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(EST-1958) Planning the Future: Methodologies for Estimating U.S. Nuclear Stockpile Cost

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Primary Author: Mr Frank Douglas Lewis
Co-Author(s): Mr Cash Fitzpatrick; Mr Matt Proveaux; Mr Cole Lillard; Mr William P Todd

Audience Focus: Advanced
Application Type: Application
Venue: 2015 AACE International Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, NV, USA

Abstract: The cost estimation methodology presented in this paper provides planning estimates for Life Extension Programs (LEPs) for the nuclear weapons managed by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The estimates contain planned costs, by each stockpile system, for the U.S. nuclear deterrent for 25 years. The cost model used to produce these estimates is divided into two parts: development and production. Development costs are estimated using complexity factors derived from comparisons with prior system LEPs, along with a modified Rayleigh distribution informed by historic cost actuals. Production costs are based on anticipated production schedules and quantities, along with a variation of the Crawford model for learning curves. The estimates generated with this methodology are updated and published annually in NNSA’s strategic planning document called the Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan (SSMP).