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Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Los Alamos would be the center for plutonium excellence long into the future.
Perry sees plutonium pit work staying at LANL ‘into the future’

Plutonium pit manufacturing and whether Los Alamos National Laboratory will remain the center of plutonium pit production was the highlight of Thursday’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., asked Secretary of Energy Rick Perry how confident he was that Los Alamos would be able to get 80 pits manufactured a year by 2030.

The National Nuclear Security Administration is expected to release an analysis of alternatives study by May 11 that may favor moving the facility to the Savannah River Site in South Carolina.

“Now there’s talk of stopping and recalculating and looking at another approach. I just don’t think we have the time to do that,” Reed said.

“Sen. Heinrich (D-N.M.) and I have discussed this at length many times. I’ve been to Los Alamos and I’ve visited P-4 (the plutonium manufacturing facility) out there, and it is populated with some very extraordinary men and women,” Perry said.  “…Los Alamos is going to be the center for plutonium excellence for as long into the future as there is a future.”

Perry further added that manufacturing at least 30 plutonium pits are guaranteed at the Los Alamos plutonium pit manufacturing facility.