Fire raises questions about Los Alamos lab
A recent fire has put a national laboratory’s ability to operate safely into question.
The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board announced Friday that it will hold a hearing next month to discuss the future of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported. The board is an independent panel that advises the U.S. Department of Energy and the president.
A fire broke mid-April at the lab’s PF-4 plutonium building, where the plutonium cores of nuclear weapons are produced. Lab officials said that the fire was put out quickly and caused only minor injuries.
According to the report, the board is unsure whether the lab is fit to continue to operate and handle increasing quantities of plutonium in coming years after a series of problems with management in maintenance and cleanup.