U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) yesterday at a hearing on the Energy and Water Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2015 announced that the legislation includes $335 million in funding for the Oak Ridge Uranium Processing Facility.
"In Tennessee, we're glad to have the thousands of jobs that'll be there because of this construction project, which is one of the largest in the country, but Tennesseans are taxpayers, too, and we don't want our money wasted," Alexander said, adding that because of this legislation, "I think we're doing a better job of making sure that it's not."
Alexander made his remarks at a hearing of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, of which he is the lead Republican. He continued, "This legislation puts a limit on construction spending which won't start until 90 percent of the design is complete. It also says that a Red Team review will meet every six months to do a similar review to see that it is on time and on budget."
In addition to the Uranium Processing Facility, Alexander announced several other important provisions that were included in the legislation. The fiscal year 2015 Energy and Water Appropriations legislation specifically would:
Increase spending from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to modernize the nation's ports and prepare for larger vessels
Increase funding for the Inland Waterways Trust Fund above the president's budget request, to repair and replace the nation's locks and dams -- which will help accelerate the completion of Chickamauga Lock by as much as six years earlier than previously projected
Fund modernization of nuclear weapons, particularly the B61 which is the most widely deployed nuclear weapon in the United States arsenal
Keep nuclear weapons materials out of the hands of terrorists by increasing funding for the Nonproliferation Program
The legislation Alexander discussed today provides oversight of the Obama administration by ensuring important priorities are funded and eliminating lower priorities and projects that are not meeting expectations. The legislation addresses other issues such as, the "modernization of our weapons, basic research at our labs, expansion of the electrical grid, keeping weapons-grade material out of the hands of terrorists, flood control, and improvement of navigation, especially at ports," Alexander said.