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Spiraling Expense Seen for Patching Los Alamos Security Tech

The Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. The estimated cost of fixing a key security system at the nuclear arms site has doubled in recent weeks to $41 million, according to reports. The technology has cost $213 million to date (Los Alamos National Laboratory photo). The Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. The estimated cost of fixing a key security system at the nuclear arms site has doubled in recent weeks to $41 million, according to reports. The technology has cost $213 million to date (Los Alamos National Laboratory photo).

The expected cost to patch up nonfunctioning protective technology at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico has increased by twofold, to $41 million, the Associated Press reported on Friday.

Laboratory chief Charles McMillan stated in a written message to site personnel that another half-year will be needed to make work the $213 million system, which is intended to support security at the laboratory's Technical Area 55. That component of Los Alamos is the sole U.S. site for production of plutonium devices that initiate the explosion of nuclear warheads.

The estimated repair cost has risen significantly in just a handful of weeks. It comes after an examination of the security project by the laboratory and its oversight agency, the National Nuclear Security Administration.

Work on the 7-year project has been placed under new leadership but is on "suspended status" while the a funding source is sought, according to McMillan.

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