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Some good news

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By Ralph Damiani

The news out of Washington this weekend was good – the federal budget for Los Alamos National Laboratory was nearly restored to its original level.Yes, there were some cuts but not nearly as drastic as had been proposed. So thanks to the efforts of Sen. Pete Domenici – and others – the cuts that had been aimed LANL were reduced.This is good news – for now.We find ourselves in agreement with Rep. Tom Udall when he stated that “we must not lose sight of the fact that in the near future we face a major reduction in our nuclear footprint and this year’s budget is only a temporary fix. We must continue to plan for the lab’s future and that means growth in new areas.”He is correct.This budget – at best – is only a reprieve. It is going to get harder and harder to fund the nuclear weapons work at the lab. It is critical to the managers there to go full speed ahead on diversification.Sen. Domenici, one of the negotiators, called this year’s appropriations process the most difficult he has experienced,To make matters worse, this will be Sen. Domenici’s last year. And we will also have a total upheaval in our congressional delegation with four of the five seats changing hands – with three brand new congressmen taking office in 2009.


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