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Safety issues at nuclear weapons lab

People in South Carolina may be interested to learn that the laboratory where the atomic bomb was created is facing criticism for safety violations. According to the Center for Public Integrity, Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico has had a number of safety lapses over the years. An independent federal oversight panel has also raised concerns.

One incident mentioned by the Center for Public Integrity was the cleaning of spilled plutonium with cheesecloth that was then placed in a waste receptacle that held other nuclear materials. Federal regulations prohibit the use of cheesecloth to clean up plutonium because of the risk of fire or chemical reactions. Furthermore, in 2011, there was an incident in which eight rods of plutonium were placed next to one another. When plutonium is kept together, a nuclear chain reaction could occur. In 2014, the facility packaged a barrel of radioactive waste improperly, and this resulted in an underground radiation leak. The company managing the lab is losing its contract partially because of these safety lapses.

According to the oversight panel, fire suppression and alarm systems at the building are from the 1970s. There is concern that with an Energy Department order for more plutonium pit production, these systems may be insufficient.

If a person from the facility was injured on the job or became ill because of these safety violations, they would probably be eligible for workers' compensation. Such compensation can be critical for an employee in any industry who has medical bills as a result of a work injury or illness. An injured worker may want to talk to an attorney about filing a claim.

Philpot Law Firm, PA
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Greenville, SC 29601

Toll Free: 866-853-3497
Toll Free: 866-853-3497
Phone: 864-990-0226
Phone: 864-990-0226
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