|"Forget the Rest" blog|
Eight senators fight for CMRR
Lab: Delegation urges Panetta to resurrect project
By The Staff
Eight U.S. senators — six Republicans, a Democrat, and an independent— wrote a letter recently to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, urging the resurrection of the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement project at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
The senators point out that the Senate and House Armed Services Committees have shown that the “national security imperative for CMRR-NF justifies the prioritization of this key modernization project. Both the SASC and HASC direct construction of CMRR-NF while prohibiting the expenditure of funds for the hastily conceived alternative approach, which could cost in excess of $1 billion and does not meet DoD requirements. “We believe that the administration should begin the necessary planning to include in the FY14 budget and beyond funding for CMRR-NF’s completion.”
In the letter, the senators urge the administration and the National Nuclear Security Administration to continue design activities this year and build an out-year budget to support construction and operation by 2024.
They also urge the administration to work with congressional appropriators to secure funding for CMRR-NF in FY 13 and they write that the current NNSA alternative strategy does not meet critical national defense mission requirements.
The letter was signed by Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.),and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH).
Los Alamos Study Group Executive Director Greg Mello said: “Given the letter’s reliance on decisions made in the Senate Armed Services Committee, the absence of Chairman Levin’s signature is notable. “With only eight senators, three of whom are just months from retirement, this letter is a relatively weak showing for Senator Kyl. In 2009 he could get 41 signatures, including all the Senate’s Republicans.
“It’s very likely that most of the letter’s signatories don’t even know that the military and DoD do not want this facility built right now – that in their studied opinion it threatens other NNSA operations and deliverables.