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Los Alamos Lawsuit Appeal Filed

By John Fleck / Journal Staff Writer on Fri, Jul 1, 2011

In the Annals of Opportune Timing, it does not get much better than this: activists at the Los Alamos Study Group filed an appeal this afternoon in federal court in a continued effort to block work on a proposed plutonium complex at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

A federal judge in Albuquerque in May dismissed the group’s lawsuit seeking to halt work because of alleged inadequacies in environmental reviews of the proposed Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement project. Friday the group appealed that decision to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. From a statement issued this afternoon by Study Group head Greg Mello:

This project’s name contains the word “replacement” but much more than that is involved.  It is be the anchor facility in a new plutonium production complex.  It is also entirely unnecessary, were maintaining existing warheads for many decades to come the goal.  Instead the project is being justified on the basis of the assumption that large quantities of new kinds of warheads will be produced.  The most dangerous processes in that new production are to be here at Los Alamos, where these unnatural hazards are to be added to the site’s natural hazards of earthquake and fire.

I tracked down National Nuclear Security Administration spokesman Damien LaVera this afternoon in Los Alamos, where he was with a team touring the lab and the surrounding community threatened by the Las Conchas fire. His statement:

Because NNSA is committed to modernizing our plutonium processing capabilities in a way that supports our vital national security work and protects the environment, we look forward to reviewing this after the Las Conchas fire is under control.


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