If you think that weapons development is in decline since the end of the cold war, well unfortunately you’d be wrong.
The current figures are unclear, but it is largely agreed that costs and spending in this area have been rising significantly over the last two decades.
For example the Y-12 Plant is 881 acres and based in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
FUNCTION: Y-12 is responsible for the canned subassemblies which make a bomb thermonuclear, produces weapon components to support the activities of the design laboratories and the Nevada Test Site, fabricates materials for the naval nuclear reactor program, and stores (in the Y-12 Plant) highly-enriched uranium (HEU) returned from dismantled weapons. Y-12 is currently upgrading the W-87 warheads which ride on the MX missile. Y-12 is the last full scale nuclear weapons production facility in the United States. With the most advanced machine shop in the Country, much of the work done at Y-12 can be done no where else.
The Department of Energy has completed the Draft Environmental Impact Statement to spend $4 billion to rebuild Y-12. This would enable the bomb plant to do ten times the amount of nuclear weapons work then current levels allow. It would also enable Y-12 to do about 60 percent broader range of weapons work. The new plant will stream line weapons production (including new nuclear weapons such as the mini-nuke.) Learn more about how you can use proxies for Instagram too with a workshop for activists.
Sandia National Laboratories
SIZE: 7,600 acres (11.9 square miles) at Kirtland/Albuquerque; 413 acres (0.6 square miles) at Livermore; 409,600 acres (640 square miles) at Tonopah. Inside Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, New Mexico; Livermore, California; Tonopah Test Range [northwest of the Nevada Test Site], Nevada.
FUNCTION: Responsible for research, development and testing of all non-nuclear components in nuclear weapons; manufactures neutron generators; develops transportation and storage systems for nuclear weapons; assesses nuclear weapons safety, security and control and helps train military personnel in the assembly and maintenance of completed weapons.
CONTRACTOR: Sandia Corporation (a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation).
Nevada Test Site
SIZE: 1,007,332 acres (1,573 square miles) 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas
FUNCTION: Field-tests nuclear weapons for development, safety and weapons effect purposes. From 1959 through 1972 a portion of the site, designated the Nuclear Rocket Development Station (NRDS), was used to test 21 above-ground prototypes of space nuclear propulsion reactors. In mid-1993, construction was completed on the $109 million Device Assembly Facility, a 100,000 square foot building within a highly secured 22-acre portion of the test site. The facility includes five high explosives containment cells, called “Gravel Gerties,” three weapon assembly bays, two radiographic areas and storage bunkers.
The Nevada test site has been designated as the Department of Energy’s number one low level waste disposal facility and will be disposing of waste from 16 sites for the next 20 years.
CONTRACTORS: Becktel Nevada Corporation, Lockheed Martin Nevada Technologies, Inc. Johnson Controls Nevada, Inc. Wackenhut Services, Inc.