Report cites serious violations that could each cost LANL fines of $10,000 per day
Posted Thursday, August 10, 2017 3:33 pm
By Rebecca Moss
The New Mexican
“Due to the nature of the violations listed above and LANL’s history of noncompliance with 20.4.1 NMAC [the New Mexico Hazardous Waste Act], NMED will propose a civil penalty for these violations,” the state’s letter says, adding that the lab could incur fines of up to $10,000 per day for each violation that goes unremedied.
The violations are among a continuing stream of issues that have called into question the lab’s ability to operate safely. In recent months, the lab improperly labeled shipments of hazardous waste sent to Colorado and sent a drum of plutonium to laboratories in California and South Carolina by airplane rather than ground cargo, a violation of federal regulations that launched a U.S. Department of Energy investigation into the incident.
The problems also have called into question the lab’s ability to handle increasing quantities of plutonium to build the softball-sized atomic cores of nuclear weapons as part of a growing demand to modernize the nation’s nuclear arsenal.
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