About 100 people are already working at a new Kansas City National Security Campus satellite facility that opened in October just down the road from the National Nuclear Security Administration’s main factory for non-nuclear nuclear weapon parts, a spokesperson said Tuesday.
For the moment, however, Building 23 — also called Kansas City East — is not cranking out any nuclear weapons components, the spokesperson for plant prime contractor Honeywell [HON] Federal Manufacturing & Technologies (F&MT) wrote in an email.
That work will start after facility upgrades planned to start in fiscal year 2022, which is now about two months old, the spokesperson said. F&MT declined to say when the upgrades would be finished, but the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) said in its latest budget request that the improvements should finish sometime in fiscal year 2023, which begins Oct. 1, 2022.
It’s a slip compared with previous timelines from the prime, which had put the start of light manufacturing around December of this year, if not sooner.
Building 23 will have a notional workforce of 500 people, once operations are in full swing, according to the latest NNSA budget request. The facility was to handle plastic molding, testing of electrical components, and parts fabrication, among other things the NNSA has said.
The building’s official ribbon cutting was in mid-October, during Administrator Jill Hruby’s two-day vision to the main campus, the agency announced last week. Aside from planned manufacturing operations, the satellite building houses an advanced manufacturing training center, the NNSA said.
Electrical and ventilation upgrades are on the slate for Kansas City East, plus some new foundations for equipment needed for the W87-1 warhead life extension program. The tab will run about $13 million, according to NNSA’s 2022 budget request.
W87-1 is the second of two warheads slated to tip the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent intercontinental ballistic missile, which is scheduled to replace the Minuteman III fleet starting in 2030 or so. W87-1 will replace W78.