Defense Secretary Ash Carter wrapped up his visit to New Mexico Wednesday with a four-hour tour of the Los Alamos National Laboratory with Lab Director Charlie McMillan.
One of the main stops on his tour was “Plutonium Facility 4,” the country’s only plutonium science, technology and manufacturing center. Carter observed operations in the pit casting area of the facility, where molten plutonium is molded and shaped to fit inside nuclear weapons.
At the end of his tour, Carter expressed his thanks and appreciation for the LANL employees who made the plutonium cores and other nuclear weapon components.
“A strong plutonium science and manufacturing capability is essential to the U.S. nuclear deterrent and cannot be underestimated,” Carter said. “I want to express my sincere appreciation for the difficult and vitally important work done at Los Alamos to help assure the development, assessment and security of the nuclear triad.”
McMillan, who also accompanied Carter on his tour was glad Carter was able to make the trip to Los Alamos National Laboratory, according to LANL’s website.