(Newswire.net — June 26, 2017) — Los Alamos, New Mexico – the FBI is investigating a New Mexico lab for “absolutely unacceptable” handling of nuclear material, Russia Today reports.
Allegedly, the lab in Los Alamos, the birth place of atomic bombs, shipped nuclear material by air. The cargo was mislabeled and sent by commercial cargo flights to two US laboratories, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and the Savannah River Site in South Carolina.
It is not clear how much nuclear material was sent, but Los Alamos lab violated every regulation on handling dangerous materials, including nuclear, by shipping it as ‘normal’ cargo.
After analyzing the shipping documents, the Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) stated that the nuclear material to both labs was originally “containerized” for commercial ground cargo transportation. But later, it turned out that the documents were prepared for air shipment, which was in violation of well-defined federal regulations, the NNSA said.
Reportedly, the packaging was not damaged during the transportation and the nuclear material was not compromised, but the NNSA and FBI are probing the laboratory.
“This failure to follow established procedures is absolutely unacceptable,” said NNSA Administrator Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz, USAF (Ret).
Klotz said that the contractors who manage and operate hazardous materials are required to “rigorously adhere to the highest safety and security standards” when operating the vitally important, national security type of work.
Although there was no radiation threat, those accountable will be sanctioned for jeopardizing public security. Also, the NNSA pledged to undertake measures to prevent similar indicents in the future.
With 99 working reactors, the US is the world’s largest producer of nuclear power. Also, the US is the world’s largest producer of nuclear waste. Nuclear plants produce nearly 25% of the country’s needs.
But, the plants are old and incidents are not rare. The oldest nuclear plant, Oyster Creek in New Jersey, which was commissioned in 1969, has reported a number of unexpected shutdowns over the past few years over various failures. The power station is set to be permanently shutdown by the end of 2019.
By Boris Djuric June 26, 2017 RSS PDF, Source: http://newswire.net/newsroom/news/00096883-lab-under-investigation-for-improperly-shipping-nuclear-material.html