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The Plutonium Facility at the Los Alamos National Laboratory is slowly returning to normal operations.
According to spokesman Fred DeSousa, “the lab is continuing to implement its plan to resume full programmatic operations at PF-4. We are resuming work in phases based on the priority of the work and our level of satisfaction that the processes and procedures are in good shape. Some work resumed as early as two weeks ago.”
At the end of June, LANL Director Charlie McMillan announced that certain work operations at PF-4 would temporarily pause at the facility.
A Department of Energy Inspector General audit reiterated concerns that watchdogs and a federal oversight board have long expressed about the lab’s main plutonium facility — which sits atop a fault line — being able to withstand an earthquake.
And the Las Conchas Fire that burned its way to the edges of lab property two years ago highlighted the dangers of storing thousands of barrels of toxic waste on-site.
The audit pushed the lab to move more quickly in securing the plutonium lab (PF-4). It also asks for more effective fire protection for the barrels, which are scheduled to be removed by the end of next year.
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