Gloveboxes at Los Alamos National Laboratory are used by laboratory employees to handle hazardous materials. A plutonium pit was mistakenly left inside a similar glovebox at the laboratory, according to a Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board inspection Report released March 23. TRIS DeROMA/Monitor
Plutonium pit misplaced at LANL; corrective actions taken

Los Alamos National Laboratory officials said Monday lab personnel have taken corrective actions in the wake of a March incident involving a misplaced plutonium pit. 

The pit was placed in a glovebox inside the lab’s plutonium pit manufacturing facility that was not designed to hold it, according to a March 23 Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board inspection report. 

A laboratory spokesman said Monday that the pit has since been removed and workers have received additional training because of the incident. 

No one was hurt, and the report also noted that there were no other radioactive materials in the box the plutonium pit could have reacted with, which could have caused a nuclear criticality event.

Plutonium pits, manufactured at the laboratory, are about the size of a softball and are used as triggering mechanisms for nuclear weapons.