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In the last month, we have seen dramatic steps toward the emergence of a national consensus on our nation’s nuclear security strategy and the investments needed to support it. That is good for our nation and for New Mexico.
In April, the Obama Administration released its Nuclear Posture Review. In addition to outlining the investments required to maintain the safety, security and effectiveness of the nuclear weapons stockpile without testing, it elevates efforts to combat nuclear terrorism and prevent proliferation to the top of our security agenda.
Los Alamos has a proud history of working on both of these issues. Today, we are home to the nation’s only plutonium processing capability. Unfortunately, the facilities where our scientists, researchers and engineers conduct this critical work date as far back as the Manhattan Project and the signs of age and decay are becoming more apparent every day.
Both the NPR and the President’s Budget Request explicitly support the construction of a new Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement project, or CMRR. The current facility, ever more expensive and inefficient to maintain and operate safely, must be replaced if Los Alamos — and indeed our nation — are to continue the plutonium processing work that helps keep America safe.
As Vice President Biden said earlier this year, “This investment is not only consistent with our nonproliferation agenda; it is essential to it.”
NNSA Los Alamos Site Office Manager