WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.) released the following statement in response to the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) recommended alternative for recapitalization of plutonium pit production announced today:
“While we are pleased that Los Alamos National Laboratory will remain the Research & Development Plutonium Center of Excellence and will be allowed to expand their plutonium pit production capability with a new multi-billion investment, halting the long-planned modular expansion of LANL's facilities for plutonium pit production will set back our military’s life extension programs and stretch the Lab’s existing facilities and workforce to its limits.
“In the same week the Trump Administration green-lighted Iran’s nuclear weapons program – they are suggesting setting back modernizing our own – an effort that is essential for safety, security and reliability. Instead of wasting billions of dollars exploring the construction of a new facility that will likely never be completed somewhere else, the Department of Energy should immediately move forward with the new, modular plutonium facilities at Los Alamos – as originally endorsed by both Congress and the Nuclear Weapons Council.”