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Fire Threatens Plutonium and Uranium Release at Los Alamos National Laboratory

George Washington's picture




 

Washington’s Blog

[Note: I'm out of town with very limited web access ... so posts will be infrequent]

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".

 

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Fri, 07/01/2011 - 04:23 | 1418072 Aulieude
Aulieude's picture

Disturbing report - don't know much about the group that authored it..

http://www.ananuclear.org/Portals/0/documents/Water%20Report/waterreportlosalamos.pdf

has a list of contaminants and "disposal methods"  which seemed to involve the good ol Kick and roll... (Page 91-92)

 

Edit:  Their funding by the Rockerfeller family doesn't inspire me with confidence -

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 21:07 | 1410460 nmewn
nmewn's picture

How did the fire start? ;-)

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 20:05 | 1410375 Escapeclaws
Escapeclaws's picture

It's important to understand safety issues with nuclear plants. It is certainly safe now at Los Alamos and at Calhoun. In the near future it will have been unsafe now.

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 17:26 | 1410065 Juice Box
Juice Box's picture

Glow in the dark arrowheads now for sale in the lobby!

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 16:27 | 1409884 DonutBoy
DonutBoy's picture

Bullish for stocks.

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 15:45 | 1409766 cpnscarlet
cpnscarlet's picture

From "boots on the ground" here in New Mexico -

We've been through this before. Los Alamos Labs will NOT burn to the ground and the trees are not near the storage buildings.

GW - I had some respect for you, now I know you're full of it.

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 16:33 | 1409814 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

Los Alamos Labs will NOT burn to the ground and the trees are not near the storage buildings.

Los Alamos nuclear lab to remain closed as New Mexico wildfire nears

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/los-alamos-nuclear-lab-to-remain-closed-as-new-mexico-wildfire-nears/2011/06/28/AGzySNpH_blog.html

 

PS:  The 20,000+ barrels of plutonium waste are not in storage buildings, they are in tents.  Tents burn in wildfires.

 

PSS:  This physicist disagrees with your boots-on-the-ground assessment.

http://www.koat.com/video/28385706/detail.html

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 15:22 | 1409703 Goldenhands57
Goldenhands57's picture

All of the "spent" and other is very inconvienent for them to talk about..it's always the party line BS. The fact is ... my home in New Mexico IS nuclear powered...the powerplant just happens to be 93 Million Miles away each day. But agree Slewie...too many times the truth simply does not fit the agenda. I did not take the job..but I did have a time putting the "educated" where they belong.

 

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 15:18 | 1409688 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

always the warm fuzzies when the spokesperson for the weapons lab, when asked abt waste, has no fuking clue.  nuclear waste issues are worth highlighting due to the potential loss of life and biosphere.  one prime reason that nuclear energy and even research is unsafe = the waste.  it takes forever to go away, and there is really no safe place to put it.  we also have dr strangelove, of course...  so, that's always been enuf for slewie to just say: NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!NO!!!

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 15:46 | 1409750 honestann
honestann's picture

Yeah, it makes you wonder whether nuke plants should only be built over active lava flows.  When you have spent fuel, you just open the hatch and let it fall into the magma, which will ~infinitely dilute it rather quickly (return it to its former dispersed state) and carry it underground.

Actually, this is about 50% joke (building plants on magma flows), but something like this is needed to deal with waste.  Otherwise, forget it.

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 15:22 | 1409682 Goldenhands57
Goldenhands57's picture

So.. my home is in Northern New Mexico and LANL is one place that you'd have to be in to understand. It gives you the creeps because it's Stepford Wives territory on steriods. It's out of place in New Mexico. I took the exams at the lab and aced every one of them..got down and "dirty" in the Interview by no less than 5 PhD's (which I call Piled Higher and Deeper), and they did not like the challenge. Not a clue..these guys are totally unattached to reality. Los Alamos is called the Glow in the Dark town by those of us "not on the Hill", but its not a joke. Go check it out..the bastards wanted to put the nuclear mushroom cloud on our State Quarter before that got nixed by reasonable citizens! Trusting anyone that thinks like these idiot savants SHOULD make everyone Planetwide fearful of these kinds of people. They actually believe themselves as heros of the common man. They had a poster on the wall about how Dr. Oppenheimer was practically the savior incarnate, yet failed to mention his own expressions of continuing down this path we have taken would lead to these events now witnessed, and much worse! Too bad we didn't work more on Fusion rather than Fission. Ironic..his death from Cancer.        

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 21:28 | 1410486 New World Chaos
New World Chaos's picture

The Stepford Wives thing is a selection effect.  Only certain kinds of people can get security clearances these days.  Probably one reason the lab is dying from its own bureaucracy.  That being said, the town does have a seamy underbelly.

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 13:55 | 1409429 SparkySC
SparkySC's picture

3 Strikes and you're Out!

 

Down goes Frazier!

 

Oh wait, that means we're all hosed, self included. Sheeeeeeeeet!

 

 

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 13:46 | 1409398 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

GW, can you run a coax patch into the prison library?

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 13:41 | 1409379 andybev01
andybev01's picture

'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.'

 

So...the cold war 'ended' 21 years ago and they are still making weekly disposal runs?

How much of this shit is still sitting around?!

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 14:08 | 1409477 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

It's likely drums full of contaminated soil that they didn't clean up for years.

I wonder if these are the tents? If so, they aren't near the fire, at the moment.

35°49'35.87"N 106°14'13.36"W

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 15:23 | 1409707 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

When are they going to put a Circus Tent over Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory, aka Rusty Metal Drums of Highly Radioactive Waste Material Storage Center, Inc.?

The Circus Tent will keep the inferno away.

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 13:44 | 1409390 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

It's the scientists. They're still shitting isotopes.

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 15:38 | 1409736 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Yes.......

But are they wearing adult diapers and is the TSA involved?

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 13:48 | 1409387 Sambo
Sambo's picture

It is non-biodegradable shit you see....so it will sit around for a long time.

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 15:09 | 1409667 downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

lets just dump old toilet water on it...

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 13:39 | 1409369 apberusdisvet
apberusdisvet's picture

At first I thought GW was just another doom and gloomer on the extreme left side of things.  But the beauty of the internet is that you can easily substantiate his concerns which, when all is said and done, may be understated.  Too many nuclear scientists of non-ideological repute are sounding alarms that aren't making it to the State controlled MSM.  For that reason alone. I assume that not only are the Japanese in deep shit, but also everyone in the path of the tradewinds.  Already unexplained spikes in infant mortality on the West Coast.  Geiger counter readings on California produce.  And then there is Nebraska, under no-fly and media blackouts.

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 13:45 | 1409394 Sambo
Sambo's picture

Just stay on Facebook...you'll be fine.

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 13:36 | 1409341 Sambo
Sambo's picture

Who cares about nuclear accidents...

It is more interesting to know Google has a competing social service to Facebook.

 

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 13:43 | 1409367 andybev01
andybev01's picture

...and Microsquish is releasing Office online to compete with Google.

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 13:46 | 1409384 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture
by hedgeless_horseman
on Tue, 06/28/2011 - 13:01
#1409235

 

 

But the anti-nuclear watchdog group Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety said the fire appeared to be about 3.5 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 dump site in southern New Mexico.

 

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.

 

"These drums are designed to a safety standard that would withstand a wildland fire worse than this one," Rosendorf said.

 

http://www.npr.org/2011/06/28/137468916/mandatory-evacuations-ordered-as-wildfire-threatens-los-alamos?ps=cprs

Jet Stream Forcast

http://www.intellicast.com/National/Wind/JetStream.aspx

Surface Wind Forecast

http://www.intellicast.com/National/Wind/WINDcast.aspx

Southwest Airlines: Wanna get away?

www.southwest.com

 


by SheepDog-One
on Tue, 06/28/2011 - 13:04
#1409245

Nothing to see here....move along people.

Although nuclear power plants in Nebraska are now under water, and drums of plutonium about to be engulfed in flames, your 401Ks are FINE and reservations for comfy retirement at The Villages still confirmed!

Sleep on, sheeple of america!


by hedgeless_horseman
on Tue, 06/28/2011 - 13:20
#1409253

A small fire was reported at the Los Alamos National Laboratory on Monday, but it was contained quickly. Lab officials said that all hazardous and radioactive materials are safe. Read the full story here.

Google translation: Run you fuckers!!!!!

 

PS: SheepDog1, looking at the surface wind forecast, maybe you want to GTFO of Boulder and head to the west coast (via DIA).

 


by hedgeless_horseman
on Tue, 06/28/2011 - 13:23
#1409310

http://www.koat.com/news/28362925/detail.html

 

 

“I have talked to the director of the laboratory. He’s assured me that all of the materials of a hazardous nature or a radioactive nature are all well-controlled and are not in danger and not threatened,” Sen. Jeff Bingaman said.

 

 

Time to panic?

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 14:47 | 1409583 SuperRay
SuperRay's picture

gee, that sounds like what Obama said when they asked him if the military was torturing Bradlee Manning - "I asked the general if what they were doing was legal, and he assured me that it was..."

 

and i was worried about 2012!  not worried about it any more...

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 13:46 | 1409382 Sambo
Sambo's picture

Welcome to Cloudsoft...

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 15:39 | 1409741 Manthong
Manthong's picture

Plutonium Ash Cloud Services

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3973tfsllqw

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!