Sponsored Content
« Three Women Liberated From London House After Thirty Years of "Slavery" | Main | Death Spiral Watch: California Also Enrolling Mostly Older Folks in Obamacare »
November 21, 2013

IG: maintenance of US nuke weapons at risk due to environmental impact statement delays

Tritium is a key component of current US nuclear weapon designs. Having a half life in the ~12 year range, tritium decays and "goes bad" pretty quick needing constant replacement to keep devices fully operational. We can produce enough for the next couple of years, but then the necessary tritium supply may become compromised.

OAS-L-14-01 November 2013

...The Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and the license amendment request it supports are critical to meet future tritium demands, which are expected to exceed Nuclear Regulatory Commission permitted amounts by October 2015. To increase the current reactor safety limits by January 2015, NNSA had established a management challenge to complete the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. If the license amendment is not approved by October 2015, TVA will be forced to produce less tritium than required by current NNSA plans. If the resulting shortfall cannot be recovered in future reactor cycles it may become necessary for TVA to use an additional reactor, which would be very costly to NNSA. NNSA estimated that it would take 4 years and a minimum of $20 million dollars to prepare an additional reactor to meet its tritium production requirements....
From what I understand of current nuclear weapons design, a device with degraded tritium supply would still probably go "bang" to some degree. Tritium appears to be part of the "dial a yield" tuning mechanism. The fission core, which exists outside the tritium injection mechanism, should still go critical normally and be splody.

digg this
posted by Purp at 03:32 PM

| Access Comments

Recent Comments
Thesokorus: "According to maths, you be incorrect. Posted by: ..."

Eric: "Islam is right about pride month. ..."

AlaBAMA : " 448 I do not believe in "black holes". The idea ..."

Pug Mahon, Gen X Ne'er-Do-Well: "I am not quite certain why I just wrote my last po ..."

Thesokorus: "I do not believe in "black holes". The idea is sil ..."

mikeski: "[i]It would seem DNA and outer space aren't the on ..."

Shame On Me: "[i]What resource are they looking for here that th ..."

Pug Mahon, Gen X Ne'er-Do-Well: "I posit the theory that we are the leading edge of ..."

Notsothoreau: "Some marionberry jam would go good on cornbread if ..."

polynikes: "Probably. And no exact count of the number of blac ..."

Alien Explorer: "Hey, look at all that water that planet has... ..."

Thesokorus: "They might show up to take slaves--Mars needs wome ..."

Recent Entries

Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64