DOE grants moratorium on safety inspections for nuclear weapons labs

If your kid accidentally blew apart a building, would you give them less supervision? This hands-off approach is exactly what the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is doing by giving the contractors who manage the nation’s eight nuclear weapons sites (Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Nevada Test Site, Sandia National Laboratory, Savannah River Site, Pantex, Y-12, and the Kansas City Plant) a six-month break from many regularly scheduled oversight reviews.

On December 18, 2009–two days after researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) accidentally blew apart a building, causing an initial estimate of $3 million in damage–NNSA Administrator Tom D’Agostino signed a directive “placing a six-month moratorium on NNSA-initiated functional assessments, reviews, evaluations and inspections.”

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