archive-org.com » ORG » L » LASG.ORG

Total: 881

Choose link from "Titles, links and description words view":

Or switch to "Titles and links view".
  • Nuclear Spending Plan Up
    additional money for the labs and other parts of the nuclear weapons program came with a stick however the suggestion that if the Senate does not act now during the lame duck session the chances for the additional funding may diminish We have an opportunity to ratify this treaty and to lock in consensus on modernization funding Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters during a Wednesday morning briefing Clinton s comments came as Senate Republicans led by Sen Jon Kyl R Ariz suggested action on the treaty be put off until next year when a new Congress takes office The numbers made public show continued growth in the cost of major nuclear facilities in New Mexico and Tennessee but don t specify how the rest of the additional money would be distributed among nuclear weapons research and manufacturing sites around the country One project singled out in the new data is the Los Alamos Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement building Last February federal officials said they had no solid estimate of its cost because design work is still under way but put a 3 4 billion placeholder in the federal budget According to numbers made public Thursday with 45 percent of the design work on the building complete the estimated project cost is now between 3 7 billion and 5 8 billion The project is a victim of early optimism bias common to complex one of a kind technical efforts according to Don Cook the head of the Office of Defense Programs in the National Nuclear Security Administration Cook a former Sandia Labs manager who now oversees the agency s nuclear work said in a recent interview that efforts are under way to come up with a clearer picture of how much the massive concrete complex will cost One

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/articles/2010/ABQJrnl19Nov2010.html (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Environmental concerns circle LANL project
    Study Group filed a preliminary injunction to stop NNSA from spending any funds on design or construction of the multibillion dollar facility or on an associated security perimeter until the environmental issue has been settled The study group s complaint describes a project that was expected to take 34 months but is now scheduled to last 12 years in a project area that has quadrupled and for which construction materials have multiplied many times Before the court came up LANL officials described a project that had expanded to include several other construction sites in the Pajarito corridor Along with the security perimeter for the new building the work would include a revitalization program for the Plutonium Facility a replacement for the Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility and work on the Transuranic Waste Facility According to the most recent petition from the study group the work would encompass at least eight technical areas and includes the relocation of Pajarito Road One question is whether NNSA has already decided on the nuclear facility and whether it is so invested its own plans that it would be impossible to choose a different course It looks to me like they crossed the Rubicon a long time ago said Lindsay Lovejoy a Santa Fe lawyer who has joined the plaintiff s legal team A lab official in a community presentation in June said 35 construction packages were planned and the beginning of the infrastructure package was scheduled for March 2011 In an affadavit Don Cook NNSA s deputy administrator for defense programs said 210 million had been spent in six years of building design and analysis and that the overall project design was less than 50 percent complete Stopping the project he wrote would involve firing most if not all of the 283 LANL and

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/articles/2010/SFNM15Nov2010.html (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Press Release CMRR-NF Nov 15, 2010
    Los Alamos received on October 1 as part of an exception within the Continuing Resolution that is currently funding the federal government Over two years the 638 million year increase plus the new 820 million year increase if funded by Congress would apparently increase LANL s nuclear weapons appropriations by 49 from the FY2010 level of 1 30 billion These increases would dramatically increase the scale of LANL s weapons program and change the lab s character to more of a plutonium production site with associated waste staging and disposal The administration is considering seeking approval for front funding of the CMRR Nuclear Facility and UPF Front funding would entail a multiyear block of funding or even the total project cost delivered in one year to be spent over the ten year plus design and construction timeframe for CMRR NF The CMRR NF however does not yet have a final total cost estimate Members of Congress are unlikely to agree with this plan This horse trading process billions for modernization in exchange for New START ratification has become more strained since the midterm elections The so called consensus for ratification has begun to unravel as Republican demands for larger nuclear weapons budgets run up against the administration s ability to deliver funds and also fiscal and environmental problems threatening to derail the modernization agenda regardless of the treaty Press release ends here Senate letter begins November 15 2010 Re The Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Nuclear Facility CMRR NF at Los Alamos National Laboratory LANL in New Mexico The project is plagued by design problems cost overruns delays and litigation by us The National Nuclear Security Administration NNSA has halted project procurement The Department of Energy DOE has announced a new study of project requirements Simpler cheaper quicker better alternatives are available Dear Senator I am writing in regard to the proposed upgrades in plutonium capabilities at Los Alamos We urge you to reconsider Congress s fiscal commitment to the CMRR NF which has suffered obscene cost increases NNSA needs to study alternatives to this project not implement it It is already a fiasco and shows every sign of getting worse If the project were strongly justified it would gain credibility from objective oversight We believe it is not well justified The Administration is rushing toward failure The LANL upgrades involve several line item construction projects within NNSA s Weapons Activities account the centerpiece of which is the 5 6 billion CMRR NF project Project 04 D 125 This modernization is a key political expectation as Senate leaders consider taking up New START ratification in the lame duck session Some kind of plutonium modernization will no doubt occur but it may not be what the Administration currently intends and promises Difficulties and costs are mounting for CMRR NF increasing doubts about the present course and making alternatives reasonable Increasing the funds available cannot solve all the problems and might make some worse just digging a deeper fiscal hole as it

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2010/press_release_CMRR_15Nov2010.html (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • LASG ltr to Senators re: CMRR-NF
    will cost or when they will be completed The CMRR NF is to begin construction in 2011 some 2 3 years prior to completing a baseline The CMRR radiological laboratory utility and office building CMRR RLUOB has been built and is being outfitted The CMRR NF by contrast has encountered strong headwinds Expected completion has slipped more than a decade to 2020 at the earliest plus a 2 year prove in period pdf p 4 and an estimated 4 year transition period pdf p 2 38 Better researched seismic hazards unconsolidated volcanic ash beneath the building and the requirement for safety class equipment have caused design difficulties Overall cost has increased by a factor of about 16 so far Estimated cost has doubled just since the Obama Administration took office This affidavit at 10 discusses this increase and more Total program space has decreased from 60 000 sq ft to 38 500 sq ft 1 Lab space will now cost roughly 250 000 sq ft LANL has estimated annual operational and maintenance costs for CMRR NF exclusive of the programs it would house at about 2 5 of replacement value about 140 million per year Gross building area has almost doubled Quantities of concrete and steel have increased by factors of 116 and 77 respectively since 2003 Excavation to 125 ft is now necessary involving road closure and relocation as well as busing or temporary workplaces for up to LANL 4 400 employees Environmental litigation to halt investment in the facility has been filed by this organization under the National Environmental Policy Act NEPA and is being diligently pursued DOE has agreed to write a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement SEIS pdf In sworn testimony NNSA claims not to be committed to the project yet pdf 23 a legal requirement Last week NNSA halted procurement on the project pdf until it s SEIS is concluded in June 2011 Plaintiffs seek a de novo EIS a preliminary injunction on all investment until a decision can be rendered and a permanent injunction until an EIS covering reasonable alternatives is written Despite promises of employment there is local government pdf and tribal pdf concern DOE Secretary Chu has commissioned a new study of project requirements pdf to report early next year 2 We believe there are alternatives to this building which are simpler cheaper quicker and better Not long ago DOE thought so too pdf p 24 CMRR NF is just not necessary pdf to safely maintain the present large and diverse nuclear arsenal This truth has been politically suppressed during the present New START ratification debate but may not remain so forever given the above problems The sole coherent justification for this facility is to assist in the certification and manufacture of plutonium pits of which the U S has a surfeit for every nuclear delivery system There is a scientific consensus at NNSA s weapons laboratories that pits do not wear out or age except over long times Meanwhile LANL s existing

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/CMRR/LASGltr_Senators_15Nov2010.html (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • SF City Council resolution on CMRR-NF
    to conduct a new environmental impact statement for a chemistry and metallurgy research replacement nuclear facility at the Los Alamos National Laboratory Councilors unanimously adopted a resolution Wednesday night to notify federal officials of their desire to have opportunity for comment on alternatives and potential environmental impacts of the proposed large scale production facility for plutonium warhead cores In 2003 the City Council formally objected to a proposal for a

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/articles/2010/SFNM11Nov2010.html (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • AP - Nuclear funding gets boost
    a continuing budget resolution that funds government for the next two months to support a 624 million increase for weapons work by the National Nuclear Security Administration The nuclear funding bill needs final approval by Congress which left Washington this week without approving a federal budget but its inclusion in the continuing resolution was significant because it reflected increased weapons funding sought for 2011 by the Obama administration The emergency appropriation expires Dec 3 This bill is very good for Sandia and Los Alamos national labs because it strongly supports the key stockpile stewardship work they do Bingaman said in a news release It is a sign of how important the labs are and will remain to our national security Bingaman said almost all other federal agencies received continued funding at 2010 levels He said the additional NNSA funding would lend strong support to stockpile stewardship programs at the New Mexico labs ahead of debate on a proposed START treaty with Russia The Obama administration still hopes to get the Senate to consider the Russian arms control deal before a new Congress takes office in January The director of the watchdog Los Alamos Study Group Greg Mello questioned why Congress

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2010/Assoc_Press_2Oct2010.html (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Huge "emergency" funding increase for nuke labs today
    nuclear weapons spending in the National Nuclear Security Administration NNSA Prior to this in its set of requested Continuing Resolution CR anomalies pdf the White House urged immediate implementation of its proposed FY2011 nuclear weapons budget increase House Republicans on the Appropriations Committee argued against passage The Los Alamos Study Group argued against this increase in a letter we sent on Monday to the Democratic members of the House Appropriations Committee and others According to historical data in Study Group files today s increase see chart below at Los Alamos is the largest annual increase in both absolute and percentage terms since the Manhattan Project Annual nuclear weapons appropriations in New Mexico increased by about 527 million today which is 84 of the 625 million net overall increase at all the National Nuclear Security Administration NNSA sites These emergency appropriations last until December 3 by which time Congress must either pass appropriations bills or another CR Proposed increases in related nonproliferation spending at the same sites and others were not included in the emergency measure Study Group Director Mello It is shocking that the Obama Administration would seek an emergency increase in nuclear weapons spending There is no crisis at all The only emergency concerns a political objective namely ratification of the New START treaty which the Administration hopes to accomplish prior to seating a new Congress widely expected to contain fewer members of the President s party To pick this particular emergency priority over nearly all other objectives of government at this time speaks volumes about the priorities of Congress and this Administration These are not the priorities that would put people to work provide health care or education protect the environment or halt what most ordinary people understand to be a continuing economic decline with no end in

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2010/press_release_CR_1Oct2010.html (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • NNSA promises "supplemental" EIS for massive Los Alamos facility; would bull forward on project regardless
    Statement SEIS for a proposed massive and extremely costly plutonium facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory LANL This facility the primary purpose of which is to facilitate large scale production of additional plutonium warhead cores pits for new kinds of nuclear warheads is called the Nuclear Facility which is short for Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Nuclear Facility or sometimes CMRR NF Cost estimates for this facility have been rising for many years and according to reliable sources currently exceed 5 5 billion B If so the cost inflation since February alone has averaged some 14 per month As noted in a Complaint pdf filed in federal district court by the Los Alamos Study Group the National Environmental Policy Act NEPA bars agencies from proceeding with major federal projects in the absence of an applicable environmental impact statement EIS These and other issues were raised again in a letter pdf to NNSA attorneys at DOJ by Thomas Hnasko on September 22 Study Group Director Greg Mello While we are pleased that NNSA now admits the environmental analysis underpinning its choice to construct the Nuclear Facility is inadequate today s announcement goes nowhere near far enough First attempting to continue the project without adequate analysis of alternatives under NEPA simply ignores the law Second the alternatives proposed for analysis are for the most part straw men very lightly sketched alternatives which are impractical or unrealistic on their face and thus easily dismissed It is a typical ploy used by NNSA to avoid bona fide objective analysis The so called no action alternative would build a version of the facility that NNSA itself has rejected as impractical The second alternative would confine undescribed missions in an old building without upgrading it to modern standards which would never be practical The third alternative

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2010/press_release_CMRR_1Oct2010.html (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive



  •