Skip to main content

(EST-4016) Does Historical Data on Unique Government Nuclear Facilities Have an Expiration Date?

Presentation Icon
Level: Basic
TCM Section(s):
10.4. Project Historical Database Management
7.3. Cost Estimating and Budgeting
Venue: 2023 AACE International Conference & Expo

Abstract: This paper attempts to examine if historic data has an expiration date. It has been estimated that the United States spent $5.6 (BY1996$) trillion on the buildup of nuclear arms and delivery systems from 1940 to 1996 (roughly $10.6 trillion in 2022 dollars). The early phase of this Cold War build-up required the development of the nuclear industrial complex, an unprecedented capital mobilization that includes numerous, arguably successful, mega projects and subprojects. This rapid deployment of industrial capacity yielded over 30 thousand nuclear warheads from 1950 to 1967 [1].

Today, the U.S. Nuclear Security Enterprise (NSE), remains an evolving infrastructure designed to ensure the U.S. nuclear stockpile is safe, secure, and reliable to perform as the Nation’s nuclear deterrent. Rather than produce new weapons, the United States must continue to maintain its warheads through life extension programs and warhead alterations that require the production of nuclear materials, fabrication of nuclear and nonnuclear components, assembly and disassembly of nuclear warheads, and support operations. These unique missions require a significant infrastructure recapitalization of Cold War facilities. The first set of these major infrastructure recapitalization projects have experienced significant challenges. This paper examines if recommended practices of RP 114R-20 [2] can be leveraged to develop a project historical database of dated but similar information from Cold War efforts to improve future recapitalizations outcomes; or, if too much time has passed for these efforts to be relevant.