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Y-12 National Security Complex produces first production unit for strategic weapon


y-12 oak ridge
YPH-18-811658: Employees at Y-12 National Security Complex recently completed the first production unit of the B61-12. This refurbishment will extend the life of this strategic weapon for 20 years.

OAK RIDGE, TN – The Y-12 National Security Complex completed a major milestone in efforts to refurbish components for a strategic nuclear weapons system that is vital to the U.S. nuclear deterrent. The first production unit for the B61-12 was certified at Y-12 on Dec. 6, 2018.

This work is part of the B61 Life Extension Program (LEP). The B61 is a nuclear bomb that can be carried on several types of military aircraft. The B61 LEP will extend the life of this strategic weapon for 20 years.

Y-12’s role involves the manufacture of the canned subassembly or secondary—the second stage of modern thermonuclear weapons. The canned subassembly is shipped from Y-12 to the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, for final assembly.

Geoff Beausoleil, National Nuclear Security Administration Production Office Manager, said, “This milestone is critical to the modernization of the nuclear gravity weapon stockpile and ensures the safety, security and reliability of our national deterrent.”

Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC Vice President and Site Manager Bill Tindal praised the teamwork that facilitated the early production of the unit. “It took all parts of the factory working together to achieve this milestone ahead of schedule. By doing so, Y-12 has worked to ensure the success of this vitally important program,” he said.

The next milestone for the program is shipment of eight nuclear pilot production units to the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, by March 2019. The recently certified unit is one of those eight. The first complete B61-12 weapon is on schedule for production by March of 2020.

Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC (CNS) operates the Pantex Plant, located in Amarillo, Texas, and the Y-12 National Security Complex, located in Oak Ridge, under a single contract for the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration. Pantex and Y-12 are key facilities in the U.S. Nuclear Security Enterprise, and CNS performs its work with a focus on the absolute priorities of safety, security, quality, mission delivery and cost efficiency.

For more information on each site, visit www.pantex.energy.gov or www.y12.doe.gov. Follow Pantex on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Follow Y-12 on Facebook and Twitter.

Source: Y-12

Published January 22, 2019








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