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Audit Report: OAS-M-07-02

February 20, 2007

Management Controls over the National Nuclear Security Administration's Ability to Maintain Capability of the TA-18 Mission

The mission of Technical Area 18 (TA-I 8) at the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) Los Alamos National Laboratory (Los Alamos) was to conduct nuclear criticality experiments and hands-on training in nuclear safeguards, criticality safety and emergency response. TA-18 was the only facility in the United States capable of performing these nuclear criticality experiments needed to validate safety evaluations, establish limits for operations involving special nuclear material (SNM), and provide criticality training. Experiments were performed on five one-of-a-kind criticality machines and required a diverse set of SNM and highly skilled technical personnel.