June 29, 2012 

Office of Secure Transportation Capabilities

The National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) Office of Secure Transportation (OST) is responsible for safely and securely transporting nuclear weapons, weapon components and special nuclear material for customers such as the Department of Energy, Department of Defense and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  The demand for OST services is expected to increase significantly over the next 7 years as a result of current Presidential initiatives and international nonproliferation efforts.  OST forecasts show an increase in mission demand through 2019.  Due to the importance of OST's mission to safely and securely transport nuclear weapons, we performed this audit to evaluate the challenges OST faces in meeting future mission requirements.


We found that, while OST has successfully met customer shipping requests in the past and expects to have capacity to meet future requirements, it faces several significant challenges.  These challenges include maintaining the reliability of existing equipment; ensuring that future Federal agent overtime levels are consistent with safe operations; and, validating essential resource planning data.  Accordingly, management attention is needed to address these challenges to reduce the risk that OST will be unable to meet its future mission requirements.  NNSA management concurred with the report's recommendations, proposed corrective actions and stated that these items will be used to continue improving NNSA's implementation of securing and safely transporting nuclear weapons.

Topic: National Security & Safety