Faced with a $19 billion price tag for the UPF, even after they scaled back operations to make it exclusively a bomb production plant, Congress told the NNSA to go back to the drawing board. In reply, NNSA announced a “Red Team” to study alternatives. Oak Ridge National Lab director Thomas Mason was tapped to head the Red Team; he has assembled a team of Department of Energy and National Nuclear Security Administration personnel; NNSA has declined to name the members of the Red Team and their meetings are not announced, nor are they open to public or media—so the future of the UPF is in the hands of a secret team of insiders. The Red Team began work on March 10 and expects to have a report in six weeks. OREPA has prepared an analysis of the Red Team’s prospects.
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