Los Alamos cleanup officials reassigned, changes ordered over nuke waste leak

Associated Press

Federal officials say four Los Alamos National Laboratory workers have been reassigned, and the Department of Energy is pulling nuclear waste cleanup operations from the contractor that runs the lab.

The moves come after a barrel of waste packed at Los Alamos leaked from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico, contaminating 22 workers with low levels of radiation and indefinitely shuttering the government's only permanent repository for waste from decades of nuclear bomb building.

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According to a lab official, four workers involved in the program have been reassigned.

And the Department of Energy said Friday it is moving the cleanup program from the National Nuclear Security Administration to its Office of Environmental Management to enable the contractor that runs Los Alamos to "focus on the core national security missions at the site."