Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Plutonium Tracking By LANL Faulted.(Final)

Byline: Adam Rankin Journal Northern Bureau

SANTA FE -- Critics of the Department of Energy and Los Alamos National Laboratory say that, based on past plutonium-tracking problems, it is no surprise two glass vials of plutonium oxide were recently discovered missing at New Mexico's top-secret weapons lab.

"They have a huge problem, and it is a security problem until they clean up their books," said Arjun Makhijani, president of the Maryland-based Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. The group recently served as an environmental watchdog during an audit of LANL's radioactive air emissions.

He said DOE and its laboratories use two methods of accounting for plutonium, depending on the situation, and in many cases, the numbers in the tracking systems don't agree. …

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