|published Friday, June 14, 2013 ||87 Views :: 0 Comments|
June 14, 2013
|The latest rendering of the Uranium Processing Facility, the multibillion-dollar production facility to be constructed at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge. The UPF would replace several old production facilities at Y-12, some of which date back to the World War II Manhattan Project. (SPECIAL TO THE NEWS SENTINEL) |
By Frank Munger
From the Knoxville News Sentinel
A retired federal official who helped guide the $1.4 billion Spallation Neutron Source to a successful completion in 2006 — ahead of schedule and within budget — said he’s afraid another big Oak Ridge project may be headed for disaster.
David Wilfert, who retired from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2006 after SNS construction was finished, said the management of the Uranium Processing Facility at Y-12 appears to be “out of control.” The project could end up costing $10 billion or more, he said.
Wilfert said he was shocked last fall when the National Nuclear Security Administration, a semi-independent part of DOE, admitted that after spending $500 million the original design was not big enough to accommodate all the equipment and would have to be redone.
|published Wednesday, May 29, 2013 ||248 Views :: 4 Comments|
May 26, 2013
By the New York Times Editorial Board
From The New York Times
The United States has about 180 B61 gravity nuclear bombs based in Europe. They are the detritus of the cold war, tactical weapons deployed in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey to protect NATO allies from the once-feared Soviet advantage in conventional arms. But the cold war is long over, and no American military commander can conceive of their ever being used. Even so, President Obama has put $537 million in his 2014 budget proposal to upgrade these bombs. When all is said and done, experts say, the cost of the rebuilding program is expected to total around $10 billion — $4 billion more than an earlier projection — and yield an estimated 400 weapons, fitted with new guided tail kits so that they are more reliable and accurate than the current ones.
This is a nonsensical decision, not least because it is at odds with Mr. Obama’s own vision. In a seminal speech in Prague in 2009 and a strategy review in 2010, Mr. Obama advocated the long-term goal of a world without nuclear arms and promised to reduce America’s reliance on them. He also promised not to field a new and improved warhead.
|published Wednesday, May 29, 2013 ||276 Views :: 1 Comments|
Rain cuts short planned 9-mile walk
May 27, 2013
From KMBC Kansas City
A hardy group of protesters marked Memorial Day in Kansas City with a rain-soaked march that went part of the way from the old Honeywell plant to the new facility.
The group intended to walk the 9-mile route, but stopped about halfway and drove the rest of the way to the new National Security Campus.
"The rest of the world is trying to get rid of nuclear weapons," said Henry Stoever of Peace Works Kansas City. "Here we have a plant that constructs nuclear parts."
|published Wednesday, May 22, 2013 ||368 Views :: 1 Comments|
By Frank Munger
From the Knoxville News Sentinel
May 21, 2013
|From B&W Y-12: The latest conceptual image of the Uranium Processing Facility released by the National Nuclear Security Administration.|
For the past couple of years, the government has stood behind a cost range of $4.2 billion to $6.5 billion for the Uranium Processing Facility, but that range may not be able to contain the giant project's growing costs as the schedule gets pushed into the future and funding gets stretched out.
Todd Jacobson of Nuclear Weapons & Materials Monitor this week reported that, based on a Government Accountability Office briefing prepared for congressional committees, the cost of UPF could go beyond the $6.5 billion estimated cap and perhaps go well beyond it.
According to information in the GAO's 27-page briefing package, the "space/fit" problem that forced the UPF team to re-do the building's design to accommodate more equipment is a big part of the cost escalation. The GAO cited NNSA documents that say the space problem will add $540 million to the project's cost, delay the start of construction and delay the start of facility operations by 13 months.
|published Monday, November 26, 2012 ||1989 Views :: 0 Comments|
By the Albuquerque Journal Editorial Board
Nov 25, 2012
It’s past time to take a hard look at what to do with the U.S. agency that manages the nation’s nuclear weapons complex.
In a rare bit of bipartisan common sense, New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall, a Democrat, and Sen. Jon Kyl, an Arizona Republican who is retiring at the end of the year, have introduced an amendment to the pending Defense Authorization Bill seeking to establish an advisory panel to take just such a look at the National Nuclear Security Administration.
Udall wants the panel to come up with ways to reform the NNSA, which is responsible for the security of the nation’s nuclear weapons, nuclear nonproliferation and naval reactor programs. It oversees the U.S. nuclear laboratories, including Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico. Together they employ about 20,000 people here.
The New Mexico labs and other NNSA installations have been plagued with untenable cost overruns, spiraling budgets and bureaucracies mired in red tape.
|published Thursday, November 08, 2012 ||2675 Views :: 0 Comments|
|From left to right: Kathy Crandall-Robinson (Women's Action for New Directions), Jonathan Epstein (Senate Armed Services Committee), and Katherine Fuchs (Alliance for Nuclear Accountability) |
Nov. 8, 2012
Recently, a delegation of Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA) staff and members met with Senate Armed Services Committee Majority Council to discuss our opposition to the proposed Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) facility. Our delegation represented 67 organizations opposed to building the new Uranium Processing Facility at the Y-12 National Security Site in Tennessee. These organizations include national groups such as Physicians for Social Responsibility and Women’s Action for New Directions, as well as local groups like the Archdiocese of Detroit.
The 67 organizations all signed onto a letter circulated by ANA requesting that Senator Levin and his colleagues on the Senate Armed Services Committee not accelerate funding for the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) project. The UPF exemplifies many of the problems endemic to National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) projects, and has recently received media attention for contractors’ failure to design the building large enough to fit all necessary equipment inside.
|published Monday, October 01, 2012 ||2925 Views :: 1 Comments|
September 28, 2012
By John Severance
The folks in charge of building the Chemistry Metallurgy Research Replacement facility are acting like the project will be deferred for five years.
That may be the case or maybe not.
The House and Senate Armed Service Committees put funding in for the project for the FY13 budget, but a continuing resolution passed by Congress last week earmarked no funding for the CMRR-NF.
In fact, Steve Fong of the Los Alamos Site Office who helped run the project said $120 million of the $200 million in funding earmarked for the project has returned to Washington.
|published Tuesday, August 14, 2012 ||2738 Views :: 5 Comments|
Kansas City Peace Planters
August 14, 2012
Rachel M. MacNair, Ph.D., Petition Coordinator, 816.753.2057
Ann Suellentrop, 913.271.7925
Web page: foolish-investment.com
Citizens plan to offer expert details on how the new Botts-road plant is actually a job loser because the same resources spent on alternative products would provide more jobs than the declining market in nuclear weapons will.
Hearings for the citizen-initiated ballot measure, “Prevention of City’s Future Financial Involvement in Nuclear Weapons Production,” are scheduled for Wednesday, August 15, 2012, at 1:30 PM. These are to be held by the Planning, Zoning & Economic Development Committee chaired by Councilmember Ed Ford, on the 26th Floor of City Hall. They are not considering the ordinance itself, but an ordinance to place it on this year’s November 6 ballot.
|published Thursday, August 09, 2012 ||1850 Views :: 0 Comments|
Aug 8, 2012
By John Fleck
From the Journal North
Los Alamos National Laboratory’s proposed alternative to building a multibillion dollar plutonium laboratory would require $800 million over the next decade to upgrade existing buildings to do the lab’s nuclear weapons work, according to lab documents.
The proposal includes doing work in a smaller existing laboratory, shipping some plutonium for chemical analysis to a lab in California, and construction of a $120 million tunnel to allow lab workers to move plutonium from building to building at Los Alamos without the security and safety risks associated with above-ground transport.
One small plutonium-capable lab building, the Radiological Laboratory Utility Office Building, would require nearly $200 million in upgrades to handle larger quantities of plutonium, according to the proposal.
The lab developed what is being called “Plan B” after the Obama administration in February recommended halting work on a major new plutonium laboratory at Los Alamos. It represents the latest in a series of efforts by the lab and its federal managers to sustain the ability to maintain aging U.S. nuclear weapons and manufacture new weapon components if needed.
|published Tuesday, August 07, 2012 ||2664 Views :: 0 Comments|
By T.S. Last
From the Albuquerque Journal
LOS ALAMOS — Six people were arrested in an act of civil disobedience at the entrance to Los Alamos National Laboratory on Monday — the 67th anniversary of the dropping of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.
They were charged with three misdemeanor offenses of criminal trespass, obstructing a right of way and disobeying an officer.
“We weren’t resisting arrest,” emphasized Cathie Sullivan of Santa Fe, one of the people arrested. “This was entirely nonviolent and peaceful. That’s what this is all about.”
Los Alamos Police Department Capt. Randy Foster said about 35 protesters blocked the road at the intersection of Diamond Drive and West Jemez Road shortly before 8 a.m., backing up traffic and delaying entry into the lab for about an hour.