years. Five of the tests had not been performed as of the end of FY 2013. Of the five tests, three were delayed 1 year and ultimately were executed in FY 2014. The remaining two tests will be delayed an additional year and are now scheduled for FY 2015. Additionally, the testing delays created a backlog in LANL's test schedules for subsequent years. LANL officials told us that the delays were due to numerous factors, such as complexity of tests, the importance of technical performance, changing program priorities, and budget constraints. While we recognize these issues, we identified various inefficiencies and project management weaknesses related to delayed hydrotest completion.

http://energy.gov/ig/downloads/audit-report-doeig-0930

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

They need to dig a whole lot deeper than that!

Anonymous said...

I thought John Benner (AD for Weapons) was going to "fix everything" in the LANL Weapon Program. He claimed hydros were merely "take home exams" . Bullls, Bullshiii, Bullsshhi, ....

Anonymous said...

Why is this such a surprise? The hydrotest schedule has been the biggest inside joke for the past 30-40 years!

Anonymous said...

Come on NNSA, let's give Russia a contract to field our hydros to Russia. Cheaper, better, faster, ......

Anonymous said...

I fail to see the benefit of the LANS kids (Owen, Benner, Leasure) being paid ten-times more that their predecessors and producing ten-times less. The whole LANS concept is an abysmal failure. Also, I'll give the DOE-IG credit for identifying another LANS failure - hydrodynamic tests. Read the report, LANS can't even build the hydro parts, let alone build a hydro, but LANS has plenty of weak excuses.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who is even remotely aware of the hydro schedule knows that the major issue in recent years has been building the parts in the shops. When is that getting fixed?

The number of shots performed has been increasing over the last few years with this year being an all-time high at DARHT.

Sorry to say, but the low point was before LANS with DX and ESA.

Anonymous said...

The low point was under Nanos. Today a hydro test costs more than 10x what it did in 2000. Good job DOE, NNSA, and LANS.

Anonymous said...


Nanos said over and over that LANL was not needed for the hydro tests.

Anonymous said...

Hydro testing is pretty meaningless.

Anonymous said...


"Hydro testing is pretty meaningless.

December 25, 2014 at 4:56 AM"


Is there anything that has meaning? I mean beside making money and reducing the work you need to do. Beyond these things what is the point? Really

Anonymous said...

Is there anything that has meaning?

December 26, 2014 at 7:49 PM

Nope, nothing. Not your career, your wife, your kids, your family, your life, nothing. Just kill yourself. Not messily, of course - have mercy on the janitors. Bye.

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