April 12, 2002
The Department of Energy's Pit Production Project
The Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is responsible for maintaining the United States' nuclear weapons stockpile and ensuring that the weapons in the stockpile remain safe and reliable. The Department lost the capability to make plutonium pits, a key component of nuclear weapons systems, when its Rocky Flats Plant ceased production in 1989. NNSA is currently working to reestablish the Department's production capability so that pits removed from the weapons stockpile for testing or other purposes can be replaced. In 1996, the Department designated the Los Alamos National Laboratory as the interim site to produce pits for the nuclear stockpile.