Eight senators fight for CMRR

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Lab: Delegation urges Panetta to resurrect project

By The Staff

Eight U.S. senators — six Republicans, a Democrat, and an independent— wrote a letter recently to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, urging the resurrection of the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement project at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The senators point out that the Senate and House Armed Services Committees have shown that the “national security imperative for CMRR-NF justifies the prioritization of this key modernization project. Both the SASC and HASC direct construction of CMRR-NF while prohibiting the expenditure of funds for the hastily conceived alternative approach, which could cost in excess of $1 billion and does not meet DoD requirements. “We believe that the administration should begin the necessary planning to include in the FY14 budget and beyond funding for CMRR-NF’s completion.”

In the letter, the senators urge the administration and the National Nuclear Security Administration to continue design activities this year and build an out-year budget to support construction and operation by 2024.

They also urge the administration to work with congressional appropriators to secure funding for CMRR-NF in FY 13 and they write that the current NNSA alternative strategy does not meet critical national defense mission requirements.

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