Congressional defenders of the nation's nuclear weapons laboratories are trying to stamp out any talk of turning control of the labs over to the Pentagon. In a letter released yesterday, senators Jeff Bingaman (D–NM), Lisa Murkowski (R–AK), Byron Dorgan (D–ND), and Bob Bennett (R–UT) called on the Obama Administration to cancel an internal study of the costs and benefits of such a move.
The senators admitted that the current relationship between the Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees the labs, was "dysfunctional." They suggested, however, that the relationship requires intensive therapy, not a divorce. The Henry L. Stimson Center mostly agrees, saying that the NNSA should be granted more autonomy within the Energy Department or be turned into a new, independent agency.