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Trouble At The Pit Factory

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Workers using a glovebox to handle radioactive plutonium compounts at a processing plant at Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, USA.

The National Nuclear Security Administration, the part of the Department of Energy that designs and builds nuclear weapons, promised some time back that they would be able to build up to 80 new plutonium pits a year for nuclear weapons by 2030. In June, the administrator admitted that this won’t happen. Maybe by 2035.

The troubles that Los Alamos and Savannah River continue to have in dealing with plutonium suggest that it could be much longer than that, maybe never.

I wrote that up for Foreign Policy. Read the whole thing.

Photo source

Cross-posted at Nuclear Diner

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