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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No matter that his recall of foreign leaders leaves something to be desired, Gary Johnson is the choice of the Chicago Tribune's editorial board. The editors argue that Donald Trump couldn't do the job of president, while hitting Hillary Clinton for "her intent to greatly increase federal spending and taxation, and serious questions about honesty and trust." Which leaves them with Johnson. "Every American who casts a vote for him is standing for principles," they write, "and can be proud of that vote. Yes, proud of a candidate in 2016."
Speaking at the funeral of former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, President Obama "compared Peres to 'other giants of the 20th century' such as Nelson Mandela and Queen Elizabeth who 'find no need to posture or traffic in what's popular in the moment.'" Among the 6,000 mourners at the service was Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Obama called Abbas's presence a sign of the "unfinished business of peace" in the region.
Three million—a number that lays "bare the significant gap between Donald Trump’s bare-bones operation and the field program that Clinton and her hundreds of aides have been building for some 17 months."
In a somewhat shocking move, the Chicago Tribune has endorsed Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson for president, saying a vote for him is one that voters "can be proud of." The editorial barely touches on Donald Trump, who the paper has time and again called "unfit to be president," before offering a variety of reasons for why it can't endorse Hillary Clinton. Johnson has been in the news this week for being unable to name a single world leader who he admires, after earlier this month being unable to identify "Aleppo," a major Syrian city in the middle of the country's ongoing war.
"By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump." That's the message from USA Today editors, who are making the first recommendation on a presidential race in the paper's 34-year history. It's not exactly an endorsement; they make clear that the editorial board "does not have a consensus for a Clinton endorsement." But they state flatly that Donald Trump is, by "unanimous consensus of the editorial board, unfit for the presidency."