WASHINGTON – The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration is proud to announce the formal completion of construction on the U1a Complex Enhancements project (UCEP) at the Nevada National Security Site in Mercury, Nevada. UCEP, part of the Enhanced Capabilities for Subcritical Experiments (ECSE) program, provides infrastructure modifications to the U1a Complex at the Nevada National Security Site to house and field multi-pulse radiography. This project includes the installation of structures, systems, and components necessary for the deployment of the ECSE.

On June 30, NNSA approved the formal completion of construction and the beginning of the transition to operations – known as Critical Decision -4 – under the Department of Energy’s process for planning and executing major construction projects. The project provides Access and Life Safety infrastructure to support the ECSE program, including a new access drift, a new Refuge Station, and necessary power and ventilation for mining new drifts.

“We are pleased that this project has completed construction. These infrastructure upgrades are the foundation for required subcritical experimental capabilities that continue to ensure the United States maintains a safe, secure, and reliable nuclear stockpile without returning to nuclear explosive testing.” said Ken Sheely, Acting Associate Administrator for Infrastructure.

The UCEP project, as part of the ECSE program, closes a capability gap in the ability to certify changes to the stockpile, including aging, modern manufacturing technologies, modern materials, and evolving design philosophies. Data from the ECSE program will help underwrite future annual assessments, modernization programs, and will ensure confidence in the reliability of the nuclear stockpile without a return to nuclear testing.

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Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile; works to reduce the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and militarily effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.

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