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Report calls for complex shake-up

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By Roger Snodgrass

A new report released this morning by a network of nuclear watchdogs proposes to reduce radically the nuclear weapons stockpile and shrink the weapons facilities from eight to three locations.

Left standing in the 10-15 year plan would be the two New Mexico laboratories and the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas.

Under the report’s recommendations, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Nevada Test Site would be transferred out of the weapons program by 2012. The Kansas City Plant would cease weapons activities by 2015, transferring non-nuclear components production to Sandia National Laboratories, which would shutter its California operations. Savannah River site would end its weapons activities by 2020 and Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn., by 2025.

Under the plan, LANL would reduce weapons and plutonium R&D. Pit production would be placed on “cold standby,” weapons environmental testing would be reduced, while stockpile certification capabilities would be maintained for surveillance and certification. High-end explosives would be transferred to Pantex.

The Pantex Plant would significantly expand its operations dismantling weapons and increasing its capacity for pit storage.


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