Facility reaches halfway on first phase

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By Roger Snodgrass

The Applicants and Interested Parties went another round Tuesday night on the matter of building the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement (CMRR) facility.

The Applicants are the Department of Energy and the managers of Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Lab officials reported they were about 50 percent finished with the first phase of the project, the $164 million Radiological Laboratory/Utility Office Building (RLUOB).

The Interested Parties are seven public interest groups, who reached a settlement with the Applicants, which was brokered by the New Mexico Environment Department in September 2005. The agreement paved the way for an air quality permit to be granted to the Rad Lab and its utility area in exchange for semiannual informational meetings on the CMRR during the full course of its construction.

The RLUOB is the starting point in the full CMRR project, which is hung up in Congress at the moment, somewhere between a Senate proposal of $125 million and a House proposal of zero dollars. The administration’s request stands at $100 million.

The final phase of the CMRR project involves the Nuclear Facility, an ambitious project for which the budget has not been determined, but estimates have put at $2 billion plus.

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