Feds investigate after lab improperly ships nuclear material

Radiation leak costs LANL contractor millions
Los Alamos National Labs

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – Federal regulators are launching an investigation into the improper shipment of nuclear material from Los Alamos National Laboratory to other federal labs last week.

The National Nuclear Security Administration said Friday it was informed by the lab that procedures weren’t followed when shipping what was only described as “special nuclear material” to facilities in California and South Carolina.

The material had been packaged for ground transport. But instead, it was shipped aboard an air cargo service, which isn’t allowed by federal regulations.

Officials say that once the investigation is complete, any responsible parties will be held accountable. This marks just the latest gaffe by Los Alamos, the lab that created the atomic bomb. Criticism has been intensifying over the lab’s history of safety lapses as work ramps up to produce key components for the nation’s nuclear weapons cache.