Click on the picture at left for current info about the UPF. Check the latest UPF
Update at the bottom of the page for more info.
What is the current status?
The Uranium Processing Facility as currently planned will be massively oversized, cost $19 billion, and will not be ready for operation until 2028; the aging facilities it is supposed to replace will not be able to operate safely beyond 2020.
A billion dollars has been spent so far on the design of the UPF; in January, Congress told the National Nuclear Security Administration to scrap its plans and develop alternatives. That review will be done by a “Red Team.”
The UPF is a bomb plant. Its sole mission is to produce thermonuclear cores for weapons of mass destruction for the Stockpile Life Extension Program.
By 2025, the United States will have limited demand for nuclear weapon production capacity, and much of what is needed to maintain the nuclear stockpile in a safe and secure manner will be done at the Pantex plant in Amarillo, Texas.
In Oak Ridge, NNSA will be unable to meet demand for dismantlement capacity—there are no plans to replace existing dismantlement facilities though they are undersized and take place in 60-year-old deterioriating facilities.
The Search for Alternatives
Key questions as the “Red Team” begins its hurried review of the UPF to develop “alternatives:”
• will alternatives be required to maximize safety and security?
• will the public be engaged in the review of UPF alternatives?
• when will NNSA begin the preparation of the new Environmental Impact Statement analyzing alternatives?
• will the Red Team consider safer, faster, cheaper alternatives, such as replacing limited lifetime components at Pantex?
• will the Red Team review sacrifice safety to save money?