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Los Alamos 'is still the Titanic' - politico

Repetitive sinking syndrome

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The recent security lapse at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has inspired congressional critics to pipe up once again.

"No matter how many times you rearrange, re-design, retire or replace the deck chairs, Los Alamos is still the Titanic," representative Ed Markey told CBS News. "Superficial attempts to demonstrate that there is any accountability at the lab will yield no useful results until the systemic and long-standing security failures associated with both management and lab culture are fixed."

The harsh comments followed CBS's revelation that the lab's second in command John Mitchell has resigned after less than a year on the job. A LANL spokesman was quick to distance Mitchell's departure from negative press surrounding a security breach, saying his retirement had "no connection to any security issues at the Laboratory."

By now, most of you have heard about the lab worker who took classified documents home with her on thumb drives. The files were accidentally discovered during a drug raid on the worker's trailer.

Congress has been giving LANL a hard time for years, prompting a recent management change. A consortium made up of military contractors and the University of California now runs LANL, ending UC's sole ownership of the nuclear facility. ®

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