September 5, 2013
Sandia National Laboratories' Readiness in Technical Base and Facilities Program
Through the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) Readiness in Technical Base and Facilities (RTBF) Program, Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia) maintains facilities and infrastructure equipped with advanced scientific and technical tools to support NNSA's operational and mission requirements.
A key aspect of Sandia's RTBF is the Operations of Facilities Subprogram (Subprogram), which provides support to 31 of Sandia's 41 mission critical facilities. Funding for the Subprogram, which totaled $139.3 million of Sandia's $165.5 million Fiscal Year 2013 RTBF budget, is intended to sustain specific nuclear weapons' Mission Critical Capabilities (Capabilities) essential to performing national security missions in a readiness state to execute missions, such as the nuclear weapons Life Extension Programs (LEPs). The Subprogram budget also supports nuclear weapons programmatic infrastructure requirements such as general plant projects and capital equipment.
Nothing came to our attention to indicate that Sandia's RTBF Subprogram was not effectively supporting LEP mission needs. Specifically, our review disclosed that Sandia met or exceeded its RTBF program goals for FY 2012. In addition, we noted that Subprogram officials implemented performance monitoring controls. Subprogram and Capabilities management also prioritized capital investments and management plans to mitigate risks, such as the needed recapitalization of aging and unsupported tools. We did not propose any recommendations because we did not identify concerns with NNSA's and Sandia's management of the Subprogram.
TOPIC: National Security & Safety