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DNFSB Public Hearing On LANL Plutonium Operations

on June 2, 2017 - 8:05am
DNFSB News:
The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board will hold a public hearing about reducing the risk of current and future plutonium inventories at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Plutonium Facility beginning at 5 p.m., Wednesday, June 7 at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center. A public comment period begins at 8:30 p.m.
To pre-register to speak during the public comment period, email the request to hearing@dnfsb.gov or contact the Office of the General Counsel at 202.694.7062 or 800.788.4016.  Individuals also may submit written comments both prior to and at the hearing.
The Plutonium Facility is the only place in the United States where plutonium triggers for nuclear warheads are manufactured. Operations have been down for almost three years due to criticality issues, but are expected to ramp up again.  http://www.lanl.gov/about/operational-excellence/facilities/ta-55-plutonium-processing-facilities.php.
Operations began at the Plutonium Facility in 1978. It is in wildfire and seismic zones, above surface and ground water drinking water supplies. For decades, the independent federal Board raised issues about amount of plutonium that could be released into the environment by an earthquake and resulting fire. Because of the Board’s attention and the seismic analyses by Robert H. Gilkeson, an independent registered geologist, limits on the amount of weapons grade plutonium that could be located on the first floor of the facility were reduced from 5 metric tons in 2008 to 1.8 metric tones in 2012. See Gilkeson Seismic Documents at http://nuclearactive.org/gilkeson/, specifically the Aug. 20, 2013 report to the Board.

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