Name: Uranium Capabilities Replacement Project at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Original price tag: $600 million to $1 billion
Original completion date: 2018
Current price tag: $6.5 billion to $11.6 billion
Projected completion date: Uranium processing capabilities will be completed by 2025; the facility will be fully operational by 2038.
What the facility does: The project will ensure the long-term capabilities, safety, and security of enriched uranium operations at Y-12. Specifically, this new facility will provide uranium feedstock for use by the NNSA’s Naval Reactors Program to design and develop naval nuclear propulsion plants; the disassembly of nuclear bomb secondaries, the highly enriched uranium portion of a nuclear warhead; and the assembly of new secondaries.
Reasons for cost overrun: Early cost estimates for the facility were based on inaccurate estimates for the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility, a recently finished companion building to UPF that also massively increased in cost at Y-12. In late 2012, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board found that B&W Y-12, the managing contractor for the project's construction, did not properly manage four subcontractors doing design work. This resulted in a space and fit issue that not only added $500 million and 13 months to the project, but also burned through 45 percent of contingency funds.