For immediate release 10/1/10
"emergency" funding increase for nuke labs
Administration, Congress spurn efforts to help economy,
stabilize energy supply or climate, instead provide emergency funds
for warhead "modernization"
Largest increase at Los
Alamos since World War II, would build plutonium warhead "pit"
New Mexico garners lion's share of
Contact: Greg Mello,
Resolution (CR) (pdf)
Department of Energy (DOE) congressional
budget requests (search under "products and services")
Dems Agree To Boost Nuclear Budget; Funding Will Go To Modernization,
John Fleck, Albuquerque Journal, 10/1/10
Albuquerque -- Early yesterday, Congress completed
action on a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government
in the new fiscal year (FY), which begins today. The President
signed the bill yesterday. This CR continues funding for
federal agencies at the same level as FY2010, with very few
exceptions. One of those rare exceptions was an emergency
increase in nuclear weapons spending in the National Nuclear Security
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
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.
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.
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)
These emergency appropriations last until December 3,
by which time Congress must either pass appropriations bills or
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
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 sight.
The increase in spending is mostly directed to large construction
projects at Los Alamos and at the Y-12 site in Tennessee and to
controversial new modernization programs for the nuclear weapons
stockpile. This twin modernization program -- of the stockpile
and the nuclear weapons complex -- has been keenly sought by
Republican senators in particular. The two new facilities are
now expected to cost in the neighborhood of $11 billion to build.
The facility at Los
Alamos would help make warhead cores ("pits") for
future "replacement" warheads. It is a subject of
litigation by this organization. See related
press release today.
Further background and views
on the causes and ramifications of this dramatic spending increase
are available upon request.
Greg Mello * Los Alamos Study Group
2901 Summit Place NE * Albuquerque, NM 87106
505-265-1200 * cell 505-577-8563 * fax 505-265-1207
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