Modernizing the Nuclear Security Enterprise: New Plutonium Research Facility at Los Alamos May Not Meet All Mission Needs

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The estimated cost to construct the CMRR has greatly increased since NNSA’s initial plans, and the project’s schedule has been significantly delayed. According to its most recent estimates prepared in April 2010, NNSA determined that the CMRR will cost between $3.7 billion and $5.8 billion—nearly a six-fold increase from the initial estimate. Construction has also been repeatedly delayed and, in February 2012 after GAO provided its draft report to NNSA for comment, NNSA decided to defer CMRR construction by at least an additional 5 years, bringing ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. March 26, 2012.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The estimated cost to construct the CMRR has greatly increased since NNSA’s initial plans, and the project’s schedule has been significantly delayed. According to its most recent estimates prepared in April 2010, NNSA determined that the CMRR will cost between $3.7 billion and $5.8 billion—nearly a six-fold increase from the initial estimate. Construction has also been repeatedly delayed and, in February 2012 after GAO provided its draft report to NNSA for comment, NNSA decided to defer CMRR construction by at least an additional 5 years, bringing the total delay to between 8 and 12 years from NNSA’s original plans. Infrastructure-related design changes and longer-than-expected overall project duration have contributed to these cost increases and delays. GAO’s review of NNSA’s April 2010 cost and schedule estimates for CMRR found that the estimates were generally well prepared, but important weaknesses remain. For example, a high-quality schedule requires a schedule risk analysis that incorporates known risks to predict the level of confidence in meeting a project’s completion date and the amount of contingency time needed to cover unexpected delays. CMRR project officials identified hundreds of risks to the project, but GAO found that these risks were not used in preparing a schedule risk analysis. As a result of these weaknesses, NNSA cannot be fully confident, once it decides to resume the CMRR project, that the project will be completed on time and within estimated costs."

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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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  • March 26, 2012

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Modernizing the Nuclear Security Enterprise: New Plutonium Research Facility at Los Alamos May Not Meet All Mission Needs, report, March 26, 2012; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc302288/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.