Jump to search Jump to main navigation Jump to main content Jump to footer navigation

Global Security Newswire

Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues

Produced by
NationalJournal logo

Los Alamos Operator Charged $10 Million Over Defective Defenses

The contract operator of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico faces $10 million in penalties over nonfunctioning protective technology installed at the nuclear arms site, the Albuquerque Journal reported on Wednesday.

The payment by Los Alamos National Security is expected to compensate for "potentially unallowable costs” from deploying the problematic $213 million mechanism at the laboratory's Technical Area 55, according to shared remarks issued on Tuesday by the laboratory and the National Nuclear Security Administration. Technical Area 55 is the sole U.S. site for production of plutonium devices that initiate the explosion of nuclear warheads, according to prior reporting.

“[Los Alamos National Security] and NNSA both recognize the missed opportunities in project execution and oversight that took place with the [Nuclear Materials Safeguards and Security Upgrades] project. LANS conveyed an understanding of the seriousness of the situation and the value of its partnership with the government," the release states.

The scientific facility is expected by Monday to complete an updated expense projection for addressing the defects, and finances would become available by Dec. 14 to continue the project, according to the prepared comments. Government personnel have said additional security personnel are stationed at the plutonium site as changes to the defenses move forward.

NTI Analysis

  • Give Nuclear Security a Chance

    March 19, 2014

    In a new Project Syndicate op-ed, NTI President Joan Rohlfing calls for leaders at the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit to establish a global nuclear security system.

  • Reframing the Nuclear De-alerting Debate: Towards Maximizing Presidential Decision Time

    Dec. 11, 2013

    This issue brief explores the risks of accidental launch, unauthorized use or miscalculation posed by U.S. and Russian alert nuclear forces. The brief also considers various policy options, both implemented and proposed, to minimize these risks and maximize the time available to the U.S. president to decide whether or not to authorize nuclear war.