Court to hear appeal of nuke lab suit

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A federal appeals court has agreed to consider a watchdog group's lawsuit to halt construction of a new $6 billion plutonium lab at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver Tuesday agreed to consider the merits of the appeal by the Los Alamos Study Group. The group filed a lawsuit last year to halt development of the so-called Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement nuclear facility. The group alleged the Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration violated federal law by failing to do a new environmental impact statement after changing the design for project to address seismic and other safety concerns

A federal judge in Albuquerque in June threw out the group's lawsuit.

Officials at Los Alamos have since begun moving forward with the project. And the watchdog group has filed a second lawsuit alleging they failed to consider alternatives to the project.