As part of its program to ensure the performance of the nation's inventory of nuclear weapons,
the Department of Energy must maintain the capability to manufacture nuclear weapons
"secondaries." Secondaries contain the fusion stage of modern nuclear weapons and create
most of the explosive yield.
Currently, the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is the only site
capable of manufacturing and remanufacturing certain unique components necessary for
assembling the secondaries. Many of these components are produced at Y-12's Depleted
Uranium and Binary Metal Cycle Operations facility, the sole producer of several of the key
components. We conducted this audit to determine if the National Nuclear Security
Administration (NNSA) can ensure the facility's reliability.