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Audit Report: IG-0570

September 25, 2002

Depleted Uranium Operations at the Y-12 National Security Complex

As part of its program to ensure the performance of the nation's inventory of nuclear weapons, the Department of Energy must maintain the capability to manufacture nuclear weapons "secondaries." Secondaries contain the fusion stage of modern nuclear weapons and create most of the explosive yield. Currently, the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is the only site capable of manufacturing and remanufacturing certain unique components necessary for assembling the secondaries. Many of these components are produced at Y-12's Depleted Uranium and Binary Metal Cycle Operations facility, the sole producer of several of the key components. We conducted this audit to determine if the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) can ensure the facility's reliability.