Hearing features CMRR update

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Anti-nuke parties present concerns with project

By Carol A. Clark

A relatively small and sedate crowd attended the final public hearing for 2010 on the Chemistry Metallurgy Research Replacement-Nuclear Facility project at the Hilltop House Hotel Wednesday.
The CMRR project consists of two primary elements: the essentially completed Radiological Laboratory/Utility/Office Building (RLUOB) and the Nuclear Facility (NF), under design.
“The project seeks to relocate and consolidate mission-critical CMR capabilities at Los Alamos National Laboratory to ensure continuous support of NNSA stockpile stewardship and management strategic objectives,” LANL’s Steve Fong said during a PowerPoint presentation. “We have bi-partisan support for this project…we have strong congressional support and we’ve been through not only the Bush administration years but the Obama administration as well.”
Roger Snyder of the Los Alamos Site Office said since the last public meeting they decided to take on a supplemental Environmental Impact Statement(EIS), “which is not a typical for this type of project.”
Interested parties attending the event presented their concerns.
“Only half of the old CMR building is being used now, which is 286,000 square feet – Why is it being replaced with a 600,000 square foot CMRR?” said Scott Kovac of Nuclear Watch New Mexico.
Fong explained that nonproliferation work and environmental restoration sample work among other projects will be conducted in the facility.
“The range and capabilities of this project is vast,” Fong said. “We are at 22,500 square feet and whatever we can fit in that space …”
Fong said the codes and standards related to the project would cover the entire meeting room floor.
Kovac also mentioned stability concerns saying, “No matter where you put a building here – you dig deep down deep enough and there is a fault.”
Joni Arends of Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety addressed water usage concerns with the project.
“DOE and LANL have not done anything to reduce its water usage,” she said.
The next public hearing on the project is scheduled for March.