The incident highlighted, once again, a pattern of consistent mismanagement in the maintenance and cleanup of some of the most dangerous materials on Earth.
This pattern of problems also has prompted the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board to question whether the facility should continue to operate and handle increasing quantities of plutonium in coming years. On Friday, the board said it will hold a June 7 hearing in Santa Fe to question a number of experts about the lab’s ability to safely carry out future nuclear missions at PF-4 (the “plutonium building”)…
The Department of Energy plans to increase manufacturing of plutonium pits at Los Alamos over the coming decades. Two test pits were built last year, and as many as 50 to 80 pits could be built each year by 2030, a significant ramp-up in the presence and handling of highly radioactive plutonium.
Fattening up our already bloated nuclear weapons stockpile is not going to improve our national security. New Mexicans desperately need better-funded schools and healthcare, not expanded plutonium pit production that will cause more pollution and threaten our scarce water resources. – Jay Coghlan, Nuclear Watch NM