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New $244 million security system finally complete at Los Alamos National Laboratory

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LOS ALAMOS, New Mexico — Federal officials say the problem-plagued $244 million security system to protect the most sensitive areas at Los Alamos National Laboratory is finally complete.

The advanced security upgrade for the lab's plutonium complex was supposed to be done almost two years ago at a cost of $213 million. But as it was nearing completion officials acknowledged there were major problems, and said they needed an additional $41 million to fix it. The National Nuclear Security Administration said Thursday the system was ultimately completed for $244 million.

The modern system protects what is known as Technical Area 55, the only place in the country where nuclear weapon triggers can be made. The area is one of the most sensitive at Los Alamos and includes a cement, bunker-like complex that houses two aging labs where most of the work with dangerous plutonium is done.

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