Report: LANL comes up short on emergency drills

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LOS ALAMOS (AP) — A federal nuclear safety panel says Los Alamos National Laboratory has come up short during drills intended to show how the New Mexico lab would respond to potential emergencies such as radioactive leaks or earthquakes.

A letter and lengthy report sent this month by the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board to U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry says the board found numerous weaknesses dating back to 2014.

While the board did not issue any final recommendations regarding the weaknesses, it detailed its findings in the report in hopes of helping the Energy Department and the National Nuclear Security Administration as the federal agencies address the lab’s issues.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that among a long list of criticisms and findings in the report, lab crews regularly failed at establishing adequate incident command capabilities during the simulated emergencies. There was a lack of understanding of roles and responsibilities, ineffective coordination and inadequate communication, among other things.