Alexander says 2015 spending bill supports ‘crucial’ Oak Ridge projects

alexandersummitU.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said the 2015 spending bill passed Saturday night supports two projects — the Uranium Processing Facility at Y-12 and development of a world-leading supercomputer at ORNL — “that are crucial to Tennessee.”

In a statement released by his office, Alexander said: “Fiscal responsibility is about setting priorities, and I voted for this legislation because it helps keep spending in check while supporting projects that are crucial to Tennessee, as well as our country’s economic competitiveness and national security. Once again having the world’s fastest supercomputer in the United States – and once again having it in Oak Ridge – will help us remain a center for advanced manufacturing and scientific breakthroughs. Providing both funding and oversight of the Uranium Processing Facility supports jobs and national security, and continues our mission of completing this project on time and on budget.”

The omnibus spending bill passed by the Senate provides funds for most federal agencies — including the Department of Energy — for the rest of fiscal year 2015, which concludes Sept. 30, 2015.

Alexander said the spending bill contains $104 million for supercomputing, which includes funds to support ORNL’s partnership with IBM and NVIDIA on a next-generation hybrid machine called “Summit.”

The bill also provides $335 million for UPF. The statement released by Alexander said he is working to keep the costs of the Y-12 project under control.

Alexander said he also supported the closure of two federal facilities that he said were redundant and unnecessary. One of those is the Lujan Center in New Mexico. The Alexander statement said the center’s scientific research with neutrons could be done at ORNL.

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