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  • Decision to freeze size of UPF in 2009 at heart of $500M space/fit issue, NWMM, 23 Aug 2013
    management team was highly motivated to manage the process design within the building volume and it underestimated both the probability and consequence of fit problems the report said If risk management had been more effective and if other indicators of fit problems had been recognized the space fit issue might have been resolved sooner the evaluating team reported How Early Were Concerns Raised There were several unsuccessful attempt to raise these concerns during the project s evolution The first risk management attempt was opened in August 2008 The risk mitigation strategy was to add mezzanines as necessary to create additional space for equipment the report states This risk item has been modified several times but is still open and unresolved The assessment team said in order to achieve successful engineering procurement and construction project execution design tasks must be performed in a logical sequence While some tasks can be performed concurrently it has to be done with a clear understanding of the risk involved and with compensatory measures to improve the chances of success On UPF pressure to meet schedule milestones caused the PMT project management team to move forward with building design in advance of process design the report said Although concurrent design of process equipment and the associated building introduced risks that were not recognized as significant until late in the project it was assumed that process design and associated process equipment could ultimately be made to fit within the building Some former and current engineers associated with the UPF team have said problems were raised and ignored as early as 2004 when CD 0 was approved and that the overriding theme of those in charge was make it work After the building shell s dimensions were frozen in March 2009 at 388 000 square feet with a building height 12 feet lower than a previous version a series of events gradually made the equipment fit problem more and more of an issue In March 2009 the 3D model had only been partially populated with equipment and reserved space for equipment utilities and access corridors the root cause report said Consequently model reviews gave a false impression that there was sufficient space for the utilities steel and other components in fact it gave the impression that the building was voluminous According to the report in July 2009 the Plant Design group began to have space issues and commissioned a series of fit studies which focused on specific zones in the process work areas Throughout 2009 and 2010 some individuals in the Engineering organization felt the building was simply too small the report said The modelers and layout designers were struggling to fit the internal building steel equipment and utilities into their allotted space Model reviews were not always attended by the necessary organizations Adding Mezzanines to Fix Problem Fails The report said there was a widespread perception that the building size could not be changed so the attention tended to focus on alternative uses of space In August

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2013/NWMM_23Aug2013a.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Retired DOE official says UPF 'out of control,' could end up costing $10 billion, knowblogs.com, 13 Jun 2013
    members of Congress said the current best estimate is 6 billion and suggested there s a good chance that the project could end up exceeding the top end of the range Wilfert said his experience in project management indicates the UPF could end significantly higher than the current range Typically 7 15 percent of a project s cost is devoted to the design He said because of the type of facility it is the UPF design should probably be closer to the 7 percent figure than the 15 Given that if the UPF design had been completed at the time the redesign was announced the cost range would be somewhere between 3 3 billion and 7 1 billion Wilfert said And likely more toward the upper figure he said However taking into account that another year s worth of design was still needed the ultimate cost would more likely approach 10 billion or beyond he said That s my gut feeling he said Actually it s more than a gut feeling It s based on engineering experience Wllfert said he doesn t have an ax to grind He s not against the UPF being built He said he s speaking out as a citizen and as a taxpayer and to try to get congressional attention on this costly project before it s too late After the design problems were acknowledged last fall Wilfert wrote to U S Sens Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker R Tenn as well as U S Rep John Duncan R Tenn and expressed his concerns Of the three only Alexander sent a detailed reply saying he shared Wilfert s concern about the growing costs of UPF and saying he was committed to completing the project safely cost effectively and as soon as possible Wilfert said he

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2013/knoxblogs_13Jun2013.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GAO: UPF at risk of breaching $6.5B cost estimate, 17 May 2013
    updated its point estimate for the project from 5 2 billion to 5 8 billion in October of last year The point estimate does not include contingency and the GAO said the current point estimate for the project has grown to 6 billion because design costs for certain processing equipment has increased That leaves little room for error as the project moves forward to the completion of design and the start of construction and the GAO noted that plenty of problems could still pop up Several identified project risks including all risks related to construction activities remain and would require mitigation if they were to occur the GAO said The GAO did not identify what did not comment on questions posed about current project estimates and contingency funding outlined in the GAO report but he said the NNSA is not planning to adjust its cost range until the project baseline is set Other reviews of the project have suggested that the project could exceed 6 5 billion In 2011 the Army Corps of Engineers completed an Independent Cost Estimate for the project and estimated that it could cost between 6 5 and 7 5 billion and be completed by FY 2023 but the GAO said that estimate was based on a steady high level of funding exceeding 900 million for four straight years When the Army Corps analyzed the impact of funding constraints outlined in February 2011 limiting the facility to between 200 and 500 million a year the costs grew to between 10 3 and 11 6 billion with the start of operations on the facility being pushed back to Fiscal Year 2035 Officials told us that the longer schedule significantly increased the costs for level of effort activities e g program management and systems engineering which are needed throughout the project s duration the GAO said With construction expected to ramp up on the Uranium Processing Facility in FY 2014 the Administration requested 325 million for the program a 15 million cut from last year s request Ultimately funding for the project is expected to reach about 500 million a year NNSA Defense Programs chief Don Cook said in April Scope Scaled Back The cost increases combined with the funding constraints forced the NNSA to scale back the scope of the project in 2012 deferring work on many of the capabilities planned for the project in favor of accelerating the transition out of Y 12 s Building 9212 Getting out of Building 9212 where the bulk of Y 12 s uranium production activities take place has been identified by the NNSA as the highest priority at Y 12 and 9212 capabilities will represent approximately 70 percent of UPF s processing equipment Work to transition Buildings 9215 and 9204 2E is being deferred which will eventually cost more and further delay the full completion of the facility perhaps pushing the cost of the full project toward the Army Corps delayed funding estimate of 10 3 11 6 billion Building

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2013/NWMM_17May2013.html (2016-02-16)
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  • New concerns emerge over UPF design work, NWMM, 10 May 2013
    the design and managing requirements Design verification processes have allowed numerous errors in approved design documents Corrective actions to prevent recurrence of problems have been ineffective in addressing the underlying causes and There is no stand alone baseline project Code of Record The DNFSB memo said the National Nuclear Security Administration s UPF Project Office noted some improvements from recently updated procedures but their reviews indicate additional actions are required The NNSA letter reportedly directed B W to submit a plan to address issues within a month but the safety board memo said the contractor and the federal office have already agreed on corrective actions It is unclear if the design control concerns cited in the DNFSB report contributed to B W Y 12 s decision last month to bringing in a new project director for UPF Retired Lt Gen Carl Strock who held executive positions at Bechtel and formerly headed the U S Army Corps of Engineers The NNSA has not yet released the letter or the plans of corrective actions on the UPF design and did not respond to requests for comment this week The design of the Uranium Processing Facility has attracted scrutiny from the get go

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2013/NWMM_10May2013.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Bechtel changes UPF leadership as Y-12/PX protest decision looms, NWMM, 12 Apr 2013
    team headed by Babcock Wilcox The GAO is expected to announce its decision by April 29 This project is so important we could not delay making a move like this until we find out from the GAO what their decision is said Bridge Correll Waller a spokeswoman for B W Y 12 which is a partnership of Babcock Wilcox and Bechtel The two partners in B W Y 12 split and bid separately on the Y 12 Pantex combined offering You Can t Just Stop Doing Business Jason Bohne a spokesman for Bechtel would not confirm if Strock is part of the CNS leadership team which has not been announced publicly except for Haynes who will become president of CNS if the contract award is upheld Strock joined Bechtel in 2007 after a long tenure with Army Corps of Engineers and among other roles served as Bechtel s manager of global construction When asked about the timing of the Strock s appointment so close to a contractor change Waller said You can t just stop doing business UPF is moving forward Mark Seely the UPF director for the past two years will now take the lead for design completion and construction readiness Waller said His new title will be UPF senior project manager A major redesign effort was launched last year after the initial work on UPF did not allow enough room to accommodate all of the needed processing equipment and operating space As part of the leadership changes Tony Giordano the project manager for UPF will be focused on preparation for the Critical Decision 2 baseline package Waller said Because we see that as the most critical near term deliverable she said Giordana s title is now UPF project manager of critical decision planning and baseline development Asked if

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2013/NWMM_12Apr2013.html (2016-02-16)
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  • First UPF site prep contracts awarded, NWMM, 22 Mar 2013
    Waller AVISCO a small woman owned business won a subcontract to establish a spoils area to receive excess soil at the construction site on the west side of Y 12 The value of the work is just over 100 000 UPF is estimated to cost between 4 2 billion and 6 5 billion It s being billed at least in the Oak Ridge region as potentially the largest construction project in Tennessee history The B W subcontracts are just the start of what could become a spate of contract awards in coming months and years More than 500 million has been spent so far on UPF design and planning and there will be about 400 million in bid opportunities over the next year and a half according to project officials Both sub contractors are preparing their pre mobilization plans Waller said of the AVISCO and East Tennessee Mechanical subcontracts All work is on schedule Arms Corps Moving Forward With Site Prep Steven Wyatt public affairs chief for the National Nuclear Security Administration s Production Office which is overseeing the work said the federal agency approved the start of site readiness for the UPF project earlier this year The work under these contracts is expected to begin this spring Wyatt said Also the U S Army Corps of Engineers is moving forward with its management of early UPF projects The Corps of Engineers currently is reviewing contract proposals submitted for the relocation of Bear Creek Road near the UPF site Wyatt said Other readiness projects under the management of the Corps include the construction of a haul road extension that will be used to transport construction material and equipment to the UPF site Wyatt said in response to questions The Uranium Processing Facility will replace a series of Y 12 s

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2013/NWMM_22Mar2013.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Activists target funding for Y-12 project, knoxnews.com, 12 Nov 2012
    redesign of the UPF building Activists also claim that plans for the new facility at Y 12 have a capacity that far exceeds the needs for a downsized weapons arsenal The UPF is being designed with a production capacity of 80 warhead secondaries per year to accommodate future production of increased numbers of warhead secondaries rather than being sized to meet the mission requirements of a down sizing stockpile the letter states In their letter to Levin the groups wrote that any investment in the nation s nuclear weapons infrastructure should adhere to fiscally responsible guidelines and correspond to the nation s nuclear weapons policies They also said that accelerating construction could actually end up costing more money In a statement Ralph Hutchison coordinator of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance and a longtime critic of the proposed project said The Uranium Processing Facility is a stunning example of the worst in government accountability It is already breaking records for wasting money and it continues to struggle to meet safety and technology standards We are pleased that the UPF is drawing the attention of so many other organizations John Eschenberg federal project director for UPF spoke last week at the Energy Technology and Environmental Business Association s conference in Knoxville He called UPF a game changing project and said it will be much more than just a bomb plant Eschenberg said the new production facility will be needed no matter the size of the nation s future nuclear arsenal noting that the same facility used to build new parts for old weapons will also be used to dismantle weapons systems and recycle or otherwise process the materials The need for UPF remains unchanged he said Despite the fact that at least part of the uranium facility will have to be

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2012/knoxnews_12Nov2012.html (2016-02-16)
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  • B&W Y-12 facing fee hit due to UPF design problems, NWMM, 19 Oct 2012
    APM group was to be able to say Hey we have a contract that is the guiding principle for the contracts that we re doing Raines said I think our folks are learning and they re learning what s available to them a little more than they had in the past Raines declined to go into detail about what went wrong at UPF suggesting that the issues are still being analyzed and he said it is too early to estimate how much the redesign would add to the cost of the project UPF Federal Project Director John Eschenberg revealed earlier this month that the roof of the facility would need to be raised 13 feet the walls would have to be thickened from 18 inches to 30 inches and the facility s concrete foundation slab would have to be about a foot thicker The current Critical Decision 1 cost estimate for the facility is between 4 2 and 6 5 billion which includes about 2 billion in contingency funds That s doing things the right way Raines said When we CD 1 a project that early in the design stage we want to have that much contingency I think that we did the right thing on that and we re going to go take a look and see what the impacts are He said more will be known about the cost when a replan is completed at the end of this month but he emphasized that the redesign could allow for savings that could offset some of the possible cost increases We had risks on this job and we had opportunities on this job Raines said We are mining the opportunities and we have generated some new opportunities partially as a result of the risk that we realized so that will generate some opportunities that heretofore we wouldn t have been able to do because of the way the building was going to be constructed Size of Design Team To Increase This week the NNSA also confirmed that the federal and contractor team working on the UPF will also grow both in the number of employees and the office space where the high priority project is being carried out NNSA spokesman Steven Wyatt this week confirmed that about 10 to 15 employees would be added to the federal staff of UPF before the end of the year with an unspecified number of design staff to be added to the contractor group We will be adding to the overall UPF project team in FY 13 Wyatt said in response to questions Federal staff will be added to the team by January with specialty skillsets in the areas of structural engineering fire protection safety criticality safety nuclear safety chemical processing engineering and electrical engineering Wyatt said The reason for bumping up the NNSA staff is to ensure that safety is appropriately integrated into the overall design of the project Wyatt said That was one of the key concerns raised by the Defense

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2012/NWMM_19Oct2012.html (2016-02-16)
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