- News Home
5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
- About Us
NIF Faces New Legal Challenge
23 September 1997 8:00 pm
LIVERMORE, CALIFORNIA--The threat of a court-ordered halt looms again over the Department of Energy's (DOE's) $1.2 billion National Ignition Facility (NIF). Yesterday, a national coalition of 39 environmental and antinuclear groups filed an injunction to halt the project immediately because of toxic waste unearthed at the California construction site.
The groups had sued DOE in May to prevent construction of the 192-beam laser, which is designed to help maintain the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile, claiming that DOE had not adequately assessed alternative approaches to stockpile stewardship in its environmental impact statement on the project. That suit was rejected in August by U.S. District Judge Stanley Sporkin, who ordered DOE to disclose more fully any environmental, health, or safety risks associated with NIF.
The most recent chapter began 3 weeks ago, when 112 polychlorinated biphenyl-laden electrical capacitors and other debris from the 1960s were dug up unexpectedly during excavation of the site. Laser foes now claim that DOE broke disclosure laws. They cite internal lab reports, maps, and statements by lab officials as evidence that government environmental analysts "swept under the rug" their own long-held concerns that hazardous materials might be buried in and near the laser construction site.
William Hogan, senior scientist on the laser project, denies any negligence or cover-up by the government. "We had no evidence there were any materials buried there that would cause us a problem," he maintains. DOE has 11 days to respond to the motion, followed by a 5-day period for the plaintiffs' rebuttal.