U.S. Should Cancel Plutonium Plant, Delay Uranium Facility: Expert Report
October 17, 2013
WASHINGTON — The United States should cancel plans to build a multi-billion dollar plutonium research facility in New Mexico and postpone construction of an enriched-uranium processing plant in Tennessee, according to a report released Thursday by the Union of Concerned Scientists.
The UCS report, “Making Smart Security Choices,” criticizes multiple Obama administration plans for nuclear facilities and weapons, arguing the plans to build new fissile-material handling plants in particular are unnecessarily ambitious given the expected future downward trajectory of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. The Union of Concerned Scientists is an independent science advocacy organization.
The United States “should refurbish its existing weapons instead of spending tens of billions to build new ones,” report co-author Lisbeth Gronlund said.
The UCS report targets the National Nuclear Security Administration’s project to build a Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement plant at Los Alamos National Laboratory at an estimated cost of $6 billion. A team of Los Alamos laboratory officials earlier this year recommended axing the project and farming out its intended duties to a group of smaller buildings.
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