Congressman Mike Turner (OH-3) wrote to Congressman Ed Markey (MA-7) and invited him to tour Building 9212 at Y-12 and the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research (CMR) facility at Los Alamos National Lab in New Mexico. Turner, who is Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, has oversight of our nuclear deterrent facilities and our research labs. It is unclear if Markey, who has called for sharp cuts in funding for our national security, has been to these facilities.
“Last week, you said it is ‘insane’ to modernize and replace the uranium and plutonium processing facilities that support the U.S. nuclear deterrent when ‘the plants we have now work just fine.’ I invite you to join me on a trip to tour Building 9212 at Y-12 and the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research (CMR) facility at Los Alamos National Lab, the facilities that you say ‘work just fine.’ I believe that you will see first-hand that your statements do not reflect the deteriorating circumstances of the facilities,” wrote Turner. Turner’s letter also included pictures showing the decayed state of the two facilities.
In 2009, the bipartisan Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States, composed of highly respected experts from both sides of the aisle and co-chaired by former Defense Secretaries William Perry and James Schlesinger, said that the facilities Turner invited Markey to tour are “genuinely decrepit and are maintained in a safe and secure manner only at high cost.”
“Without replacements, we will, at some point in the not-too-distant future, be unable to ensure the safety or security of the nuclear deterrent. If either of these facilities were to fail, the United States would find itself, simply put, without the capability required to remain a nuclear weapons state,” added Turner.
The Full Letter Can Be Found Here.