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Legislators check on cleanup

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By Roger Snodgrass

George Rael was just beginning his prepared presentation to a legislative committee when one of the senators interrupted him to make sure he would include a report about “the relationship” with the state regulators.Rael manages environmental operations at Los Alamos National Laboratory for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s local site office.

He was about to explain that he had 16 people working on the cleanup program at the lab and was planning to hire another 10 people in the next year.

The cleanup program and the Consent Order between the laboratory’s managers and the state government form the basis of the relationship that Sen. Phil Griego was asking about.  Griego, D-L.A., Mora, Sand, S.M., S.F. and Taos, is the chairman of the LANL legislative oversight committee that met at the Research Park in Los Alamos Wednesday.

“We were not doing so well with our relationship,” Rael said, looking back a couple of years.

“We worked through those issues,” he added. “And from my perspective, it’s a lot better. We let our hair down. We communicate our issues.”

One issue that has dominated those discussions over the last year, he said, has had to do with the budget.


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