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Report: LANL flubs nuclear safety efforts

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By Associated Press

SANTA FE, New Mexico (AP) — Regulators say Los Alamos National Laboratory has not ensured sufficient nuclear safety in its operations as the New Mexico facility prepares to increase its work with plutonium.

The U.S. Department of Energy has released a list of problems regarding the laboratory’s nuclear safety management, The Albuquerque Journal reported Monday.

Former private contractor Los Alamos National Security LLC, which managed the lab for about 12 years, allowed safety issues to fester with “significant weaknesses,” according to the report released Monday.

The assessment team did not identify “any immediate threats to workers, the public, or the environment.”

A statement by the laboratory did not address specific findings in the report but said it “is focused on continually improving our programs, policies and procedures.”

The report also says there have been deficiencies in the work of Triad National Security LLC, which took over the $2 billion-plus annual operating contract Nov. 1.

Triad adopted the same process for addressing safety issues as the previous operator “with only minor changes” and retained most managers.


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