NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Billions of dollars are coming to national laboratories around the country including Sandia National Laboratories and Las Alamos National Lab in New Mexico. U.S. Senator Ben Ray Lujan met with the directors from both labs Friday about the impact of the funding on our state. “Chips is good for our country good for New Mexico and good for our national labs. It will help fund microelectronics and groundbreaking initiatives in energy and science…will keep America at the forefront of innovation,” said Dr. James S. Perry, director of Sandia National Labs.
Earlier this week, President Biden signed the Chips and Science Act into law which allocates more than $200B. $54B will help bolster the American semiconductor supply chain and chip manufacturing. Those chips are used in everything from cars to smartphones and appliances.
The legislation also includes victories for New Mexico that Senator Lujan fought for. Another $800M will go toward four research centers and semiconductor development, the creation of a non-profit for energy innovation, and plans to help local small businesses access the labs’ premiere facilities. Another $800M will go toward infrastructure spending at Sandia and LANL.
KRQE News 13 asked if any of the money will help with nuclear waste clean-up at LANL which has been an issue in the past. “We are going to be fighting to make sure we continue to stay level not increase capabilities for clean-up funding while also bringing attention to this notion of New Mexico becoming a temporary repository, it’s not a good idea,” said Senator Lujan.
As far as chip manufacturing goes, more than 30 years ago, America had 40% of the global production of those chips. That number is down to 10%.