Markey: Canceling Unneeded Nuclear Facility Programs Will Save Taxpayers $12.5 Billion
Rep. Markey introduced SANE Act to cut $100 billion from wasteful nuclear weapons programs
WASHINGTON, D.C. – With current budget constraints, we should not spend billions in taxpayer dollars to build new nuclear bomb facilities at the same time we are reducing our nuclear stockpile, wrote Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) in a letter to Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces. The two planned facilities - the Chemistry and MetallurgyResearch Replacement (CMRR) Nuclear Facility at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) at the Y-12 Security Complex in Tennessee – are included for cancellation in Rep. Markey’s legislation, the Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures (SANE) Act of 2012.
The CMRR Nuclear Facility would perform work that could be done at existing facilities and also would accelerate the pace at which America produces material for nuclear warheads, also known as plutonium pits. The UPF facility would replace Building 9212, which is currently undergoing upgrades that will extend the life of the facility for another decade, allowing it to safely accomplish its missions. Rep. Turner supports building the two new facilities, which would cost the taxpayers up to $12.5 billion. President Obama did not include funding for the proposed CMRR nuclear facility at Los Alamos in his FY2013 budget request.
“At a time when the Senate and President have formally committed to reducing our nuclear stockpile, it makes no sense to spend up to $5 billion to expand our capacity to produce components of nuclear weapons,” wrote Rep. Markey, senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee and co-founder of the Congressional Bipartisan Task Force on Nonproliferation. “Given the budget constraints we currently face as a nation, we do not need to spend up to $7.5 billion to build a brand new facility at the Y-12 Security Complex. Just as homeowners with tight budgets would choose to renovate a home that meets their needs at a tiny fraction of the cost of building a new home, the government should do the same.”
The letter to Rep. Turner can be found HERE.
Last month, Rep. Markey introduced the Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures (SANE) Act that would cut $100 billion over the next ten from specific nuclear weapons and related programs, including cuts to the current fleet of nuclear submarines, ending the nuclear missions of air bombers, and canceling new, wasteful nuclear weapons facilities, among others.