Attacking plans for an expensive new nuclear facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory, activists with the non-profit Los Alamos Study Group call the project a "monument of folly."

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The

of documents (and arguments) over the project, called CMRR. The above chart, showing the skyrocketing cost estimates for CMRR, comes courtesy of LASG.

picks apart the spin surrounding the $4 billion-and-counting CMRR project, beginning with

that the facility's function has little to do with nuclear weapons.

Taking a similar tack, a spokeswoman for US Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-NM, tells SFR in an email that "it’s also important to note that plutonium research will have a broader application than supporting pit operations."

The Pentagon, at least, seems more concerned about pit production than those other, broader applications. (Read the Institute for Defense Analysis report cited in this week's SFR story

.)

And LASG Executive Director Greg Mello predicts CMRR will be so costly to operate, and its construction so disruptive, that pit production will inevitably crowd out the lab's other missions.

"It turns Los Alamos into a

," Mello says.

Read LASG's letter to US Energy Secretary Steven Chu, opposing CMRR on environmental grounds, here (

).