Political News

The Latest: US energy secretary touts nuclear power

Posted May 10

— The Latest on Energy Secretary Rick Perry's visit to Los Alamos National Laboratory (all times local):

4 p.m.

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry says he will advocate for nuclear power as often and as strongly as he can as the nation looks for ways to fuel its economy and limit the effects of electricity generation on the environment.

Perry made the comments during a visit to Los Alamos National Laboratory in northern New Mexico, where nuclear research has been among the main focuses since the lab's founding years.

Los Alamos played a key role in the top-secret Manhattan Project during World War II to develop the first atomic bomb. Current work centers on nuclear deterrence, nonproliferation and the modernization of the U.S. nuclear stockpile.

Perry says nuclear power is a clean, resilient and reliable source of energy and that continued research in the field could end up leading to fresh discoveries that could have environmental benefits.

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10:10 a.m.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry is scheduled to tour Los Alamos National Laboratory, the federal installation in northern New Mexico that helped develop the first atomic bomb during World War II.

During Wednesday's visit, Perry will be briefed on current work at the lab related to nuclear deterrence. He'll also meet with employees.

The Energy Department's multibillion-dollar program aimed at cleaning up waste from decades of bomb-making and nuclear research also will likely be a topic as Perry's visit follows the collapse of a tunnel containing radioactive waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state.

Los Alamos has had its own problems related to legacy waste. It was a container inappropriately packed at the lab that caused a 2014 radiation release and the costly shutdown of the federal government's only underground nuclear waste repository in southern New Mexico.

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