Los Alamos National Laboratory: Information on Security of Classified Data, Nuclear Material Controls, Nuclear and Worker Safety, and Project Management Weaknesses

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), which is operated by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), is responsible for, among other things, designing nuclear weapons. Over the past decade, we have documented numerous security, safety, and project management weaknesses at NNSA's nuclear weapons complex, including LANL. In particular, LANL has experienced a series of high-profile security incidents that have drawn attention to the laboratory's inability to account for and control classified information and maintain a safe work environment. In July 2004, LANL's director declared a suspension--or stand-down--of laboratory ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. January 10, 2008.

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Description

Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), which is operated by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), is responsible for, among other things, designing nuclear weapons. Over the past decade, we have documented numerous security, safety, and project management weaknesses at NNSA's nuclear weapons complex, including LANL. In particular, LANL has experienced a series of high-profile security incidents that have drawn attention to the laboratory's inability to account for and control classified information and maintain a safe work environment. In July 2004, LANL's director declared a suspension--or stand-down--of laboratory operations to address immediate concerns, including the loss of classified computer disks. During the stand-down, laboratory teams identified more than 3,400 security and safety issues. As a result of systemic management concerns, and the fact that the laboratory contractor--the University of California--did not adequately address these problems, the Department of Energy (DOE) decided in 2003 to allow other organizations to compete for the management contract at LANL. The University of California, which had been the exclusive management and operating contractor since the 1940s, was replaced in June 2006 by Los Alamos National Security, LLC, (LANS). LANS is a consortium of contractors that includes Bechtel National, Inc.; the University of California; BWX Technologies, Inc.; and the Washington Group International, Inc. In this context, Congress asked us to provide information detailing recent security, safety, and management problems at LANL. We provided Congressional staffs with information on these issues. This report summarizes and formally transmits the information provided to Congressional staffs. As requested, this report provides information on (1) security incidents that compromised or potentially compromised classified information, (2) incidents involving the loss of or failure to properly account for special nuclear material (highly enriched uranium or plutonium) and radiological material, (3) nuclear safety concerns at the laboratory, (4) safety accidents involving LANL employees or contractor personnel, and (5) project management weaknesses that may have resulted in significant cost overruns."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • January 10, 2008

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Los Alamos National Laboratory: Information on Security of Classified Data, Nuclear Material Controls, Nuclear and Worker Safety, and Project Management Weaknesses, text, January 10, 2008; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc298630/: accessed December 11, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.