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Global Security Newswire

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

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Nuke Plutonium Could be Transported Between U.S. Labs

The U.S. Energy Department is considering transporting some plutonium nuclear warhead triggers from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, the Environment News Service reported on Tuesday.

The New Mexico facility is the sole U.S. site for production of the plutonium "pits." However, Livermore houses space for conducting diagnostic examinations of the cores.

Livermore as of last September does not possess the security status needed to manage, employ or hold the pits or other warhead-capable amounts of plutonium, according to the report.

The Energy Department "has failed to adequately plan for the permanent reduction of Livermore Lab's security forces from a Category I/II level to the lesser Category III, which does not permit nuclear bomb usable quantities of plutonium to be on the site," Marylia Kelley, head of the watchdog group Tri-Valley CAREs, was expected to say at a Wednesday meeting of issue specialists on the environment, law, and atomic issues.

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GSN ceased publication on July 31, 2014. Its articles and daily issues will remain archived and available on NTI’s website.

NTI Analysis

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    Oct. 20, 2014

    This report is part of a collection examining implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540, which requires all states to implement measures aimed at preventing non-state actors from acquiring NBC weapons, related materials, and their means of delivery. It details implementation efforts in Central America, South America and the Caribbean to-date.

  • Discussion Paper: Strengthening the Security of Plutonium

    Sept. 17, 2014

    In advance of the 2016 NSS, this paper explores a range of options to secure and minimize plutonium stocks around the world.

Country Profile

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United States

This article provides an overview of the United States’ historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.

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