Friday, November 11, 2005

LANL weapons program draws split positions

By ANDY LENDERMAN | The New Mexican
November 11, 2005

Congressional committees have more than doubled funding for the Reliable Replacement Warhead program, money that will go to Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories.

But proponents and a nuclear-watchdog group are already arguing about what the program means.

Supporters say the program is just a concept for now, but one that could create more reliable parts for an aging nuclear-weapons stockpile. Critics say it's the backdoor to a totally new weapons program.

U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., a leading supporter, said in a written statement Thursday that the "program is designed to build on the successes that we've had using a science-based approach to improving the design of existing weapons. This is not intended to be a new weapons program, but rather a method to improve the way that we manufacture existing weapons."

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