Monday, April 10, 2006
ROGER SNODGRASS, firstname.lastname@example.org, Monitor Assistant Editor
Next year's budget and long-range plans for consolidating the nuclear complex were recurring topics in Washington this week.
Sen. Pete Domenici, R-NM, welcomed Ambassador Linton Brooks, the nation's nuclear weapons chief, to a hearing on Thursday with some pointed questions about how Los Alamos National Laboratory was going to afford the added costs of its new managers.
A text of Domenici's opening remarks summarized his key concerns as chairman of the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee.
( Los Alamos Monitor )
Domenici forget to add in expenses for shoring up the TCP1 pension, plus increased regulatory costs and associated fines from NNSA, plus new overhead costs to pay salaries for the ever-expanding number of LANL executives, plus additional transitioning expenses. When you add it all up, it easily sum to around $200 million per year.
That's almost 10% of LANL's current budget. I seriously doubt that NNSA or Congress is going to give LANL a 10% funding boost to help cover these new costs. Instead, NNSA will probably start dangling the "pit factory" carrot in front of our faces as a way out of this funding fiasco.