Nuclear-arms officials said a Los Alamos National Laboratory security update was done under budget, despite millions of dollars in unplanned costs.
The U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration on Thursday said it spent $1 million less to improve protections at a sensitive area of the New Mexico site than its “original budget” had allocated.
However, the picture is a bit more complicated than that; program costs went down in April 2011, only to skyrocket anew later on as security boosts were installed at aging Los Alamos lab facilities that handle plutonium usable in nuclear arms.
Fixing the issues ultimately required tens of millions of dollars in unplanned expenses and more than a year of additional work, the Associated Press reported.
A nuclear agency official acknowledged in a Thursday statement that the effort to upgrade defenses at Technical Area 55 — the country’s sole site for manufacturing plutonium nuclear-bomb triggers — was a “troubled project.”
The comment by NNSA Associate Administrator Bob Raines was an allusion to flaws discovered in the late stages of the new system’s delivery. His agency — a semiautonomous branch of the Energy Department — revealed the problems in late 2012, several months before the project was originally slated for completion.
The nuclear agency could still say that the project wrapped up “under budget,” though, because its earliest cost estimate was far greater than a projection it adopted later on.
“Due to favorable contract bids in April 2011, NNSA reduced the estimated total project cost from $245 million to $213 million,” Energy Department Inspector General Gregory Friedman said in a report earlier this year.
The cost of fixing the system’s problems apparently eliminated most of the earlier-anticipated savings. Still, the project came in just short of the initial $245 million estimate, according to an NNSA news release.
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When it comes to name-calling among America's upper echelon of politicians, there may be perhaps no greater spat than the one currently going on between Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Donald Trump. While receiving an award Tuesday night, she continued a months-long feud with the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. Calling him a "small, insecure moneygrubber" who probably doesn't know three things about Dodd-Frank, she said he "will NEVER be president of the United States," according to her prepared remarks."We don't know what Trump pays in taxes because he is the first presidential nominee in 40 years to refuse to disclose his tax returns. Maybe he’s just a lousy businessman who doesn’t want you to find out that he’s worth a lot less money than he claims." It follows a long-line of Warren attacks over Twitter, Facebook and in interviews that Trump is a sexist, racist, narcissistic loser. In reply, Trump has called Warren either "goofy" or "the Indian"—referring to her controversial assertion of her Native American heritage.
The House on Tuesday voted 403-12 "to pass an overhaul to the nation’s chemical safety standards for the first time in four decades. The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act aims to answer years of complaints that the Environmental Protection Agency lacks the necessary authority to oversee and control the thousands of chemicals being produced and sold in the United States. It also significantly clamps down on states’ authorities, in an effort to stop a nationwide patchwork of chemical laws that industry says is difficult to deal with."
"Leaders of the Republican Party have begun internal deliberations over making fundamental changes to the way its presidential nominees are chosen, a recognition that the chaotic process that played out this year is seriously flawed and helped exacerbate tensions within the party." Among the possible changes: forbidding independent voters to cast ballots in Republican primaries, and "doubling the number of early states to eight."
Citing the unpredictable nature of this primary season and the possible leverage they could bring at the convention, John Kasich is hanging onto his 161 delegates. "Kasich sent personal letters Monday to Republican officials in the 16 states and the District of Columbia where he won delegates, requesting that they stay bound to him in accordance with party rules."
Bernie Sanders "signed a letter Tuesday morning requesting a full and complete check and recanvass of the election results in Kentucky ... where he trails Hillary Clinton by less than one-half of 1 percent of the vote. The Sanders campaign said it has asked the Kentucky secretary of state to have election officials review electronic voting machines and absentee ballots from last week's primary in each of the state's 120 counties.