Report casts shadow on Los Alamos lab's ability to produce vital nuclear component
December 02, 2017 01:01 PM
SANTA FE, N.M. – Details from a federal report not yet officially released show that a vital Los Alamos National Lab project could end up costing over $500 million more than previously thought, according to a report from the Santa Fe New Mexican.
LANL is uniquely capable of producing vital nuclear weapon components known as plutonium pits, the New Mexican states, but the production of those materials "has been marred by a series of serious mistakes and setbacks." Additionally, there are concerns over whether the lab's old buildings can handle the large amounts of necessary materials.
According to the New Mexican's report, the lab aspires to construct a facility capable of vastly increasing plutonium pit production, but the project would reportedly not be able to meet the sought-after production rate until nearly 2040. That would "put the project nearly a decade behind schedule," as well as up the price tag by more than half a billion dollars if the facility remains in Los Alamos.
Further complicating matters for LANL, the unreleased federal report states it would be cheaper to potentially construct such a facility elsewhere in the country.
The report comes amid a series of reported dangerous incidents at the lab that have put employees in danger.
Created: December 02, 2017 01:01 PM
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