Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fire Adjacent to Los Alamos Lab
Hat tip Jeff Rense

Fire is 2 miles from barrels containing radioactive waste

What else is in danger of burning.

An excerpt from the story
The Los Alamos facility -- the birthplace of the atomic bomb -- was shrouded in secrecy long before it was surrounded by smoke after the Las Conchas fire began Sunday.

"It contains approximately 20,000 barrels of nuclear waste," former top security official Glen Walp said. "It's not contained within a concrete, brick and mortar-type building, but rather in a sort of fabric-type building that a fire could easily consume.

"Potential is high for a major calamity if the fire would reach these areas," he added.

MAJIA HERE: ANONYMOUS at Ex-SKF offered this link to a review of the safety failures at Los Alamos. It is dated 2009

From the Project on Government Oversight

Defense Board Catches Los Alamos Trying to Dodge Plutonium Safety Vulnerability 27, 2009 (excerpted)

POGO has learned from sources that the Department of Energy (DOE) has been scrambling to delay a Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) report about a potential major threat to public safety posed by plutonium at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (Los Alamos). The Department was rushing to begin addressing the safety vulnerability and to release its own public statement before the DNFSB made its report public. DOE is reacting to the DNFSB’s report, which it posted to its website this morning, to Energy Secretary Chu about a safety vulnerability involving over 10,000 pounds of plutonium housed in Los Alamos’s Technical Area-55 (TA-55).

The vulnerability, safety controls that are insufficient to mitigate the release of plutonium to the public, has long been known and unaddressed by DOE and Los Alamos. Years ago, Los Alamos safety analysts determined that the building at TA-55 is so “leaky” that it could not prevent plutonium from being accidentally released. Last year, however, Los Alamos’s safety analysts further calculated that in the event of an earthquake and resultant fire,1 —a very real threat, as Los Alamos sits on top of a fault line—the dose to the public from the TA-55 plutonium facility could be over 100 times the acceptable level.

Current safety regulations require that safety controls be put in place if doses to the public approach 25 rem. Yet, a year later, DOE and Los Alamos had done nothing in response to the analysts’ findings that more than 2500 rem could be released in the event of an earthquake and resultant fire. Instead, DOE allowed Los Alamos to avoid dealing with this public safety risk by saying the government will accept the risk without forcing the contractor to impose any additional safety controls to protect public health. That is, until the DNFSB put DOE on notice that it is about to make the problem public. The same vulnerabilities exist at the other nuclear facilities at Los Alamos, including waste site TA-54 Area G which holds over 3,500 pounds of plutonium....

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