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As expected, Los Alamos National Laboratory has been designated the site within the nuclear weapons complex where plutonium triggers and other plutonium research will be concentrated.
According to a formal record to be published this week, plutonium stockpiles are to be removed from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, in Livermore, Calif., where concerned citizen groups have protested their presence in a facility surrounded by suburban neighborhoods. Highly enriched uranium already has been taken from the Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico.
The Energy Department has given final approval to a program to limit the most dangerous nuclear material to five sites, improving safety and security, and consolidating management of the country’s nuclear weapons.
The proposals to scale back the nuclear weapons complex and its activities had been in the works for more than a year. They reflect the significant decline in the number of warheads being maintained and an expectation of further reductions.
Thomas D’Agostino, head of the department’s National Nuclear Security Administration, said Tuesday the consolidation will “improve the safety and security of the infrastructure that maintains U.S. nuclear weapons” as nuclear material is consolidated and facilities are modernized.
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