Nuclear Complexes Could Save Billions by Shopping at Hardware Store Instead of Building New Facilities


Noel Brinkerhoff
All Gov

March 2, 2012

Following on a congressman’s recommendation for trimming a hundred billion dollars in federal nuclear repairs, a watchdog organization has offered up its own suggestions for ways to keep Washington from spending $7.5 billion for new facilities.

Representative Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) has introduced legislation, the Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures, which would reduce spending on federal nuclear facilities by $100 billion over 10 years. Markey’s bill would eliminate all funding for two new nuclear bomb production facilities supported by the Obama administration, the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Project in Los Alamos, New Mexico, and the Uranium Processing Facility at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

The Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance says the government likely doesn’t need to build new facilities and could save money by repairing existing ones. Some upgrades needed at Oak Ridge could even be done by purchasing basic electric or plumbing supplies found at Home Depot or other hardware stores. This assessment was based on photographs of Oak Ridge’s Building 9212 that showed old switch boxes, control center cabinets, air conditioning units, electrical panels and valves and pipes in need of repair or replacing.


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