Fire Threatens Plutonium and Uranium Release at Los Alamos National Laboratory

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A raging wildfire is threatening to engulf the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Los Alamos likely contains more nuclear weapons than any other facility in the world.

As if that weren't bad enough, AP notes:

The
anti-nuclear watchdog group Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety,
however, said the fire appeared to be about 3 1/2 miles from a dumpsite
where as many as 30,000 55-gallon drums of plutonium-contaminated
waste were stored in fabric tents above ground. The group said the
drums were awaiting transport to a low-level radiation dump site in
southern New Mexico.

 

Lab spokesman Steve Sandoval declined to confirm that there were any such drums currently on the property.

Later, Los Alamos confirmed the allegation:

Lab
officials at first declined to confirm that such drums were on the
property, but in a statement early Tuesday, lab spokeswoman Lisa
Rosendorf said such drums are stored in a section of the complex known
as Area G. She said the drums contain cleanup from Cold War-era waste
that the lab sends away in weekly shipments to the Waste Isolation Pilot
Plant.

 

She said the drums were on a paved area with few trees
nearby and would be safe even if a fire reached the storage area.
Officials have said it is miles from the flames.

The lab has called in a special team to test plutonium and uranium levels in the air as a "precaution".