Note: This story was updated with a statement from CNS at 11:50 a.m. Nov. 19.
The U.S. Department of Energy has notified Consolidated Nuclear Security that it intends to investigate possible weaknesses in nuclear criticality controls at the Y-12 National Security Complex.
The DOE Office of Enterprise Assessments’ Office of Enforcement notified CNS, which manages and operates Y-12, of its intent to investigate on Tuesday. The Office of Enforcement intends to investigate potential noncompliances with DOE nuclear safety program requirements, according to a summary of the notice published online.
The potential nuclear criticality control weaknesses were identified at Y-12 between May 2017 and May 2018, the notice said.
Nuclear criticality occurs when nuclear fuel is capable of sustaining a fission chain reaction. [Read more…]