The Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Nuclear Facility (CMRR) is intended to replace the current Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Facility at the Los Alamos National Laboratory; however it’s actually a four-fold expansion of our national capacity to build new nuclear bombs.
The current Chemistry and Metallurgy Research facility has the capacity to manufacture 20 plutonium pits each year. Plutonium pits provide the “bang” in nuclear weapons. We haven’t had the ability to make more than 20 pits each year since the FBI shut the Rocky Flats Plant down for gross environmental violations in 1989. Current plans for the CMRR would increase pit production capacity to 80 each year.
ANA is against construction of the CMRR for the following reasons:
- The United States does not need the capacity to make more than 20 pits each year.
Numerous studies have certified that the pits in our current arsenal have shelf lives of 100+ years. For over a decade U.S. nuclear weapons policy has been one of “stockpile stewardship” rather than new weapons design. As we strive to prevent new nuclear nations, we must lead by example by not developing new nuclear weapons.
- We can’t afford this unnecessary expense.
As Congress slashes necessary spending for human needs and national defense, American taxpayers cannot afford to expand an unused weapons capacity. Cost estimates for the CMRR have already skyrocketed from $660 million to $2 billion and are regularly raised.
- The Los Alamos site is not well suited to such a high risk facility.
Numerous seismic hazards have been discovered since the Department of Energy originally conceived the CMRR in 2004. The current Chemistry and Metallurgy Nuclear Facility should be refurbished to meet modern safety standards without expanding pit production capacity. Extensive seismic testing should be done around the current Chemistry and Metallurgy Nuclear Facility site to determine the scope of renovations required.