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Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, 2007

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 2 1/2 minutes.

I am pleased to offer this amendment with my friend from Iowa (Mr. Leach).

On page 380 of this report, the 9/11 Commission says, ``A trained nuclear engineer with an amount of highly enriched uranium or plutonium, about the size of a grapefruit or an orange, together with commercially available material, could fashion a nuclear device that would fit into a van like the one Ramzi Yousef parked in the garage of the World Trade Center in 1993. Such a bomb would level lower Manhattan.''

Where would people find such highly enriched uranium? Over the last 15 years, the Department of Energy and the military have been looking at 106 reactors throughout the world. In those 15 years, they have dealt with some of them, but there are 64 of these reactors left that use highly enriched uranium.

At this pace, we will have converted those reactors to less low-enriched uranium, which cannot make a bomb, by the year 2019. We need to speed that up. The purpose of this amendment is to more than double the amount of money that is dedicated to the conversion of these reactors from highly enriched uranium to low-enriched uranium.

Last year, the President provided about $24.7 million. Our amendment adds $27 million for that purpose this year. Where do we find the money?

Well, this year's bill, which is a great bill, which I am going to support, adds about $27 million to the administrative accounts of the Department of Energy. So we take that $27 million increase in administrative costs, and we shift it towards this program of converting these potential nuclear bomb factories into low-enriched uranium.

This does not cut the administrative expenses of the Department of Energy. It simply gives the Department about the same amount that it has, actually a tiny bit more, than it has in the present fiscal year.

We need to prevent a nuclear 9/11. We will be able to convert about twice as many of these reactors from highly enriched uranium to low-enriched uranium if we adopt the amendment.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.


Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Chairman, one of the reasons I am going to vote for the chairman's bill is because it has those increases, but I think we need to do more.

Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to yield 2 1/2 minutes to my co-author, my friend from Iowa (Mr. Leach).


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