New Mexico lab’s future up in the air after recent fire

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – A recent fire has put a national laboratory’s ability to operate safely into question.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board announced Friday that it will hold a hearing next month to discuss the future of the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

A fire broke mid-April at the lab in a section where the plutonium cores of nuclear weapons are produced. Lab officials said that the fire was put out quickly and caused minor injuries.

According to the report, the board and its president are unsure if the lab is fit to continue to operate and handle increasing quantities of plutonium in coming years. The board will have the chance to get the opinion of a number of experts at its June 7 hearing.

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