Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Thom Mason will answer questions from the public about the lab's current and future operations during a virtual community forum Thursday. 

Mason will give an update on the lab at the forum, set for 5:30 p.m. Then people can ask questions. 

Questions might be about ongoing issues such as hazardous waste disposal, plans to produce plutonium triggers for nuclear warheads, the postponed tritium release or how the lab's growth will affect the area.  

Questions might also involve the lab's technology and research programs, such as simulated nuclear testing, wildfire prevention, mapping COVID-19 spread or developing new capabilities for space exploration. 

Questions can be asked live or submitted in advance. They all must be sent to AskLANL@lanl.gov

The link for the meeting is lanl.gov/community/community-meeting.shtml.

(2) comments

Erich Kuerschner

Thank you Mr. Coghlan. Sad that yours is th only comment. What I submitted:

How do you answer critics who say that the expanded pit production is primarily for the benefit of the nuclear weapons industry, to avoid obsolescence by attracting new engineers and keep the salaries of weapons producers high? Only Russia could possibly challenge the US in an all out nuclear war, and how could an enhanced nuclear weapon possibly offer more security? Are the US massive military expenditures not sapping the strength of the country, diverting manpower and resources away from more pressing problems?

Was not Eisenhower correct when he said:

"A nation's hope of lasting peace cannot be firmly based upon any race in armaments but rather upon just relations and honest understanding with all other nations." ----Dwight D. Eisenhower

What is being done at LANL to balance pit production with honest understanding? To abide by the U.S. Constitution, which declares that treaties are binding law, to work towards the abolition of nuclear weapons as was passed by the UN ?

Jay Coghlan

I submiited this question:

A decade ago LANL’s budget for core nuclear weapons research and production programs was around 65% of total Lab funding. Today LANL’s budget for core nuclear weapons research and production programs is around 78% of total Lab funding. This is primarily due to planned expanded production of plutonium “pit” bomb cores, whose funding was increased this year alone by over 200%.

How does LANL’s rapidly increasing role as a nuclear weapons production site square with its self-image as a scientific campus? Is the Lab being honest about its growing nuclear weapons production role to new recruits when it so obviously touts its shrinking percentage of non-weapons work?

Jay Coghlan

Nuclear watch New Mexico


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