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I’d like to commend Rep. Tom Udall for his solo vote against the House Appropriations Committee’s reckless proposal to drastically cut funding to the lab. This was not just a cut in future budgets; it would have cut this year’s budget as well, an irresponsible approach to reducing the nuclear weapons complex. In contrast, Udall in his careful way continues to pursue a thoughtful and realistic approach to “providing a path to the future for our national laboratories.”
Los Alamos must recognize two critical truths. First, the role of nuclear weapons in our national defense is going to shrink, and with it the nuclear weapons complex of which we form the core – but it’s not going to shrink to nothing.
Second, nuclear weapons work always has been and always will be the principal raison d’etre of Los Alamos. Given these verities, the practical strategy for Los Alamos and its Congressional delegation is to ensure that the nuclear weapons complex implodes upon Los Alamos. That will maintain the core funding, programs and infrastructure upon which the laboratory can expand and build new programs in nonproliferation, homeland security, counterterrorism, intelligence analysis, energy research and work for others that will provide what Udall calls “a path to the future.”
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