A New Year’s Gift from the NNSA

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a semi-autonomous agency within the Department of Energy that oversees the nation’s nuclear facilities, is cutting Los Alamos National Laboratory’s management team’s potential “award fees” for 2014 by 90 percent. That management team, Los Alamos National Security (LANS), whose main partners are the University of California and Bechtel Corporation, was also denied a previous “pro forma” one year contract extension.

According to a press release from Nuclear Watch New Mexico, “This is more fallout from WIPP. Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) used unapproved radioactive waste treatment procedures that resulted in a ruptured drum at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, contaminating 21 workers and indefinitely closing that multi-billion dollar facility. It will cost an estimated half-billion dollars to reopen WIPP, which will likely double. Additionally, the New Mexico Environment Department has proposed $54 million in fines against LANL and WIPP, and Congress has cut $40 million from cleanup programs at the Lab, while adding $100 million to help reopen WIPP.”

As all of us who watchdog and report on LANL know, this latest egregious accident at WIPP is only one of the Lab’s many failures under LANS management. The Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Nuclear Facility, where plutonium pits, the cores of nuclear weapons, were supposed to be built, got put on “indefinite hold” because of enormous cost overruns. Whistleblowers and former employees have documented numerous safety violations, labor and civil rights disputes, security breaches, failure to meet cleanup requirements, and retaliations. At the very least, the LANS contract should be rescinded and LANL management be put out to bid.

For a PDF version of Nuclear Watch’s press release click here.

Happy New Year to all our readers. La justicia por todos.

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One comment

  1. Well unaccountability by government to regulate for clean water and clean air is a joke at best. Judges in this state are more concerned with their government pensions and no one is held acceptable within state or federal reclamation Policies. Now NM is in suit with Texas over the Rio Grande and Mr Lopez former State Commissioner for ISC once the bad guy in Texas’s case, is now the head of the federal Agency that took responsibility over the Rio Grande and has mismanaged our water resources. When the Department of War declared the Rio Grande Embargo in 1896 everything has gone down stream to Texas so El Paso get grow. The bad guys get promotions and no one in government these days are accountable. Well NM at the rate you are going no one will want to move to NM cause the Rio will be radioactive, and then Texas won’t want it anymore, we will have plenty of water, but no human or animal will now survive in the long run, unless mutations come along in our place..haha Our governors and judges all come from outside states looking for their pot of gold as the poor people of NM get to live with the s..t. they leave us behind. Richardson left us after declaring the year of water, and Martinez has done nothing at all but support the oil industry.
    The natives are happy they have their casinos and Senators and Congressmen keep on getting their reelection campaigns funded by outsiders in the nuclear and oil and banking industries. Thanks Kay Mathews for being the only reporter in NM that does a good job reporting the matters the big papers ignore.

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