Shortly after 1:00 a.m. on Saturday morning (September 22), Congress effectively terminated a new nuclear bomb plant at the Los Alamos National Lab in New Mexico.
Buried in the 30-page long “Continuing Resolution” passed by the Senate Saturday morning was language that provides no additional funding the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement (CMRR) facility. The bill extended funding for the first six month of the budget year for the federal government, through March 2013. The House of Representatives had earlier passed an identical bill, and the measure now goes to the president, who will sign the bill.
The defeat of the $4 to $6 billion bomb plant was due to the hard work of many local and national organizations in New Mexico and Washington, DC.
Funding for a new nuclear bomb plant in Los Alamos National Laboratory has been effectively terminated in the Continuing Resolution passed by Congress this week. The facility had been deemed unnecessary and wasteful, and would have cost taxpayers billions of dollars.
In the Continuing Resolution passed by Congress and signed by the president, the construction of the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement (CMRR) facility, a new nuclear bomb plant, at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico was terminated. The Continuing Resolution contained language that did not allocated funds for the new facility. This is viewed as a major victory for nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation activists.
The CMRR was envisioned as a replacement for an existing plutonium research facility and was meant to help update the laboratory’s capabilities to analyze and store plutonium. Originally, it was estimated to cost under $400 million*, but a 2012 Government Accountability Office (GAO) review found that the CMRR’s cost had ballooned up to between $4 and $6 billion, nearly a six-fold increase from the initial price tag. The same review also found that the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) was expecting an 8 to 12 year delay in the construction of the facility. Furthermore, the NNSA had released information in February saying that it had “existing infrastructure” which could meet its plutonium pit mission needs without the proposed CMRR.
More information about the CMRR is on the FCNL website at http://fcnl.org/issues/nuclear/cmrr_levin_letter/.
For more on this story, visit: FCNL: Triumph in the Desert.