Nuke Lab Lawsuit

Los Alamos – A nuclear watchdog group has filed a second lawsuit seeking to halt construction of a $5.8 billion plutonium research lab at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The Los Alamos Study Group filed the suit Friday in federal court in Albuquerque. It seeks to force officials to consider cheaper alternatives to the project.

The National Nuclear Safety Administration last week issued formal orders needed to begin taking bids for final design and construction of the lab, which will replace a 60-year-old facility that sits on a fault line.

Critics have lined up against the proposal, arguing it's an unnecessary and outrageously priced bomb factory.

Lab officials insist nuclear weapons will neither be made nor stored there. They say the mission of the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement facility is to analyze and understand nuclear elements.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.