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NNSA Clears B-83 Bomb Processing Gear for Use

The U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration on Wednesday said it had endorsed a new mechanism designed to accelerate the review and decommissioning of B-83 nuclear gravity bombs (see GSN, Jan. 24, 2011).

Completing the technology's meticulous clearance process required several more months than anticipated, according to a press release from the semiautonomous branch of the Energy Department.

The effort is intended to help meet multiple goals, such as eventually putting together B-83 weapons. It aids in sustaining a nonhazardous, protected and potent strategic force, and it helps in oversight and elimination of U.S. nuclear weapons, the release states. The mechanism is expected to facilitate updates to the related Gas Transfer System and Neutron Generators.

The Pantex Plant in Texas developed the new technology. Personnel at Pantex, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and the Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico contribute to operations involving B-83 weapons (U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration release, May 23).

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