Heck's amendment to install security system at Nevada site fails in House

The House on Wednesday turned away a request to speed the installation of a new $14 million security system around a key complex at the Nevada National Security Site.

The high security Device Assembly Facility on 19 acres within the central portion of the sprawling Nevada reservation is in line for an upgrade to state-of-the-art video, motion detection, alarm and a biometric entry system.

An amendment by Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., sought to redirect money within a 2014 Energy Department spending bill to get the work started. But House leaders said not yet.

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., chairman of the energy and water subcommittee, said DOE still is working bugs out of other security systems .

“We need to be able to upgrade our security systems, but I have concerns that taking on a third project in 2014 will lead to more problems,” Frelinghuysen said.

The House subsequently voted 86-338 to kill Heck’s amendment.

The Device Assembly Facility is a complex of 30 heavily reinforced concrete buildings covering 100,000 square feet and connected by underground corridors, according to Globalsecurity.org.

It was built in the 1980s to support nuclear weapons research and testing of high explosives and nuclear explosives.

It is reputed to be among the government’s most closely guarded installations.

Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at stetreault@stephensmedia.com or 202-783-1760. Follow him on Twitter @STetreaultDC.