Audit Report: Resumption of Criticality Experiments Facility Operations at the Nevada National Security Site [open pdf - 729KB]
"The mission of the Criticality Experiments Facility, located at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (Los Alamos) was to conduct nuclear criticality experiments and hands-on training in nuclear safeguards, criticality safety and emergency response in support of the National Criticality Safety Program. Citing safety and security concerns, in 2004 the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) halted criticality experiments at Los Alamos and authorized a capital project to transfer this capability to the Device Assembly Facility at the Nevada National Security Site (Nevada). The Nevada Field Office provided oversight of the project, which was managed through a joint contractor project team composed of Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore), National Security Technology, LLC (NSTec) and Wackenhut Services International. NSTec was responsible for maintaining the infrastructure and safety basis documentation needed to operate the facility. Safety basis documentation describes the facility and the controls needed to ensure safe operations. The project remodeled a portion of the Device Assembly Facility to form the National Criticality Experiments Research Center (NCERC). Four criticality machines, named Godiva, Planet, Comet and Flat-Top, were transferred from Los Alamos to NCERC as part of this project. The Project Execution Plan listed a target date of May 2010, for approval of start-up of the new facility. Because of the importance of maintaining the criticality safety program, we initiated this audit to determine whether NNSA had safely restored the criticality experiment capabilities transferred from Los Alamos to NCERC as planned."
Department of Energy, Office of Inspector General, Report No. OAS-M-13-09
United States. Department of Energy: http://energy.gov/