50 U.S. Code § 2538a. Plutonium pit production capacity

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(a) RequirementConsistent with the requirements of the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Energy shall ensure that the nuclear security enterprise—
(1)
during 2021, begins production of qualification plutonium pits;
(2)
during 2024, produces not less than 10 war reserve plutonium pits;
(3)
during 2025, produces not less than 20 war reserve plutonium pits;
(4)
during 2026, produces not less than 30 war reserve plutonium pits; and
(5)
during 2030, produces not less than 80 war reserve plutonium pits.
(b) Annual certification

Not later than March 1, 2015, and each year thereafter through 2030, the Secretary of Energy shall certify to the congressional defense committees and the Secretary of Defense that the programs and budget of the Secretary of Energy will enable the nuclear security enterprise to meet the requirements under subsection (a).

(c) Plan

If the Secretary of Energy does not make a certification under subsection (b) by March 1 of any year in which a certification is required under that subsection, by not later than May 1 of such year, the Chairman of the Nuclear Weapons Council shall submit to the congressional defense committees a plan to enable the nuclear security enterprise to meet the requirements under subsection (a). Such plan shall include identification of the resources of the Department of Energy that the Chairman determines should be redirected to support the plan to meet such requirements.

Amendments

2019—Subsec. (a)(5). Pub. L. 116–92, § 3116(b)(1), added par. (5) and struck out former par. (5) which read as follows: “during a pilot period of not less than 90 days during 2027 (subject to subsection (b)), demonstrates the capability to produce war reserve plutonium pits at a rate sufficient to produce 80 pits per year.”

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 116–92, § 3116(b)(2)–(4), redesignated subsec. (c) as (b), substituted “2030” for “2027 (or, if the authority under subsection (b) is exercised, 2029)”, and struck out former subsec. (b) which authorized a two-year delay of the demonstration requirement.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 116–92, § 3116(b)(3), (5), redesignated subsec. (d) as (c) and substituted “subsection (b)” for “subsection (c)”. Former subsec. (c) redesignated (b).

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 116–92, § 3116(b)(3), redesignated subsec. (d) as (c).

Sense of Congress Related to Modification to Certain Requirements Relating to Plutonium Pit Production Capacity

Pub. L. 116–92, div. C, title XXXI, § 3116(a), Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 1951, provided that:

“It is the sense of Congress that—
“(1)
rebuilding a robust plutonium pit production infrastructure with a capacity of up to 80 pits per year is critical to maintaining the viability of the nuclear weapons stockpile;
“(2)
that effort will require cooperation from experts across the nuclear security enterprise; and
“(3)
any further delay to achieving a plutonium sustainment capability to support the planned stockpile life extension programs will result in an unacceptable capability gap to our deterrent posture.”