Friday, August 13, 2010
By John Fleck
Journal Staff Writer
Los Alamos National Laboratory, with the approval of its federal managers, has repeatedly sidestepped federal nuclear safety rules at its plutonium laboratories, according to an internal Energy Department investigation.
The rules require detailed analysis of nuclear safety risks, so accidents can be avoided by fixing problems. But because of delays in conducting the studies and completing the required repairs, the lab has repeatedly been granted permission for temporary fixes so operations can continue, according to a report from the Department of Energy's Office of Inspector General.
Such permissions are allowed, but "are intended to be temporary measures" until problems can be fixed permanently, according to a report from the Inspector General, made public Thursday.
No nuclear accidents have resulted from this and other related problems identified by the Inspector General's report.
Los Alamos referred comment on the report to the National Nuclear Security Administration, the federal agency that oversees its work. NNSA spokespeople did not return calls for comment.
Read more: ABQJOURNAL NORTH: LANL Sidesteps Safety Rules http://www.abqjournal.com/north/132318126681north08-13-10.htm#ixzz0wWb1ye82
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