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Tell Your Members of Congress to Read POGO's UPF Report

upf_350.jpgIf you find yourself in a hole that you can’t get out of, the first thing you should do is stop digging. Sounds like common sense, right? Well, it probably won’t surprise you that the federal government is digging a huge hole with its plans to construct a Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Costs for the facility–which would evaluate, disassemble, and, if necessary, refurbish nuclear weapons components–have skyrocketed from an estimate of $600 million in 2005 to more than $11 billion today. Let that one roll of your tongue—11 B-I-L-L-I-O-N. Wow.  But here’s the kicker: We don’t really need this facility, as a report we released this week points out.

Tell Congress that It’s Time to Explore Alternatives to UPF

Recipients

  • Your Senators
  • Your Representative

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Message

Dear [Decision Maker],

As your constituent, I urge you to read the report released this week by the Project On Government Oversight about the Uranium Processing Facility at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

The Executive Summary can be found here: http://www.pogo.org/our-work/reports/2013/20130925-uranium-processing-facility.html

And the full report can be found here: http://www.pogoarchives.org/m/nss/upf-report-20130925.pdf




1. Given current budget constraints, Congress and DOE should insist on a publicly released independent study that determines secondary component lifetimes and that looks into reducing the scope of Life Extension Programs (LEPs), including the feasibility of focusing on recertification rather than remanufacturing of nuclear bomb secondaries in order to confirm the need for the UPF's planned production capabilities.

2. Congress and DOE should insist on an independent structural analysis of Building 9212 and fully explore the options of using existing facilities at the Pantex Plant and at Y-12, like the HEUMF, to meet credible nuclear modernization requirements and compare those with UPF costs and functionality.

3. Until independent studies confirm what exactly is needed for credible nuclear modernization, the LEPs should not be funded. The Administration and DOE should zero out funding for the W76-1, W88 Alt 370, B61-12, Cruise Missile Warhead, and W77/88-1 Life Extension Programs in the President's budget request beginning with Fiscal Year 2015.

4. Unless independent studies confirm the need for UPF, the United States shouldn't fund it. The Administration and DOE should zero out funding for UPF in the President's budget beginning with Fiscal Year 2015, and Congress should cancel funding in its subsequent appropriations bills until the spending is justified.

5. DOE and NNSA should begin an aggressive downblending program to reduce the country's stockpile of highly enriched uranium that has been declared excess.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]