Nuclear Weapons: Actions Needed to Address Scientific and Technical Challenges and Management Weaknesses at the National Ignition Facility

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In March 2009, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a separately organized agency within the Department of Energy, completed construction of the National Ignition Facility (NIF). NNSA considers NIF critical to its stockpile stewardship program to ensure the safety and reliability of the nation's nuclear weapons, absent live nuclear testing. NIF is intended to simulate the extreme temperatures and pressures of "ignition"--an atomic fusion event propagating a nuclear explosion--for the first time in a laboratory. GAO was asked to examine (1) the extent to which NNSA ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. April 8, 2010.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In March 2009, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a separately organized agency within the Department of Energy, completed construction of the National Ignition Facility (NIF). NNSA considers NIF critical to its stockpile stewardship program to ensure the safety and reliability of the nation's nuclear weapons, absent live nuclear testing. NIF is intended to simulate the extreme temperatures and pressures of "ignition"--an atomic fusion event propagating a nuclear explosion--for the first time in a laboratory. GAO was asked to examine (1) the extent to which NNSA has addressed key scientific and technical challenges that could prevent ignition at NIF; (2) whether NNSA has an effective approach for managing the cost, schedule, and scope of ignition-related activities; and (3) potential impacts to NNSA's stockpile stewardship program if ignition at NIF is not achieved, as planned, between fiscal years 2010 and 2012. To conduct this work, GAO analyzed relevant budgets, reports, and plans, and interviewed NNSA and national laboratory officials and independent experts."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • April 8, 2010

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Nuclear Weapons: Actions Needed to Address Scientific and Technical Challenges and Management Weaknesses at the National Ignition Facility, report, April 8, 2010; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc298737/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.