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  • Los Alamos Study Group
    are from the same party there is likely to be relatively broad concurrence with the President s request Today s budget request will say more about Obama s nuclear priorities than any of his speeches so far said Study Group Director Greg Mello Those speeches have been largely aspirational That helps but the primary way real nuclear weapons policy is made right now is through financial and program commitments Declared policy can be changed multi billion dollar commitments are harder to change Of particular interest in today s budget is the fate of the Bush Administration s proposals for new nuclear weapons factories the so called Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement CMRR facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory LANL and the Uranium Processing Facility UPF at the Y 12 site in the Oak Ridge TN complex Both projects are expected to cost at least 2 B or at least 3 B in the CMRR case with ancillary projects included Both have been controversial In the case of the CMRR the House has tried to delay and defund the project since its inception with the Senate each year restoring project funding The CMRR is of particular interest in New Mexico It was selected as the government s 1 boondoggle by Newsmax com and if built would exceed the cost of all other public infrastructure projects in the history of New Mexico with the possible exception of the Interstate Highway system by a factor of approximately six using special construction dollar deflators Other details will be provided later in the day Background According to a recent study the U S spent more than 52 billion B on nuclear weapons in 2008 see first chart below Some 56 or 29 B was spent operating sustaining and upgrading the U S nuclear arsenal Of

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2009/PressReleaseMay7_2009.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • Los Alamos Study Group
    is much cheaper to keep old components than build new ones Plutonium and uranium facilities throughout the Department of Energy DOE complex current and planned in relation to potentially down scoped missions in Weapons Activities MOX for which discontinuation is an option plutonium disposition overall Pu 238 heat source production and related missions Complex wide infrastructure requirements with their associated costs after completion of the Nuclear Posture Review NPR and its subsequent stockpile plan Protect worker safety and the environment Keep nuclear weapons and materials safe and secure As a result of the above workload reductions cut Weapons Activities spending at about 15 in real terms for the next 3 years especially at the weapons labs minimizing costs while avoiding management fiascoes by down scoping missions and finally also Seek budget authority to protect employees economic security as they separate from NNSA and Provide incentives for nationally needed work in communities near NNSA facilities building local and national economies In terms of nuclear policy any report like tomorrow s should reiterate a clear commitment to work toward complete nuclear disarmament While it has become somewhat fashionable and even commonplace to profess a commitment to long term nuclear abolition the proof of all such rhetoric whether from the Obama Administration NGOs or foreign capitals lies in clear disarmament oriented actions proposed and pursued in the current year i e now Given the absence of any requirement for newly produced pits the appropriate production level for new pits is zero as noted above and as the House Appropriations Committee has already proposed Existing pits will last longer than the facilities that would be built primarily for the purpose of making more of them There are thousands of pits being held in reserve and still other thousands being liberated as a result of dismantlement We are unimpressed with proposals that would invest in new long lived facilities which consolidating weapons complex sites would require There is no logic in building up in order to downsize Study Group President Peter Neils We are quite concerned that the strategy articulated by the nuclear consolidation network is likely to have the opposite effect of the goals stated To reduce our nation s commitment to nuclear weapons and actually take a step towards disarmament we need to gradually safely and prudently reduce operations of the complex in its current locations downsizing it in place an action which would save money and minimize risk of all kinds at every step Executive Director Greg Mello This coalition suggests that consolidation implicitly requiring billions of dollars in new infrastructure will somehow reduce commitment to nuclear weapons on the thin supposition that reducing state congressional delegations will reduce political support Given that the complex is now over 90 privatized with several huge corporations deriving substantial profits from their involvement this rationale is naïve All in all geographic consolidation doesn t make sense from either the perspective of nuclear sustainers or that of nuclear abolitionists like us End of April 7 release

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2009/PressReleaseApr7_2009.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • Los Alamos Study Group
    warhead merely aspirational Do some mission requirements imply policy decisions that have not been made or embody open ended flexibility at great cost and program risk Is it necessary or desirable to have an active pit production program as opposed to placing pit production on warm standby making a few test pits for evaluation purposes only Is it necessary to have a separate active pit production technology development program or could this be pursued in floor space reserved for pit production were the latter on warm standby Is a program for confined subcritical tests with Pu 242 necessary Is a pit development program necessary Is it necessary or desirable to make MOX fuel actually If it is is it necessary to supply MOX for 6 nuclear reactors What about 4 reactors Or 2 as a pilot program What is the true value added by nuclear forensics and what dedicated Category I plutonium space is truly and continuously required for it How would changes in stockpile numbers the number of weapon types supported and the pace timing and intrusiveness of life extension programs affect plutonium infrastructure requirements A wide consensus supports significant stockpile cuts of some nature In addition the U S is legally and politically committed to nuclear disarmament and an increasing number of former senior officials believe U S interests are best served by pursuing it Deliberation on these matters is under way and the outcome could or should affect plutonium infrastructure plans Must Pu 238 missions remain at LANL s PF 4 or would it make more sense economically for them to be at INL were DOE s stove piping overcome What are the proposed missions of the CMRR project exactly for both the NF and the RLUOB These have never been made clear and the willingness of LANL to discuss modification of the RLUOB into another kind of facility altogether at this late stage of construction is somewhat shocking and revealing Within LANL as a whole the relationship of current and planned a nuclear and b radiological facilities in relation to proposed missions has never been independently elucidated If the total suite of missions were to decline what facilities would truly be necessary to maintain How are these facilities utilized today and how might they be utilized tomorrow with and without the CMRR NF Could some radiological missions currently planned for the CMRR RLUOB be done nearly as well and for less money at other LANL locations e g TA 48 or TA 46 supposing programs there wind down In addition to the CMRR at least five other plutonium related construction projects are planned for LANL with a total cost of at least 1 billion Are all these necessary as well 6 These same kinds of detailed questions should be asked for other sites such as SRS If plutonium missions are appropriately downsized and focused at these sites as well are there other simpler ways to accomplish them Today s complex transformation plans cannot be taken at

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/CMRR_brief_update.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • Los Alamos Study Group
    that any decisions made today can be changed later by either NNSA or Congress and no doubt will be to a greater or lesser extent provided they are adequately analyzed under NEPA Citizens should not look to NEPA for a democratic nuclear policy forum NEPA is an environmental law one that governs the process not the content of government decisions Whatever NNSA s administrative choices may appear to be today there is absolutely no reason why downsizing of the nuclear weapons complex cannot proceed within the framework established by this PEIS This press release will not discuss the specifics of NNSA s widely anticipated investment preferences not because we don t have them as of this writing but because we believe the most important issues to the public are those which frame NNSA s preferences Mello NNSA s planning effort comes at a time when more and more people are finally waking up to the fact that U S national security has many dimensions including an economic one Most aspects of national security have been at best neglected and more often damaged by our infatuation with destructive technologies The American Century proclaimed by Henry Luce in 1941 has now definitively ended Both the neoconservative and neoliberal visions have been discredited by a convergence of catastrophic problems that have no solutions within their respective frames of reference It is the end of American empire and the end of the American Way of Life Behind today s financial problems and obscured by them in the popular press lurk other and far more intractable problems including peaking oil supplies a climate we are in the act of changing to one that would destroy much if not most life on earth and rapidly rising levels of privation and starvation worldwide already affecting almost a billion people Nuclear weapons long a moral blight on our society and an outsize cause of its political and cultural dysfunctions appear increasingly ridiculous as guarantors of security Today s PEIS is in fact largely driven by various forms of insecurity brought to us by nuclear weapons Increasingly nuclear weapons are being exposed as helping guarantee not security but status and privilege for particular segments of society Increasingly the role of nuclear weapons in preventing the emergence of a pragmatic politics of compassion is becoming clear This is the politics that must be our guide in these darkening times In the U S there can be no economy recovery without a massive program of reinvestment in sustainable energy infrastructure Our consumer society is itself now unsustainable most visibly in terms of its environment impacts its basis in debt and its balance of payments As Nobel Prize winning economist Herman Daly recently wrote economic growth is for us no longer economic The changes we need require a lot of money which we can t afford to waste on what are in the case of nuclear weapons essentially unreconstructed Cold War priorities Today s weapons complex plan includes the construction of large

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2008/PressReleaseOct9_2008.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • Los Alamos Study Group
    164 M not counting lab fixtures Sufficient construction funds for this building have already been appropriated The second building the Nuclear Facility is expected to cost over 2 B how much more than this is not clear It is still in preliminary design and it has unresolved seismic issues partly due to its proposed open floor plan and associated potential harmonic flexure of the roof and floor s under vertical seismic loads In May of this year members of the DNFSB told the Study Group the other safety issues were nearing resolution To our knowledge it is not yet fully clear when how or at what expense the outstanding seismic issues will be resolved LANL as a whole is currently operating under a Justification for Continued Operation JCO in the face of non compliance with federal seismic criteria and nuclear safety regulations While the CMRR s primary raison d etre for the weapons program which funds its construction and operation is to facilitate pit production various other plutonium programs and various government actors increasingly view the CMRR as facilitating a kaleidoscope of their own pet projects and programs NNSA claiming to be unsure of the full gamut of future purposes would build the CMRR Nuclear Facility as a plutonium hotel NNSA s term capable of a wide variety of future missions Some of these missions would involve subsequent modular expansion as discussed in the Complex Transformation Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement and elsewhere The proposed cost of the CMRR is difficult to understand without some context In 1978 according to a personal communication from the project manager at the time DOE completed LANL s existing TA 55 PF 4 plutonium facility for 75 M This figure inflated by the Building Cost Index BCI maintained by Engineering News Record since the early years of this century is equivalent to 201 M today This is 10 of the latest cost estimate for the CMRR Nuclear Facility PF 4 has 59 600 sq ft of Security Category I Hazard Category II nuclear space The CMRR NF would have 22 500 sq ft of Category I II nuclear space Thus the CMRR Nuclear Facility will add 38 more Cat I II nuclear space to that present at PF 4 today This additional nuclear space the supposed raison d être of the proposed CMRR Nuclear Facility will thus cost at least 26 times as much per sq ft as this same kind of space cost in PF 4 in 1978 in constant construction dollars Comparisons using the Consumer Price Index are more unfavorable to the CMRR This present comparison assumes no further CMRR cost inflation Further cost inflation is however likely as all parties seem to agree Following a conceptual lead suggested by John Fleck at the Albuquerque Journal we now know that the CMRR if completed would be the largest single construction project in the history of New Mexico in dollar terms by a factor of at least 6 The two interstate highways as

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2008/PressReleaseSept24_2008.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • Los Alamos Study Group
    Nuclear survivability 21 8 8 6 8 6 13 1 Inertial Confinement Fusion etc 421 2 470 2 508 1 86 8 Advanced Simulation and Computing 561 7 574 5 495 5 66 2 Readiness in Technical Base Facilities 1 720 5 1 637 4 1 511 0 209 6 Operations of Facilities Lawrence Livermore 85 2 89 3 117 3 32 1 Los Alamos 298 1 285 0 292 6 5 5 Nevada Test Site 92 2 64 9 61 1 31 1 typo Pantex 104 4 112 8 124 4 20 0 Savannah River Site 108 1 85 7 77 4 30 7 Construction Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Facility CMRR LANL 100 2 74 1 0 100 2 Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility Upgrade RLWTF LANL 19 7 26 1 0 19 7 TA 55 Reinvestment Project LANL 7 9 5 9 5 9 2 0 High Explosive Pressing Facility Pantex 28 2 15 0 15 0 13 2 Facilities and Infrastructure Recapitalization 169 5 180 0 169 5 0 Transition Disposition 77 4 0 77 4 0 Defense Nuclear Security 737 3 799 2 760 7 23 4 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT CHRIS GALLEGOS JULY 8 2007 202 224 7082 DOMENICI CALLS FY2009 DOE FUNDING BILL BALANCED Boosts Lab Science Clean Energy Thrust WASHINGTON U S Senator Pete Domenici today said the Senate s FY2009 funding plan for the Department of Energy DOE nuclear weapons laboratories strikes a balance that will boost science capabilities at the labs while increasing R D into clean energy technologies Domenici is ranking member on the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee that Tuesday approved the FY2009 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill The 33 2 billion bill which funds DOE Bureau of Reclamation Army Corps of Engineers and related agencies like the National Nuclear Security Administration will be considered by the full Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday We made an effort to put together a balanced bill that makes deployment of clean energy environmental cleanup and investment in the science at our nuclear weapons laboratories the top priorities Domenici said This bill aggressively supports investments in research and development and deployment of alternative energy technologies In light of the recent record price for a barrel of oil these investments are appropriate The bill outlines 27 billion for the Department of Energy a 1 1 billion increase over the president s budget request 5 3 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers 559 million over the budget request 1 13 billion for the Bureau of Reclamation 333 million over the budget request and 323 5 million for I ndependent Agencies 55 5 million increase I think we have made a real difference in the investments we make in our national laboratories I believe we have put together a bill that not only recognizes the scientific excellence of the labs but builds on their capability by expanding scientific research and investing in new facilities Domenici said Domenici noted that the bill increases investment in new scientific facilities science engineering and advanced computing nonproliferation including building new science capabilities and a climate change modeling and verification that is similar to the science based stockpile stewardship program Among major policy initiatives in the bill Domenici fully supported an additional 673 million for renewable energy 45 million for the creation of an Integrated University Program for nuclear engineering education 20 million for a climate stewardship plan for National Nuclear Security Administration NNSA laboratories an additional 175 million for nuclear nonproliferation and an additional 474 million for DOE defense environmental cleanup Under the Senate plan the bill has 9 67 billion for NNSA of which 6 52 billion is outlined for weapons activities down 93 million from budget request but 227 million over FY2008 and 1 9 billion for nonproliferation activities 175 million over the request The bill also eliminates 10 million requested for the Reliable Replacement Weapon study but Domenici indicated his intention to offer a floor amendment to restore this funding The bill provides 1 9 billion for the DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy account a 673 million increase over the request which entails 100 million for advanced battery research 50 million for renewable energy zero energy demonstrations for localities 229 million for solar 50 million for concentrating solar 30 million for ocean energy 10 million for solid state lighting 12 million to implement a cooperative advanced computing simulation effort for renewable energy sources between Sandia National Laboratories and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado The bill also restores 200 million for the DOE Weatherization Program The Senate bill provides 5 8 million for DOE s Defense Environmental Cleanup a 474 million increase over the budget request Of this amount 245 million would be directed toward Los Alamos National Laboratory an 83 million increase over the budget request and a 93 million increase over FY2008 funding levels An additional 3 million is provided for cleanup at Sandia The bill also provides 269 million for DOE non defense environmental cleanup a 40 million increase To strengthen scientific diversity at the national laboratories the bill raises the Lab Directed Research and Development LDRD level by 2 percent to 10 percent from 8 percent of the gross lab budget allocation to diversify the scientific missions at the labs The following is a review of the Senate s FY2009 Energy Water Development Appropriations Bill DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy 1 9 billion up 673 million from the president s budget request 100 million for Advanced Battery Research for plug in hybrid electric vehicle PHEV 50 million for Renewable Energy Zero Energy Demo for localities 229 million for Solar 50 million for Concentrating Solar 30 million for Ocean Energy wave tidal 12 million to implement Sandia National Laboratories National Renewable Energy Laboratory Advanced Computing Simulation for Renewables 20 million for NNSA labs for Climate Change Modeling Capability with an additional 5 million for LANL 200 million restored for Weatherization Program 10 million for Solid State Lighting Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability 167 million up 33 million from request to increase investment in renewable energy integration into the electric transmission grid Nuclear Energy 803 million down 50 6 million from request NP2010 241 6 million fully funding the request to support reactor design activities Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative 229 million down 71 million from request but up 50 million over FY08 levels University Research 45 million to establish a new Integrated University Program involving the Nuclear Regulatory Commission DOE Office of Nuclear Energy and the Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation to support nuclear engineering research and education LANL Infrastructure 15 million the same as FY08 for upgrades to Material Test Station and Hot Cells Fossil Energy 876 million up 122 million from request Cancels FutureGen Project and shifts 147 million to Clean Coal Projects Carbon Sequestration Research 149 million Electricity Water Usage 12 million for R D to reduce water usage in electricity generation Naval Petroleum and Oil Shale Reserves 19 million same as request Strategic Petroleum Reserve 205 million down 139 million from request Cancels existing and planned SPR expansion 31 5 million provided for Richton Miss site engineering effort Energy Information Administration 110 5 million as requested Non Defense Environmental Management 269 million up 40 million from request Science 4 64 billion down 81 million from request but up 623 million over FY08 20 million for new Climate Stewardship Plan involving NNSA labs 7 million for LANL Matter Radiation Interactions in Extremes MARIE Conceptual Development 7 million for continuation of SNL Oak Ridge Advanced Computing Initiative a new start in FY08 Yucca Mountain 388 4 million down 106 3 million from request Cuts to FY08 levels or 386 4 million Loan Guarantees 380 million providing 1 percent credit of 38 billion in loan guarantees to cover a possible credit subsidy shortfall enabling loan amounts of 20 5 billion for nuclear power 10 billion for renewable energy and 8 0 billion for clean coal In addition 4 billion of loan authority exists from FY07 bill DOE WEAPONS ACTIVITIES 6 525 billion down 93 million from request but up 227 million from FY08 Directed Stockpile Work 1 644 billion down 31 5 million from request but 242 9 million over FY08 Reliable Replacement Weapon 0 for which the budget requested 10 million LANL Pit Activities Fully funds pit manufacturing 145 million cut in House bill and protects 22 million with funds transferred from Pit Capability to accelerate pit dismantlement research and to offset job impacts This will focus work on MOX fuel produced at LANL on AIRES Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Pit Capability 10 million provided for Pit Capability to shift LLNL mission to LANL Campaigns 1 680 billion up 48 million over request Science 331 million an 8 million increase this includes 5 million for LANL plutonium experiments Engineering 163 million 20 million over request this includes 20 million for Sandia enhanced surety and surveillance activities Inertial Confinement Fusion and High Yield 453 3 million 32 million over request this includes 17 million for Z Machine operations at Sandia Advanced Simulation and Computing 573 million 12 million over request this includes 7 million for Institute of Advanced Architecture and Algorithm computing 5 0 million for Sandia computer facility upgrades to support national security needs and 3 6 million for completion of Roadrunner at LANL Readiness 158 million down 25 million from request but same as FY08 levels Readiness in Technical Base and Facilities 1 703 billion 17 million below request but 66 million above FY08 levels This includes LANL Operations 298 million up 13 million Sandia Operations 127 million same as request LANL LANSCE Refurbishment 35 million up 30 million LANL TA 55 Reinvestment 7 9 million same as request TA 55 Reinvestment Phase II design 8 5 million same as request LANL Radioactive Liquid Waste Facility 19 6 million same as request LANL CMR R 125 million up 25 million Sandia Ion Beam Lab 10 million same as request Sandia Test Capabilities facility 3 2 million same as request Sandia TA 1 Heating systems 15 75 million same as request Safeguards and Security 859 8 million same as request this includes 46 million for nuclear materials safeguard and security upgrades at LANL Transformation Disposition 0 down 77 million from request for eliminating excess buildings and facilities Nuclear Nonproliferation 1 909 billion up 175 million from request No nproliferation R D 366 million up 75 million including 20 million for Forensics 30 million investment in lab capabilities 15 million explosion monitoring 10 million in support of the Integrated University Research Program Nonproliferation and International Security 175 million up 35 million including 20 million for the Next Generation Safeguards Initiative 10 million for dismantling activities in North Korea 5 million in support of the Integrated University Program Global Threat Reduction 284 million up 65 million over the request and 91 million over FY08 including 20 million for research reactor fuel HEU alternatives and 45 million for global fissile material recover MOX Construction 487 million as requested Defense Environmental Cleanup 5 8 billion up 500 million from request LANL Cleanup 245 million up 83 million above request and 93 million over FY08 WIPP 231 million up 20 1 million above request 3 million below FY08 levels independent Agencies 323 5 million up 55 million from request Appalachian Regional Commission 85 million Delta Regional Authority 20 million Denali Commission 21 8 million Nuclear Regulatory Commission 163 million ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS 5 3 billion 559 million over the budget request but 287 million below FY08 levels General Investigations 166 million 75 million over the budget request but 1 3 million under FY08 Construction General 2 0 million 602 5 million over the budget request however only 337 7million over the adjusted base accounting for items that the administration proposed in operations and maintenance that were moved to this account overall 289 5 million below FY08 levels Mississippi River and Tributaries 365 million 125 million over the budget request and 22 4 million below FY08 Operation and Maintenance 2 22 billion 255 million under the budget request but 9 8 million over the adjusted base accounting for items that the administration proposed in operations and maintenance that were moved to Construction General Overall 23 6 million below FY08 levels Inland Waterway Trust Fund This year construction spending out of the trust fund will exceed the annual revenue In April the Administration sent new fee based authorization language but the subcommittee has not included this language in the bill This controversial issue must be addressed by 2010 or it will begin to have serious impacts on project construction Bureau of Reclamation 1 13 billion 333 million over the request and 24 1 million below FY08 levels FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT CHRIS GALLEGOS JULY 8 2008 202 224 7082 DOMENICI CALLS FY2009 DOE FUNDING BILL BALANCED Senate Takes Different Path Boosts Lab Science Clean Energy Thrust WASHINGTON U S Senator Pete Domenici today said the Senate s FY2009 funding plan for the Department of Energy DOE nuclear weapons laboratories strikes a balance that will boost science capabilities at the labs while increasing R D into clean energy technologies Domenici is ranking member on the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee that Tuesday approved the FY2009 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill The 33 2 billion bill which funds DOE Bureau of Reclamation Army Corps of Engineers and related agencies like the National Nuclear Security Administration will be considered by the full Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday For Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories Domenici said the Senate bill moves on a different path than that taken by the House Appropriations Committee by avoiding the cuts of nearly 600 million for weapons activities and almost 300 million in stockpile stewardship accounts The bill also adds 20 million as requested in the administration s budget for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant WIPP near Carlsbad We made an effort to put together a balanced bill that makes deployment of clean energy environmental cleanup and investment in the science at our nuclear weapons laboratories the top priorities Domenici said This is a more balanced bill because it does not rob Peter to a pay Paul We take care of our nuclear security needs while aggressively investing in research and development and deployment of alternative energy technologies In light of the recent record price for a barrel of oil these investments are appropriate The bill outlines 27 billion for the Department of Energy a 1 1 billion increase over the president s budget request 5 3 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers 559 million over the budget request 1 13 billion for the Bureau of Reclamation 333 million over the budget request and 323 5 million for Independent Agencies 55 5 million increase Domenici stressed the importance of the bill s investment in science missions at the national laboratories including raising the Lab Directed Research and Development LDRD level by 2 percent to 10 percent from 8 percent of the gross lab budget allocation to diversify the scientific missions at the labs At LANL Domenici highlighted a 5 million addition to give the lab a role in Climate Change Modeling Capability with another 20 million going to all three National Nuclear Security Administration NNSA labs for this work The bill also devotes 7 million to the Matter Radiation Interactions in Extremes MaRIE initiative at LANL and provides 26 million for the labs Roadrunner supercomputer For Sandia the bill offers 12 million to implement a cooperative advanced computing simulation effort for renewable energy sources between Sandia National Laboratories and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado I think we have made a real difference in the investments we make in our national laboratories I believe we have put together a bill that not only recognizes the scientific excellence of the labs but builds on their capability by expanding scientific research and investing in new facilities Domenici said Under the Senate plan the bill has 9 67 billion for the National Nuclear Security Administration NNSA of which 6 52 billion is outlined for weapons activities down 93 million from budget request but 227 million over FY2008 and 1 9 billion for nonproliferation activities 175 million over the request The bill also eliminates 10 million requested for the Reliable Replacement Weapon study but Domenici indicated his intention to offer a floor amendment to restore the funding Domenici reported that the Senate bill adds 25 million to increase funding for the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement facility at LANL providing 125 million for the project The budget request was for 100 million and the House eliminated this funding Where the House eliminated 145 million for all pit manufacturing activities at LANL the Senate bill provides full funding for pit manufacturing and protects 22 million transferring funds from Pit Capability to pit dismantlement research and offsetting job impacts This will focus work on MOX fuel produced at LANL on AIRES In addition another 10 million is provided to shift pit capability work now at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to LANL The Senate bill provides 5 8 million for DOE s Defense Environmental Cleanup a 474 million increase over the budget request Of this amount 245 million would be directed toward LANL an 83 million increase over the budget request and a 93 million increase over FY2008 funding levels An additional 3 million is provided for cleanup at Sandia Domenici also worked to make up a proposed funding cut at WIPP with the subcommittee providing 231 million up 20 1 million above the budget request This funding level however remains 3 million below FY08 levels Among major policy initiatives in the bill Domenici fully supported an additional 673 million for renewable energy 45 million for the creation of an Integrated University Program for nuclear engineering education 20 million for a climate stewardship plan for NNSA laboratories an additional 175 million for nuclear nonproliferation and an additional 474 million

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2008/PressReleaseJuly8_2008.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • Los Alamos Study Group
    In principle the structural problems can always be solved the Safety Board told us in a meeting in their offices in practice the solutions not apparent as of that date may be very expensive The non structural operational impacts of seismic criteria are we believe another matter requiring close attention Even the White House has doubts about the CMRR and pit production In December of 2007 the Office of Management and Budget OMB wrote The DOE NNSA is requesting funding in FY 2009 for the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Project This facility will be used to manufacture the central core of nuclear weapons known as the pit The DOE NNSA has assumed a future production rate of 50 80 pits per year at Los Alamos National Laboratory New Mexico consistent with their preferred alternative for complex transformation Currently there is no formal agreement between DOE and DOD on production requirements and thus no firm basis for setting a facility production capacity requirement This requirement is the major cost driver for the facility Passback guidance to NNSA for budget request development Study Group files Emphasis added For several decades LANL produced no pits for the stockpile In FY2007 possibly for the first time since the early 1950s LANL produced 11 pits overall of which 8 were war reserve pits i e pits that enter the U S nuclear arsenal In FY2008 NNSA hopes to produce 6 pits overall presumably some will be war reserve pits According to the GAO study cited previously NNSA has no requirement to produce more than a total of 18 war reserve pits including the 8 produced last year Thus we can infer that NNSA has no requirement to produce war reserve pits after 2009 or 2010 at the latest just as the DNFSB says From the OMB and DNFSB documents cited as well as from conversations with cognizant officials in Washington we believe there are no external pit production requirements at all i e no requirements beyond those invented by NNSA for itself In any case this low level production adds only trivially to U S nuclear capabilities the 10 more W88 warheads sought by NNSA would add only about 2 to the W88 warhead inventory and about 0 1 to the warhead plus bomb inventory overall Current annual weapon dismantlement rates are on the order of 20 times this proposed production run All parties agree U S nuclear capabilities are quantitatively too great and most of the important actors including both presidential candidates wish to significantly decrease nuclear arsenals beyond the 40 reduction currently planned 2 Where Does Udall Stand on Plutonium Pit Production and Related Construction Tom Udall is a member of the House Appropriations Committee Consider these circumstances The House Appropriation Committee s long running disapproval of the CMRR project and actions it has taken over 5 successive years to halt or slow the project Their concerns last year about NNSA s rush into expanded pit production and their action to cut

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2008/PressBackgrounderJune20_2008.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • Los Alamos Study Group
    levels as elections approach Both the House and Senate for somewhat different reasons are highly likely to offer markups that overall significantly exceed the President s budget request for Energy and Water programs The White House will almost certainly threaten to veto these markups For both these reasons there may not be a final energy and water appropriations bill this calendar year in which case these programs would be funded by continuing resolution CR quite likely in a package omnibus with other unfinished appropriations bills This CR could be crafted in any number of ways Nevertheless today s markup is a very important indicator of congressional intent as regards DOE programs and funding levels and is likely to be a starting point for negotiations next year after a new Administration is in place Two of the primary actors in recent years energy and water appropriations battles Rep Hobson and Sen Domenici both Republicans will have retired when these negotiations begin It is this subcommittee which has taken the lead in killing controversial nuclear weapons projects and programs of the Bush Administration It has sometimes succeeded in doing so despite unfavorable votes in Congress as a whole The White House has proven itself unwilling to go to bat for its controversial nuclear weapons programs in part fearing adverse publicity and in part because the White House Office of Management and Budget OMB has not been a strong supporter of the National Nuclear Security Administration s NNSA s grander initiatives sometimes not a supporter at all It sometimes takes a few days for details of this markup to trickle out traditionally the details are offered first to the House Appropriations Committee as a whole and the bill and report are officially made available after the full committee has acted Aside from entries in the Congressional Record the Subcommittee may issue a press release today with highlights Some of the key issues in play include Overall Weapons Activities WA funding levels Last year the HEWD cut requested WA funding by 10 a substantial amount of which was from programs at Los Alamos National Laboratory LANL Most of these proposed LANL cuts by total amount were in plutonium pit production and related construction The Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement CMRR project the largest capital project in the history of LANL was zeroed as was the closely allied Nuclear Materials Safeguards and Security Upgrade Project NMSSUP The CMRR and the Uranium Processing Facility UPF at the Y 12 facility The CMRR is the most important capital project in the weapons complex for realization of an aggressive nuclear posture involving manufacture of new kinds of nuclear warheads and bombs based on plutonium pits The House has tried to kill or dramatically scale back this project for 5 years running The Senate Armed Services Committee has cut CMRR funds authorized by 50 Programmatic or funding constraints on pit production Both the House and Senate Armed Services have cut the funds authorized for pit production by 10 and

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2008/PressAdvisoryJune17_2008.htm (2016-02-16)
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