Note: Sorry for the lite blogging as of late. Expect it to pick up over the next couple of weeks.
Asked if the final cost [of the UPF] will be somewhere between $4.2 billion and $6.5 billion, [John] Howanitz [B&W Y-12’s senior vice president for transformation and projects] replied: ‘That’s the question of the day. If you ask me today, I will tell you that based on the information we have acquired, the pricing we have on hand, I’m very confident that this is a good estimate. But I’m not at 90 percent design. …Will it go down? I don’t know. Will it go up? I don’t know. But, if someone were to say, can someone come in and validate this, I would welcome anyone to come in and look at our product — in fact, the government has — and we have a good product.”
Via Frank Munger, January 18, 2010
NNSA is developing 10 new technologies for use in the UPF and is using a systematic approach—Technology Readiness Levels (TRL)—to gauge the extent to which technologies have been demonstrated to work as intended….However, NNSA does not expect all 10 new technologies to achieve the level of maturity called for by best practices before making critical decisions….In addition, DOE’s guidance for establishing optimal TRLs prior to beginning construction is not consistent with best practices or with our previous recommendations. As a result, 6 of 10 technologies NNSA is developing are not expected to reach optimum TRLs consistent with best practices by the time UPF construction begins. If critical technologies fail to work as intended, NNSA may need to revert to existing or alternate technologies, possibly resulting in changes to design plans and space requirements that could delay the project and increase costs.
GAO Report on the UPF, November 2010