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Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

GAO reviews workload increases at nuclear facility

© GAO

In 2012, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) completed its Kansas City facility and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found workload projections have increased significantly from earlier forecasts.

The facility produces or procures more than 80 percent of nonnuclear parts found in nuclear weapons.

The GAO reviewed the facility’s staffing plans and national security capabilities as required in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018.

The production and administrative staff will need to almost double by next year compared to 2014 levels to meet workload demands. NNSA plans to hire addition staff and lease an additional 250,000 square feet of production space.

NNSA also plans to update aging production equipment, assess the capacity and risk of existing suppliers and develop new supplier relationships, and offer rewards and benefits to retain existing staff.

“The February 2018 Nuclear Posture Review — conducted by the Department of Defense under the direction of the president to determine the role of nuclear weapons in the nation’s security strategy — may change requirements and add to the site’s workload in ways not yet fully known because studies and plans in response to the review are not fully complete,” GOA said.

The staff increase is needed to complete the modernization of the B61-12 and W88 weapon systems.