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Global Security Newswire

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

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Nuke Cores Could Function for 150 Years: LANL

Plutonium nuclear-weapon components are capable of performing their intended purpose for up to 150 years, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory said in its December issue of Science and Technology Review.

The conclusion -- from an ongoing investigation launched by the California laboratory and the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico -- casts doubt on the necessity to construct a new plant to aid in manufacturing new plutonium warhead cores, Arms Control Today said in its January edition.

Los Alamos is aiming for manufacturing of between 20 and 30 pits annually until its Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement site becomes operational. The Obama administration's fiscal 2013 budget plan called for a five-year postponement in construction of the site, while Congress demanded at the end of 2012 that it be finished by 2027 and cost no more than $3.7 billion.

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