Author Archives: Dan Leone

Nuke Weapons Council Chief Wants Plutonium Factory Buildup in S.C. by Mid-2019

The Department of Energy will not be able to deliver 80 new nuclear warhead cores a year in 2030 unless the civilian agency starts building new plutonium processing facilities in South Carolina by the middle of 2019, the head of the Nuclear Weapons Council said Thursday. “From the Nuclear Weapons Council perspective, the Department of […]

Federal Safety Board Details Fears of Lost Access at Nuclear Weapons Sites

The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) is not convinced, despite statements from the deputy secretary of energy here in an open hearing Tuesday, that the Department of Energy intends to preserve the independent federal nuclear-watchdog’s unfettered access to U.S. nuclear-weapon sites. Energy Department officials testified before the four-member board about an order the agency published […]

NNSA, TVA Forge New Interagency Agreement on Uranium for Tritium Production

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) on Thursday announced a new interagency agreement to continue providing the federally owned Tennessee Valley Authority with low-enriched uranium that makes it possible to produce tritium for U.S. nuclear weapons. Under the agreement, the semiautonomous Department of Energy nuclear weapons agency will downblend highly enriched uranium into low-enriched uranium that […]

New LANL Manager Should Pay Gross Receipts Tax, NM Tax Agency Says

Incoming Los Alamos National Laboratory manager Triad National Security will indeed have to pay a state gross receipts tax of just over 7 percent, a spokesperson for the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department said this week. Triad — a nonprofit organization encompassing nonprofit, tax-exempt senior partners Battelle Memorial Institute, the University of California, and […]

Next-gen Nuke Missiles Sail Through Senate

The Senate on Thursday approved a 2019 Pentagon spending bill that provided a small boost for development of a next-generation, nuclear-tipped air-launched cruise missile, and met the White House’s funding request for development of the next nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile. While the Senate approved less funding for both efforts than did the House, the big-ticket […]

NNSA logo

NNSA Takeover of Savannah River Would Be ‘Logical,’ Eventually, DoE Official Says

It would be “logical” for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to take over as landlord of the Savannah River Site in Aiken, S.C., “at some point,” the site’s top federal manager told attendees of a local group’s breakfast meeting Wednesday. Savannah River Site Manager Michael Budney’s remarks before the Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness […]

DNFSB Member Connery Slams Reorg

The lone member of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) to oppose its recently announced reorganization slammed the plan in comments made public this week. In a record of votes taken Aug. 13-14, Joyce Connery — who chaired the independent watchdog of Energy Department nuclear operations during the latter half of the Obama administration — […]

Department of Energy Releases Draft Solicitation for New Savannah River Site Contract, Including Nuke Weapons Work

The Department of Energy on Tuesday released a draft solicitation for a Savannah River Site management and operations contract that could be worth nearly $15 billion over 10 years, including construction of new tritium facilities to power up U.S. nuclear weapons. Interested parties can meet DoE officials on site for three days of one-on-one meetings beginning […]

DNFSB logo

Acting DNFSB Chair Anticipates No Layoffs In Impending Board Reorganization

Restructuring the independent federal agency charged with health and safety oversight at Department of Energy nuclear-weapon and cleanup sites will not involve layoffs, according to the head of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board. “We are not going to have to involuntarily separate anyone,” acting DNFSB Chairman Bruce Hamilton said Thursday in a telephone interview. […]

Former Air Force Colonel Takes Charge of Honeywell’s NNSA Work

An internal reorganization at Honeywell [HON] Aerospace has put the company’s work on four management and operations contracts with the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) under the management of single retired Air Force colonel. The company’s aerospace segment in July put David “DJ” Johnson — a Honeywell man since retiring from a 23-year Air Force career […]