Nation’s Bloated Nuclear Spending Comes Under Fire

By Jeri Clausing and Matthew Daly

FILE - This March 30, 2003 file photo shows members of the Oak Ridge Police department carrying a protestor during her arrest in front of the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The nuclear labs are getting renewed scrutiny in light of forced across-the-board federal budget cuts and high-profile security lapses. In Tennessee, the price tag for a new uranium processing facility has grown nearly sevenfold in eight years to upward of $6 billion because of problems that include a redesign to raise the roof so equipment can fit inside. And the estimated cost of an ongoing effort to refurbish 400 of the countryís B61 bombs has grown from $1.5 billion to $10 billion. (AP Photo/ Jason R. Davis, File)

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) – At Los Alamos National Laboratory, a seven-year, $213 million upgrade to the security system that protects the lab’s most sensitive nuclear bomb-making facilities doesn’t work. Those same facilities, which sit atop a fault line, remain susceptible to collapse and dangerous radiation releases, despite millions more spent on improvement plans.

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