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Nuclear Watchdogs Skeptical of Los Alamos Lab Safety via Public News Service

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Los Alamos National Laboratory says firing workers and putting stricter controls in place are only the first steps it’s taking to protect the public as it prepares to accelerate production of a key plutonium component for the nation’s nuclear weapons arsenal. 

The Los Alamos lab has been under scrutiny by the U.S. Department of Energy for repeated violations of safety protocols, including mishandling of plutonium and nuclear waste. Greg Mello, who heads the watchdog Los Alamos Study Group, said this week’s announcement of some firings and new rules shows accountability, but more internal reform is needed. 

[…]

The lapse in safety protocol comes a month after the Los Alamos lab mislabeled hazardous liquid that was shipped to a disposal facility in Colorado. Mello said the airplane shipment of radioactive material from New Mexico to California could have been a public health and safety disaster. His group contends the types and numbers of mistakes should concern New Mexico residents.

“This is not just a little package,” he said. “It’s not a brown package coming UPS to your door.” 

The Los Alamos National Laboratory in northern New Mexico is where the atomic bomb was secretly developed during World War II.

Read more at Nuclear Watchdogs Skeptical of Los Alamos Lab Safety 

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