Sunday, March 20, 2005

LANL nuke delivery delayed until fall

In brief The Associated Press

LANL nuke delivery delayed until fall

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Additional shipments of weaponsgrade nuclear materials from New Mexico to the Nevada Test Site have been delayed until the end of the year.

The delay was caused by last summer’s shutdown of Los Alamos National Laboratory, said Linton Brooks, chief of the National Nuclear Security Administration.

The lab was virtually shut down last July after reports two classified computer disks had disappeared. An investigation later determined they never existed. Some of the lab’s normal activities did not resume until February.

NNSA began shipping nuclear materials in September to the site’s underground Device Assembly Facility, which is considered far more secure than the current storage location at Los Alamos, which has endured recent highly publicized security breaches.

More shipments, which had been scheduled for September of this year, will be postponed until mid-November.

Danielle Brian, executive director of the watchdog group Project On Government Oversight, accused Los Alamos officials of purposefully creating the delay and said nuclear material from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory near San Francisco also should be transferred to the underground Nevada facility.

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