Los Alamos restores U.S. ability to make nuclear weapons

Los Alamos National Laboratory has successfully made the first nuclear weapons pit in 14 years that meets specifications for use in the U.S. stockpile. The six-year effort at Los Alamos’ plutonium processing facility restores the nation’s ability to make nuclear weapons, a capability the United States lost when the Rocky Flats Plant near Boulder, Colo., shut down in June 1989.

Los Alamos lab to filter nearby river for chemical, radioactive waste

Water flowing through Mortandad Canyon downstream of Los Alamos National Laboratory operations now will flow through a Permeable Reactive Barrier — a huge column of pollution-capturing materials — before proceeding farther downstream. Waters that encounter the PRB will be scrubbed of radionuclides such as strontium-90; americium-241; plutonium 238, 239 and 240; and uranium isotopes as well as chemicals such as perchlorate, nitrate and heavy metals. Mortandad Canyon is the location of the effluent stream from the Laboratory’s Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility. The RLWTF discharges about 60,000 gallons of treated effluent per week on average.