Tag Archives: Los Alamos

6/28/2011 Washington Post International: Los Alamos nuclear lab to remain closed as New Mexico wildfire nears – BlogPost

The Washington Post International: Los Alamos nuclear lab to remain closed as New Mexico wildfire nears – BlogPost – Posted by Nikke Alex via Marley Shebala: Yeeyah!!!Glenn Walp, a former Pennsylvania State Police commissioner and author of “Implosion at Los Alamos,” told ABC News that “potential is high for a major calamity if the fire would reach” the area where “approximately 20,000 barrels of nuclear waste” are stored. (via Marley Shebala) As the Las Conchas wildfire continues to burn in New Mexico, officials from the Los Alamos National Laboratory say the radioactive and nuclear materials stored there are safe.

A small fire broke out Monday on the nuclear laboratory’s property near Technical Area 49, a site formerly used for radioactive explosives testing and now used for training purposes, but it was quickly contained, according to a U.S. Forest Service press release. “About one acre burned and the Lab has detected no off-site releases of contamination,” the release said. The lab will remain closed to all non-essential employees on Wednesday.

The wildfire has burned an estimated 49,000 acres of land south and west of the lab, according to the Forest Service. Los Alamos’s 12,000 residents are now under a mandatory evacuation order.

The lab will hold a press conference with public safety officials Tuesday afternoon. According to a press release, no fires burned on lab property Monday night and all hazardous materials are “accounted for and protected.”

Glenn Walp, a former Pennsylvania State Police commissioner and author of “Implosion at Los Alamos,” told ABC News that “potential is high for a major calamity if the fire would reach” the area where “approximately 20,000 barrels of nuclear waste” are stored.

Lab spokesman Steve Sandoval would not confirm that there were any such barrels on the property to the Associated Press, but he did say that “low-level waste is at times put in drums and regularly taken from the lab.”

“Unfortunately, I cannot answer that question other than to say that the material is well protected,” he said. “And the lab — knowing that it works with hazardous and nuclear materials — takes great pains to make sure it is protected and locked in concrete steel vaults. And the fire poses very little threat to them.”

The lab — where the first nuclear weapons were developed — has been posting dramatic pictures of the fire to its Flickr account.

6/27/2011 Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety: Los Alamos County declares state of emergency; orders mandatory evacuations

6/27/2011 Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety From: Karen Maute fcm@gamewood.net Subject: Action Alert: Los Alamos County declares state of emergency; orders mandatory evacuations : Good evening, Here’s what we know. 1. LANL is closed tomorrow. They say the Las Conchas fire is estimated to be 49,000 acres – more than the 47,000 acres burned by the May 2000 Cerro Grande fire. We are grateful for the excellent coverage of the fire by the KSFR News Team. You can hear them at http://www.ksfr.org. 2. Los Alamos County has declared a state of emergency and ordered mandatory evacuations for the Los Alamos townsite, but not White Rock. There’s information about evacuation locations. The Big Rock Santa Claran Event Center [in Espanola] is open as a shelter for those who are voluntarily evacuating with no accommodations. Additional information is available at http://wildfiretoday.com/2011/06/27/new-fire-near-los-alamos-burns-43000-acres-in-less-than-24-hours/

3. People in surrounding communities should prepare to evacuate; gas up your vehicles now. Pregnant women and families with small children should take a precautionary step and evacuate now.

Our main concern is that the Las Conchas fire is about 3 1/2 miles from Area G, the dumpsite that has been in operation since the late 1950s/early 1960s. There are 20,000 to 30,000 55-gallons drums of plutonium contaminated waste (containing solvents, chemicals and toxic materials) sitting in fabric tents above ground. These drums are destined for WIPP.

4. To view the fire and Area G from satellite, go to the Nuclear Watch New Mexico blog to learn how to use Google Earth and the US Forest Service information to keep track of the fire. http://www.nukewatch.org/watchblog/?p=838

You want to focus on the red square areas north of State Road 4 and the location of the Area G fabric tents which store the 20,000 to 30,000 drums of plutonium contaminated wastes – about 3 1/2 miles northeast of the red squares. You can see the four tents west of White Rock. They are also south of the green east-west line.

It appears the Google Earth updates the information about the fires across the U.S. by zooming out. Then you have to zoom back in to see if it has updated the Las Conchas fire.

5. We understand that LANL has been working since late last night to build a fire line in Water Canyon, between the fire and Area G.

It has moved 12 miles in 24 hours, about one-half mile per hour. [We made a mistake in earlier emails that it was moving two miles an hour; we’re all under and over stressed.]

6. Remember to take: From: http://lacoa.org/PDF/ESP10/ESP_Bltn_Wildfires2-LACo_0410.pdf
People and pets

Papers, phone numbers and important documents
Prescriptions, vitamins, and eyeglasses
Pictures and irreplaceable memorabilia
Personal computers (information on hard drives, memory and discs)
Plastic (credit cards, ATM cards) and cash

7. Please share this email with others. And yes, our home page has been hacked. It will probably work again following the end of the comment period for the proposed shiny, new bomb factory at LANL which comments are due tomorrow. If you would like to receive a fact sheet and sample comment letter, please reply and we’ll email them to you.

Pray the Water Canyon fire line will hold the progress of the fire.

Take care All,
CCNS

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Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety
107 Cienega Street
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Tel (505) 986-1973
Fax (505) 986-0997
www.nuclearactive.org
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