By Associated Press - Friday, July 29, 2016

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The federal government has estimated the cost of cleanup at Los Alamos National Laboratory at about $1 billion less than estimates provided by New Mexico officials earlier this year.

The Department of Energy says it will cost about $2.9 billion through 2035 to clean up decades of radioactive and hazardous waste left over from nuclear weapons work at the lab. DOE officials said at a Wednesday presentation that the number is on top of $3.2 billion already spent on the cleanup work.

New Mexico Environment Department Secretary Ryan Flynn said in March that the two decades’ worth of work would add up to at least $4 billion.

Environment department spokeswoman Allison Scott Majure called the federal figure “entirely too optimistic.”

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