New Mexico labs hold steady for rest of FY09

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By Roger Snodgrass

First glimpses of an appropriation bill for the remainder of the fiscal year suggest a large measure of continuity for the nation’s nuclear weapons programs, including Los Alamos National Laboratory.


The laboratory’s high priority Chemistry and Metallurgy Replacement Facility is in for another installment at $97.2 million.


Funds are also included for rebuilding the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center accelerator ($19.3 million) and upgrading the Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility ($19.7 million).


“It’s just the beginning of the process,” said Kevin Roark, a laboratory spokesman this morning, “We’re going to be looking at the bill in detail and we would reserve further comment until it’s is further along.”


Laboratory officials have said they would consider a flat budget to be a favorable result under the current economic circumstances.


Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., released selected numbers related to funding for New Mexico late Monday, emphasizing that the FY 2009 Omnibus Spending Bill would first be considered by the House of Representatives before it is taken up in the Senate.


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