Many of the safety systems in place at a federal laboratory in New Mexico where key components of nuclear weapons are developed date to the late 1970s and will likely need to be upgraded to meet future demands, an official with an independent oversight panel said Wednesday. Sean Sullivan, chairman of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, made the comments at the start of an hours-long public hearing focused on the risks of plutonium work conducted at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Los Alamos, the birthplace of the atomic bomb, restarted development last year of plutonium cores used to trigger the explosion in nuclear weapons. The U.S. Energy Department wants to ramp up production. The plutonium facility has drawn the attention of the board and other oversight agencies for safety issues and problems with the aging building’s seismic stability and fire system.
US News 7th June 2017 read more »