Stimulus package could speed LANL cleanup

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By Roger Snodgrass

There are some differences with special significance locally in the two versions of the stimulus package that is coming together in Washington.


The House passed an $816 million version of the measure on Wednesday, containing $500 million for nuclear waste cleanup, one of the most obvious sources of extra funds at legacy nuclear weapons sites, like Los Alamos, which has struggled with funding shortages in recent years.


Meanwhile, the Senate version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan included a whopping $6.4 billion that is directed at the environmental cleanup of former weapon production sites. Another piece is targeted for infrastructure in the nuclear weapons complex managed by the National Nuclear Security Administration.


“Although it is difficult to predict how much of DOE’s portion of the recovery package will be directed at our labs, the measure contains $1 billion for NNSA infrastructure upgrades,” Sen. Jeff Bingaman said this morning. “Our state will undoubtedly benefit from some of that funding,”


The House bill passed without any Republican support. The Senate Committee version passed by a 21-9 vote, which included some votes by the minority.


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