Safety First

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By Katy Korkos

Continuing safety problems at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), including a recent pause in waste shipments, have brought increased scrutiny to laboratory safety procedures. The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) came to town Wednesday for its second on-site meeting in as many years, with a hearing at Duane Smith Auditorium. The event included presentations by several watchdog groups, but the bulk was taken up with reports from the board’s technical staff, from the DOE/NNSA both nationally and from the local site office, and from Michael Anastasio, director of LANL and president of Los Alamos National Security LLC, the consortium that runs the lab.Wednesday’s meeting was the follow-up to an official letter sent by the board to the NNSA on Feb. 1, which detailed suggestions to improve safety at LANL.The letter lists five paths to improve safety: • strengthen federal safety oversight;• improve safety bases and ensure the efficacy of safety systems;• develop effective institutional safety programs;• eliminate known hazards; and • increase federal management of new projects. A.J.

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