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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Newt Gringrich is actively positioning himself as a possible VP nominee for Donald Trump, according to National Review. After a New York Times piece mentioned him as a possible running mate, he said, "It is an honor to be mentioned. We need a new Contract with America to outline a 100-day plan to take back Washington from the lobbyists, bureaucrats, unions, and leftists. After helping in 1980 with Reagan and 1995 as speaker I know we have to move boldly and decisively before the election results wear off and the establishment starts fighting us. That is my focus." Meanwhile, Trump told CNN he'd be "interested in vetting" John Kasich as well.
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"ISIS has the capability to stage a Paris-style attack in the U.S. using local cells to strike in multiple locations and inflict dozens of casualties, according to the Obama administration's top U.S. intelligence official." Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told CNN's Peter Bergen that such a scenario is "something we worry about a lot in the United States, that they could conjure up a raid like they did in Paris or Brussels."
"Donald J. Trump said on Wednesday that he expected to reveal his vice presidential pick sometime in July—before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland—but added that he would soon announce a committee to handle the selection process, which would include Dr. Ben Carson." He said he's inclined to name a traditional political figure, unlike himself.