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Audit Report: IG-0583

January 27, 2003

Management of Beryllium Metal Supply

The Department of Energy (Department) uses beryllium metal to fabricate weapons components and to facilitate a number of weaponsrelated experiments. Based on its analysis of the President's 2001 Nuclear Posture Review, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) estimated that it would need approximately 90 tons of beryllium metal to meet mission requirements over the next 30 years. About 50 tons of the material is currently available for purchase from the Defense Department's National Defense Stockpile. Because the only domestic producer of beryllium metal from ore ceased production in 2000, NNSA had been uncertain how it would overcome the perceived shortfall.