The director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, which has been shuttered since July because of safety and security problems, fired four senior scientists and managers this week for their roles in a classified security snafu and a laser accident that permanently injured the eye of an undergraduate student intern. The moves, praised by members of Congress who oversee the lab's operations, come as the lab moves to resume normal operations by the end of this month.
A fifth lab employee is being forced to resign, and seven others received written reprimands, demotions, salary reductions, suspensions without pay, or some combination of those actions.
Of 23 employees placed on paid investigative leave in July and August, only 10 will return to work with no findings of wrongdoing. One employee remains on paid leave pending the outcome of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and US Department of Energy investigations.