Lab's $425M in design spending falls short

Oct 1, 2012

The Los Alamos National Laboratory has spent about $425 million on designs for its proposed new plutonium facility without reaching the level of confidence needed to prepare a reliable budget or begin building.

The proposed Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Nuclear has been delayed at least five years under President Barack Obama's budget proposal for the fiscal year that begins Monday. The budget cut funding for the program.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that a member of the federal team managing the project says the most recent $3.7 billion to $5.8 billion estimates to build the plant still appear valid.

Steve Fong says the government has spent about $80 million out of $200 million allocated to close out operations for the delayed facility.