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SANTA FE – A U.S. Department of Energy office is investigating what’s described as a “near miss to a fatality” at Los Alamos National Laboratory, apparently after a worker went into a room despite the sounding of a low-oxygen alarm.
A letter last week to the lab’s president posted on a DOE website says the incident took place on Sept. 13 when an employee of Los Alamos National Security LLC (LANS), which runs the lab under a federal contract, “entered a room containing an oxygen deficient atmosphere.”
The incident – which becomes public as the lab faces scrutiny for other safety issues – revealed potential deficiencies in implementation of “requirements for emergency response and pressure system design,” says the Dec. 6 letter from Kevin L. Dressman, acting director of the Office of Enforcement in DOE’s Office of Enterprise Assessments.
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