Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Congressional Departures Could Endanger Finances for New Mexico Nuke Labs
The departures of two veteran senators from New Mexico have thrown into doubt the state's future ability to obtain financing for activities at its two nuclear-weapon laboratories, including construction of a new plutonium research facility at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Albuquerque Journal reported on Sunday (see GSN, June 8).
New Mexico's five legislative representatives in Washington have protested the Obama administration's move earlier this year to postpone completion of the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement nuclear facility at Los Alamos, but the lawmakers to date have encountered challenges in opposing the decision, according to the Journal.
The state lacks representation on appropriations panel. In addition, Senator Jeff Bingaman (D) is set to wrap up his congressional career at the end of 2012; his former colleague Pete Domenici (R) left office in 2008.
Separately, the administration is seeking billions of dollars in fiscal 2013 for preparing the Uranium Processing Facility at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee.
“Oak Ridge is not talking about cuts; Oak Ridge is talking about gains,” said Domenici, who helped acquire billions in federal support for the Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories when he headed the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee. “Tennessee got their interests satisfied and New Mexico didn’t.”
“Somebody ought to be working on this,” Domenici stated. “We certainly ought to try to maintain programs that are currently scheduled (at LANL and Sandia) and not let this happen again like it did with CMRR.”
The competitors for Bingaman's Senate seat, Representative Martin Heinrich (D) and one-time Representative Heather Wilson (R), have each sought to position themselves as the candidate best suited to seek financial support for the Los Alamos and Sandia sites (Michael Coleman, Albuquerque Journal, July 1).
Meanwhile, the Y-12 site has finished restarting "lock out/tag out" sustainment activities halted following a number of related occurrences, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported on Saturday (see GSN, June 1; Frank Munger, Knoxville News Sentinel, June 30).
June 14, 2012
An article by Sidney Drell, George Shultz and Steve Andreasen published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Science.
This article provides an overview of the United States’ historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.