DOE Project Management: NNSA Needs to Clarify Requirements for its Plutonium Analysis Project at Los Alamos, Report to the Committee on Armed Services, U.S. Senate [open pdf - 4MB]
From the highlights section within the document: "In recent years, NNSA [National Nuclear Security Administration] has spent billions of dollars designing large construction projects, only to revisit options after cost increases and schedule delays. At Los Alamos, NNSA reversed its prior decision to build a nuclear facility as part of the CMRR [Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement] project after spending $450 million. The facility was to provide analysis equipment needed to support the production of pits as part of nuclear weapons life extension programs. Instead, NNSA approved a revised CMRR project to install plutonium analysis equipment in existing facilities. Senate report 113-44 includes a provision for GAO [Government Accountability Office] to review NNSA's revised CMRR project. GAO's report assesses (1) the extent to which the revised CMRR project is expected to meet plutonium analysis needs, (2) how its cost and scope compare to the previously approved project, and (3) the extent to which its schedule and cost estimates reflect best practices, among other objectives. GAO reviewed project documentation, assessed cost and schedule estimates against GAO identified best practices, and interviewed NNSA and DOE [Department of Energy] officials and CMRR contractor representatives. GAO is making seven recommendations to NNSA, including that it identify a pit production-related parameter for the revised CMRR project and develop a CMRR project schedule that includes all necessary work activities. NNSA generally neither agreed nor disagreed with the recommendations but described some actions it was taking. GAO continues to believe that the recommendations are valid, as discussed in this report."
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/