LANL discloses internal material control issue

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By Carol A. Clark

Los Alamos National Laboratory officials issued a statement this morning saying they have reported an internal material control error at their plutonium facility to the National Nuclear Security Administration.


“The error was discovered during routine inventory in January,” LANL spokesman Kevin Roark said. “Unreconciled inventory was found … meaning the numbers didn’t match up with how much material was physically there, which we are working to resolve.”


Roark was not at liberty to disclose exactly what the inventory was or whether there was actually less or more material than the records indicate.


“This is not something we talk about for security reasons,” he said. “To make clear this does not mean material is missing.”


Roark said the reason the laboratory can state with absolute conviction that, “there is 100 percent certainty that no sensitive materials left the facility” is because there are “exceptional” security controls in place at that facility.


Not just one or two layers, he said, but multiple layers including armed guards on site 24 hours a day “that ensure with complete confidence that sensitive materials do not improperly leave TA-55.”  


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