WASHINGTON – The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration has reached a pivotal milestone on the Los Alamos Pit Production Project, approving the start of construction of the Decontamination and Decommissioning Subproject.
The D&D Subproject is the first of five subprojects to begin construction under the effort to restart plutonium pit production at Los Alamos National Lab, a project known as LAP4. The D&D Subproject involves clearing out existing equipment and gloveboxes to make way for new pit-manufacturing equipment at the Lab and work is anticipated to begin in Spring 2022. Once legacy equipment is removed, there will be space for new production equipment installation to produce 30 plutonium pits per year at the lab by 2026.
“Achieving this milestone is a significant accomplishment and showcases NNSA’s commitment to modernizing the equipment and infrastructure needed to safely manufacture pits for the nuclear stockpile,” said Summer Jones, Assistant Deputy Administrator for Production Modernization. “LAP4 is a complex, challenging endeavor, and getting the approval to begin the D&D subproject is a big step toward restoring this important capability.”
This work is part of NNSA’s two-site approach for meeting pit production requirements, an expansive multi-year project involving continued investment in Plutonium Facility-4 at Los Alamos and the repurposing of the former Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility at the Savannah River Site. This approach provides the Nation with a robust and resilient pit production capability and restores our ability to produce 80 war reserve plutonium pits annually.