Los Alamos National Labs to get multi-billion-dollar plutonium facility
Yesterday, The National Nuclear Security Administration confirmed its plans to replace an aging Los Alamos National Labs facility, which runs across a major fault line, with an estimated $4-6 billion plutonium lab. According to the NNSA notice, the new building “would provide vitally essential technical support capabilities to NNSA’s national security mission.”
However, according to Greg Mello of the Albuquerque-based Los Alamos Study Group, a LANL watchdog, the project creates very few new jobs for New Mexicans — perhaps as few as 300 — over its projected 10-year-long construction. Moreover, the unofficial cost of the building by the time of its actual completion could run as high as $12 billion. And, he says, its real purpose is the creation of nuclear warheads, each of which would have 50 times greater capacity and impact than the bomb used on Nagasaki in 1945. “Basically,” said Mello, “it’s making weapons of mass destruction.”
Although federal officials assented to the their plans (which, by LASG’s estimation, has already cost $458 million just to get it to this planning stage) for the construction of the new lab, approval by both the U.S. House and Senate is still necessary.