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Domenici on NNSA Complex Transformation Plans at Nuclear Weapons Labs

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Location: Washington, DC


Domenici on NNSA Complex Transformation Plans at Nuclear Weapons Labs

U.S. Senator Pete Domenici, ranking member of the Senate subcommittee that funds the nation's nuclear weapons laboratories, today issued the following statement related to the Final Complex Transformation Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (SPEIS) unveiled Thursday by the National Nuclear Security Administration.

The SPEIS is part of an ongoing Department of Energy and NNSA mission to transform the nuclear weapons complex to meet the nation's future nuclear security challenges. It was announced by NNSA Administrator Thomas D'Agostino.

"The final plan fits what we expect for the future of Los Alamos and Sandia labs, specifically that they will continue to have vital roles in meeting the nation's nuclear security needs. This report also signals the fact that Congress must continue to invest in our labs and their scientists to ensure the nation is ready to meet and exceed the global nuclear threats. Those threats are real today and they will continue to be well into the future," Domenici said.

The plan outlines a future for LANL as the primary facility for consolidated plutonium research, development and manufacturing capabilities. Sandia, among other things, would remain the high explosives R&D center for non-nuclear explosive components.

"I am very pleased that Administrator D'Agostino acknowledges the immediate need to complete the nuclear facility component of CMR-R. I also appreciate that NNSA has correctly decoupled the issue of pit production from the need to rapidly move forward with this portion of CMR-R," Domenici said. "It is important to understand that the CMR-R nuclear facility is not a pit production facility. Instead, it will support a broad range of national security missions, ranging from providing power for satellites to nuclear forensics."

During the development of the plan, Domenici had pressed DOE Secretary Samuel Bodman and D'Agostino to ensure that Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories would be assured strong science missions within the nuclear weapons complex.

"This plan continues to be a disappointment to me in that it fails to clearly outline a science capacity mission for the nuclear weapons labs. In my view, it is a shortsighted decision that ignores the fact that strong science and engineering missions are important to attracting the best minds to work within the complex," Domenici said.

The final SPEIS will be printed in the Oct. 24 Federal Register. As summary of the plan is available at:

http://www.nnsa.energy.gov/defense_programs/complex_transformation.htm


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