Y-12 Produces First Production Unit for B61-12
January 23, 2019
The Y-12 National Security Complex announced that the first production unit for the B61-12 nuclear bomb was certified on Dec. 6, 2018. This refurbishment will extend the life of this strategic weapon for 20 years.
The Y-12 National Security Complex completed a major milestone in efforts to refurbish components for a strategic nuclear weapons system that is vital to the U.S..
This work is part of the B61 Life Extension Program (LEP). The B61 is a nuclear bomb that can be carried on several types of military aircraft. The B61 LEP will extend the life of this strategic weapon for 20 years.
Y-12’s role involves the manufacture of the canned subassembly or secondary—the second stage of modern thermonuclear weapons. The canned subassembly is shipped from Y-12 to the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, for final assembly.
The press release on Jan. 22 says the next “milestone for the program is shipment of eight nuclear pilot production units to the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, by March 2019.”
The Y-12 National Security Complex is a United States Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration facility located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, near the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. It was built as part of the Manhattan Project for the purpose of enriching uranium for the first atomic bombs. It is considered the birthplace of the atomic bomb.