A Georgia congressman released a written request that House appropriators accept the White House’s funding request for the Savannah River Site’s proposed plutonium pit factory and reject a proposed cut for the site’s H-Canyon chemical separations plant. 

Rep. Rick Allen (R-Ga.) made the requests ahead of Wednesday’s scheduled Member’s Day hearing, an annual exercise in which lawmakers who are not on the appropriations committee can ask lawmakers who are for district-level favors.

Allen, in

written testimony posted online, asked that the House Appropriations Committee provide about $700 million as requested to build the Savannah River Plutonium Processing Facility at the Savannah River Site, just over the state line from in Aiken, S.C.

That’s about even with the request for the factory, which is running behind schedule but still part of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) plans to annually produce 50 new plutonium pits, fissile warhead cores, starting some time in the 2030s. 

Allen also asked that House Appropriations Committee boost the plutonium operations budget at the Savannah River Site to $80 million, instead of the requested $50 million or so for fiscal year 2023, which begins Oct. 1.

Allen has also asked his colleagues on the Appropriations Committee to provide some $500 million for the Savannah River Site Risk Management Operations fund, instead of accepting the Biden administration’s proposed budget of about $445 million. Accounting for most of the proposed  decrease, the White House wants to lighten the workload at Savannah River’s H-Canyon chemical separations facility, which as the last remaining hardened, chemical separations plant in the U.S. is protected by law from being shuttered outright.

The Member’s Day hearing was scheduled for Wednesday.