Published: December 19, 2007
LANL’s past problems and mission garners headlines.
It’s undeniable that Los Alamos National Laboratory has made its mark on New Mexico. And 2007 was a particularly important one in the lab’s 64-year history.
Talks of budget cuts dominated the news—and even upcoming election campaigns—but job losses aren’t the only things brewing on the Pajarito Plateau [Cover story, Aug. 1: “LANL 101”].
This year, the lab was the focus of federal investigations related to safety, cost overruns and security. In July, the US Department of Energy (DOE) fined LANL for security violations (LANL will pay $2.8 million under a settlement agreement).
As of press time, one of the biggest stories of the year was still developing: plans by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to name Los Alamos the nation’s permanent home for plutonium pit production. The lab already builds pits—the “triggers” for nuclear bombs—and this summer it certified the nation’s first pits to be built since Colorado’s Rocky Flats facility was closed in 1993 due to environmental and safety violations. But until now, the lab was not officially considered the permanent pit production site.
Full Story: http://sfreporter.com/articles/publish/top-10-121907-nuclear-meltdown.php