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Photos show nuclear facilities in dangerous disrepair via CNN

Washington (CNN)US nuclear security facilities are dangerously decrepit and putting national security goals at risk, according to nuclear officials who are asking Congress to back the administration’s push to modernize the system.

Nuclear officials described critical utility, safety and support systems that are failing at an increasing and unpredictable rate, as well as their efforts to patch the system together until the necessary funding can be found to reinvigorate the system.

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The physical state of the US nuclear complex is in such bad shape because many key facilities were built during World War II and intended to operate for as little as one decade, according to Morgan Smith, president and CEO of Consolidated Nuclear Security.
 Today, more than half of NNSA’s approximately 6,000 real property assets are over 40 years old, and nearly 30% date back to the Manhattan Project era, Klotz said.
“Many facilities and their supporting infrastructure have exceeded or far exceeded their expected life,” Smith told the committee, according to prepared remarks, “and major systems within the facilities are beginning to fail.”
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In December, Moniz wrote to the Office of Management and Budget to say that their proposed nuclear budget for fiscal years 2018 to 2021 “doesn’t reflect the funding that we estimate is necessary.” He asked for an additional $5.2 billion for that time period, saying that the OMB proposal “ignores or underfunds” nuclear needs.
“Events elsewhere in the world reaffirm the seriousness of the threat environment in which we live,” Moniz wrote, “and underscore the need for a credible nuclear security program portfolio.”
Smith’s Consolidated Nuclear Security manages and operates the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas.
Y-12, originally established in the 1940s as part of three Manhattan Project sites where the nuclear bomb was first developed, is now the country’s primary storehouse of highly enriched uranium and the place where highly enriched uranium components are manufactured, dismantled and tracked.

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