October 30, 2006
Follow-up Audit on Stockpile Surveillance Testing
Significant backlogs existed in each of the three types of tests Surveillance Testing conducted in the Surveillance Testing Program---laboratory tests, flight tests, and component tests---as of September 30? 2005. Laboratory tests are conducted on weapons' non-nuclear systems to detect defects due to handling, aging, manufacturing, or design. Flight tests involve dropping or launching a weapon, with its nuclear components removed, to assess performance and reliability. Component tests involve the destructive analysis of the five primary weapon components: pits, secondaries, detonators, cable assemblies, and the gas transfer valves systems to identify defects or failures. Although it made progress in reducing the backlog for a number of systems, the surveillance testing backlog actually increased for the majority of systems and components during the five-year period from Fiscal Year (FY) 2000 to 2005.