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Friday, January 4, 2013

CMRR Lives...

CMRR Lives...

Obama Inks Defense Spending Legislation
Jan. 3, 2013
By Diane Barnes
Global Security Newswire

WASHINGTON -- President Obama on Wednesday signed off on a 14-year deadline for completing a controversial nuclear arms laboratory and storage site, despite a previous push by his administration to postpone the project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

The structure -- a planned component of the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Project -- is required to become fully operational by the end of 2026 under the newly inked fiscal 2013 defense authorization law. The legislation permits up to $70 million in new funds for the building's construction in the budget year that runs through Sept. 30, and it makes available $120 million in money previously appropriated for the project.

The bill establishes a $3.7 billion spending cap for the structure, which is intended to assume the responsibilities of a decades-old plutonium facility at Los Alamos. The text would require the Energy Department to give lawmakers a "detailed justification" for any projected CMRR spending in excess of the threshold.

Obama took issue with several elements of the legislation, but said "the need to renew critical defense authorities and funding was too great to ignore."

The bill contains "deeply problematic" restrictions on implementing a bilateral strategic arms control treaty with Russia, the president wrote in a statement. The section in question requires various presidential certifications to Congress focusing on funding, management and modernization of strategic delivery systems. Republicans have criticized the administration for failing to follow through on nuclear funding pledges made during the push for Senate ratification of the accord.

Obama, though, noted that language to "adequately amend" the New START pact provisions is contained in separate legislation to address the budgetary "fiscal cliff," The president also signed the latter bill into law on Wednesday.

The defense authorization law establishes ceilings of $527.5 billion for base Defense Department spending, $88.5 billion for overseas operations and $17.4 billion for defense-related nuclear programs overseen by the Energy Department. It bars further appropriations for the Medium Extended Air Defense System, despite an administration request for continued funding of the multinational antimissile program through fiscal 2013.

The text calls for a special congressional panel to examine options for altering the management of U.S. nuclear weapons operations, which are now overseen by the Energy Department's semiautonomous National Nuclear Security Administration. A number of GOP lawmakers previously pushed to limit DOE involvement in the nuclear arms complex, arguing the restrictions could relieve schedule and budget overruns experienced by NNSA projects.

A group of House Republicans failed to win approval under the legislation to fund construction of an East Coast ballistic missile defense interceptor installations. Still, the text mandates a Pentagon review of at least three possible new sites, including no fewer than two locations in the eastern United States. Long-range interceptors are currently deployed in California and Alaska.

The measure establishes Iran's energy, port, shipping and shipbuilding industries as “entities of proliferation concern,” paving the way for possible new sanctions targeting those areas.

http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/obama-inks-spending-bill-nuclear-lab-mandate/

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that LANS already laid off most of the contractors working on the CMRR project last year. Regular lab staff working on CMRR either took the voluntary retirement offer or were moved to other positions at LANL.

Does this article now mean that LANS will have to reconstitute the CMRR project, once again? And what will that new money be used for during the next few years? Why continue to delay and waste more money on "project planning" that creates nothing but more paperwork? The new money should be used to start building the dang thing!

Anonymous said...

This one looks like the "walking dead"...in this day and age it's too expensive, look to Oak Ridge (UPF) thats where thr last of the money is going....RIP

Anonymous said...

Seeing as how the B-61 refurb project is now going to costs several times over what CMRR was to cost, perhaps it is time to consider killing off most of the B-61 refurb project and shift the money into a new CMRR facility. Besides, it is only a matter of time until the most important political use of the B-61 -- stockpiling by NATO forces in Europe -- will soon be gone.

Perhaps we don't need so many of these antiques lying around. Perhaps, instead, we need modern, new facilities so that we can reduce our old stockpile yet be ready to rapidly produce new, modern weapons in the future if they are ever needed. That would seem a reasonable policy that even a peacenik like Greg Mello or Barack Obama could get behind if they thought it through.

We want a very limited number of nukes in the arsenal but well designed, modern facilites at hand with happy, seasoned scientists so that we are never in doubt about our capabilities to do what must be done if threats grow in the future. Sound logical?

Anonymous said...

LANL gets CMRR by 2026, LLNL is already pitching the next NIF upgrade. Hey it looks like both red faced siblings have gotten their Christmas presents. I wonder if a future administration will be able to unwind the CMRR funding in the future and leave LANL empty handed and crying like a spoiled brat that it is.

Anonymous said...

Is "new weapons design" pedalicini back at it again saying we might need a new weapons system with such margins as to not require any testing, and that CMRR serves as the facility to support a new design? And that CMRR will deter proliferation because it helps reduce the stockpile?

Anonymous said...

Is "new weapons design" pedalicini back at it again saying we might need a new weapons system with such margins as to not require any testing, and that CMRR serves as the facility to support a new design? And that CMRR will deter proliferation because it helps reduce the stockpile?

January 8, 2013 2:40 AM

That's Pedicini not pedalicini. The guy is an Italian "Stallion" not a Polack. Forget bout it! Ah yes, high tone, fast talkin, arrogant little bastard.

Anonymous said...

That's Pedicini not pedalicini. The guy is an Italian "Stallion" not a Polack. Forget bout it! Ah yes, high tone, fast talkin, arrogant little bastard.

January 9, 2013 3:21 AM

Anyone who has designed something that actually shakes the ground is entitled to a little arrogance.

Anonymous said...

"Such margins as to not require any testing?" There are a few of us 'dinosaurs'(mostly retired now of course)that recall tests at NTS where us 'whizz-i-cists' didn't have a clue why a 150KT max cred yield device went at 10KT or less. We will never buy into the 'computer simulations solve everything' mentality. You wanna make sure a device will work? Go out and shake the ground with one! Oh wait--we can't test any high-yield devices at NTS anymore. Assuming we had the infrastructure to do so (which we sold off for salvage when Bechtel took over) we STILL couldn't do it. Look at all the high-rise structures built in Vegas since our last test (back in the early '90s). You think NNSA would accept the blame for any damage caused from a 150KT test? Not bloody likely!
This country just better HOPE--if we ever need to use a nuclear weapon--that it will, indeed function as designed. Personally, I have serious doubts.

Anonymous said...

Computer simulations don't solve everything? WHAT? Somebody better tell NIF. These guys run parametric/sensitivity studies like there is no tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who has designed something that actually shakes the ground is entitled to a little arrogance.

January 9, 2013 8:39 PM

Yeah but he "sold out!" He's claiming he doesn't need a NTS test for his new design. Bullshit!

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