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July 3, 2015

The Decrepit and Unused Buildings of the NNSA

The National Nuclear Security Administration “is now spending significant amounts of money to maintain about 450 facilities no longer needed for program use and that now sit empty,” according to a newly-released Senate Appropriations Committee report.
 And a majority of the NNSA’s buildings are really old besides.
Some 54 percent of the 3,800 buildings are over 40 years old, and 29 percent are over 60 – with 12 percent no longer in use at all, according to the panel report, which accompanies the fiscal 2015 Energy-Water spending bill.
The committee’s note about the unused and old buildings came in the broader context of the agency deferring maintenance to the tune of a $3.5 million backlog – a backlog expected to continue to grow.
“The Committee is concerned about the deteriorating conditions of infrastructure and capabilities across the nuclear weapons complex and believes NNSA has not made sufficient investments to improve the conditions and extend the design life of supporting infrastructure that is critical for ongoing nuclear operations as part of the nuclear modernization effort,” the report states.
It’s actually gotten dangerous: “According to internal NNSA assessments, underinvestment in upgrading infrastructure and dispositioning unneeded facilities is starting to pose a risk to workers, public safety, and the environment.”
The panel is asking for a 10-year plan from the NNSA on how to reduce the deferred maintenance backlog and rid itself of unneeded facilities.

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