Activists are urging Washington to study possible risks from a plan for dispersing bomb-uranium activities that previously were to be housed in a single facility.
A coalition of more than 30 watchdog groups on Thursday said the Energy Department’s nuclear-weapons agency is required by law to develop a new “site-wide environmental impact statement” for the proposal, devised this year by an independent “Red Team” as an alternative to the Uranium Processing Facility project in Tennessee.
The “UPF” effort faced years of delays, as design expenses mounted and cost estimates ballooned by billions of dollars. Substantial construction at the Y-12 National Security Complex ultimately never began.
“Failure to execute a successful design of the UPF in the first, flawed attempts has already cost taxpayers nearly a billion dollars. Further mistakes in the project could cause significant safety risks and more wasted taxpayers’ dollars,” the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability argued in a letter to National Nuclear Security Administration head Frank Klotz.
The U.S. atomic agency last month said it plans to follow the “Red Team” guidelines, which advise using current Y-12 infrastructure to help contain costs and move onsite uranium operations out of the facility’s decades-old “9212” structure. The alternative project reportedly is intended to cap costs at $6.5 billion.
The activists, though, implored Klotz to look beyond the independent recommendations devised this year.
“We urge you to take the time to fully investigate the range of possibilities, even beyond the Red Team’s recommendations, to set a course that will best serve the nation, not only by saving money, but by preparing to meet future mission requirements in the most effective and efficient way,” they wrote in the letter, first reported by the Knoxville News Sentinel.
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The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals "has upheld the nationwide block of President Donald Trump's executive order restricting travel from several predominantly Muslim countries. ... It upholds the suspension of a revised version of the executive order that the Trump administration crafted to better hold up to legal scrutiny than an earlier version."
A Navy destroyer sailed within 12 miles of an artificial island built by China in the South China Sea, one of several such islands at the center of territorial disputes with other nearby nations. The U.S. called it a "freedom of navigation exercise." Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang "said China had lodged stern representations to the U.S over the patrol and that such moves were not conducive to peace and stability in the South China Sea."