As of this morning flames just two miles away from plutonium-contaminated waste at Los Alamos — Barrels are not well contained says former top official

Published: June 30th, 2011 at 12:54 pm ET
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33 comments


Could New Mexico’s wildfire cause a nuclear catastrophe?, Yahoo News, June 30, 2011:

[… T]he plant is reportedly home to 30,000 55-gallon drums of plutonium-contaminated waste. As of Thursday morning, the flames were reportedly two miles away from this waste. “The concern is that these drums will get so hot that they’ll burst,” says Joni Arends, executive director of the Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, as quoted by the San Francisco Chronicle. There is also concern that the fire could stir up nuclear-contaminated soil left over from years of testing, sending the nuclear waste into the plumes of smoke hovering over the area. […]

Officials insist the containment drums are built to withstand fires, and are stored in vaults located in areas stripped of vegetation. “The threat is extremely low,” lab spokesman Kevin Roark told USA Today. But nuclear watchdogs fear the worst. Glen Walp, a former top security official for the plant, claims the barrels are not well contained, and that they sit above ground in a “fabric-type building.” “Potential is high for a major calamity if the fire would reach these areas,” Walp told ABC News. […]

Published: June 30th, 2011 at 12:54 pm ET
By

33 comments

Related Posts

  1. UPI: Web site of group that revealed plutonium-contaminated waste is stored above ground at Los Alamos “appeared hacked early Tuesday morning” June 28, 2011
  2. High potential for “major calamity” at Los Alamos if fire reaches 20,000 barrels of nuclear waste in fabric-type building, says former top security official June 29, 2011
  3. AP: Los Alamos officials now confirming that drums of plutonium-contaminated waste are stored above ground at ‘Area G’ June 28, 2011
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33 comments to As of this morning flames just two miles away from plutonium-contaminated waste at Los Alamos — Barrels are not well contained says former top official

  • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication

    I wish someone could independently test what is in the plume of smoke near the lab. I no longer believe statements by the authorities.

    • ocifferdave

      The common Japanese person doesn’t believe their gov/corp peeps either. I think these days we all are Japanese.

  • Ariana

    Everything we do to the environment around us will come back to haunt us… nuclear testing in the 40s… now its back and its ready to kill us all

  • I don’t understand why they can’t take one of those new retrofitted 747 water tankers and just dump the whole area and put the fire out???

  • I can no longer log onto my blog using internet explorer. Nor can I post comments anywhere using my google blogger login.

    Is anyone else having this type of difficulty?

    I hate to be paranoid but it is still impossible to type enews’ web address into the address bar without being re-directed to Barnes and Noble.

    I’ve noted that cyberwar attacks tend to increase when the frequency of bad news reports increases.

    Fukushima is getting worse and there are clearly news blackouts on the situations at Fort Calhoun, Ft Cooper and Los Alamos. News updates for these sites are sporadic, terse, and lack supporting details.

    I am concerned…

    • alasanon

      majia,
      Try start page: They are small and offer a lot more privacy and reliability.
      http://startpage.com/
      Also, I hear that hushmail is good for private, encrypted email service with awesome extra virus & spam scans! http://www.hushmail.com/
      I have friends who have had their ID stolen on Yahoo mail & someone committed serious financial fraud with their email to the extent that they were stopped by FBI at the airport!!..(they’re fine now)

      I oddly had a “worm” hit my Firefox browser recently and lost all my bookmarks before it got quarantined. Luckily, I have a good memory!… Hahahaa, Jokers!
      It was weird though b/c my computer is tough and has not had problems before. And it just happened recently when tech sites reported the FBI was taking down certain blog sites…(granted, I’m not that controversial-ha!)

      I noticed that poster Anthony on Enenews posted a comment on the Before it’s News site…He seems to have been blocked out of sites, too! 🙁 Miss him!!

      Keep trying! 🙂

    • fireguyjeff fireguyjeff

      Majia:
      All Microsoft apps are poorly implemented.
      IE has always been a screen mesh rain coat version of code.

      Try Firefox.
      I am navigating just fine with it.

      Note that most IE upgrades are to fix what was already broken.
      Firefox updates are improvements on what already works very well.

      I use Firefox and I am surfing and posting without problems.

      FWIW

      • Thank you. I’m using firefox now….

        • alasanon

          Firefox is very good, but startpage is better b/c it doesn’t record everything. I do commend Firefox for resisting recent efforts by Fed. Homeland Security to obtain their search records-wow!..they are under DHS ‘terror’ review? I lost all my bookmarks and had my Firefox browser disabled recently after 10 good years on Firefox…hmmm?
          It’s a minefield out there!!

          Also, my favorite internet music station is no longer streaming online because of this sorry, new, sublegal threat of internet censorship :(…found a new one though-ha!

          • alasanon

            It sounds like I’m typing from China or Stasi-run E. Germany, instead of the proud USA!… 🙁

    • milk and cheese milk and cheese

      Majia, the sitename is ENEnews, not enews.
      I’ve had no difficulties logging in but the stories are so dire, sometimes I wish I hadn’t.

  • Mats

    OT:

    “Jellyfish keep UK nuclear plant shut

    An invasion of jellyfish into a cooling water pool at a Scottish nuclear power plant kept its nuclear reactors offline on Wednesday, a phenomenon which may grow more common in future, scientists said.

    Water temperatures off the east coast of Scotland are currently 13 degrees Celsius, one degree above average levels for this time of the year, Britain’s Met Office said.

    Increasing fishing activity and global warming are giving jellyfish populations a boost, scientists said, potentially making jellyfish invasions at nuclear power plants located near the open sea more common in the future.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/29/us-britain-nuclear-jellyfish-idUSTRE75S56D20110629?feedType=RSS&feedName=environmentNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+reuters%2Fenvironment+%28News+%2F+US+%2F+Environment%29

    • Wow. Jellyfish shutting down a nuclear plant! Yet another clear sign from planet Earth that it is time to SHUTDOWN these death-dealing nuclear reactors.

  • SteveMT

    Correct me if wrong, aren’t these “containment drums” merely used oil barrels? They are already built to withstand fires because that are steel.

    Is there anything extra-special about these “containment drums”?

    • Also, the number of barrels is now being quoted as 30,000 again, whereas it was 20,000 yesterday (and 30,000 the day before!). Ah, the ever-varying details relative to anything nuclear.

  • quadagent

    I was wodering if anyone else had been following the radiation readings at http://www.radiationnetwork.com/?

    I can’t seem to get there today, it’s a complete redirect to a Charter Cable search page. Just curious.

  • Ariana

    As for the wildfire, I have some experience with this. The reason that dumping water from the air has little effect is that water: A. Disperses when it drops (from wind etc) B. Can’t make it through the tree tops very well (which is why they have wildland firefighters drop from planes and helicopters to fight the fire up close). VERY large amounts of dirt would be helpful if dropped, but would also disperse on the way down. I am wondering why they haven’t tried setting a back fire and burning some of it out that way. Anyone know?

  • Elenin Velikovsky Elenin Velikovsky

    Yes Ariana and Savvy…they are doing
    backfires to remove fuels from the Reservoir slopes
    and approaches to the Labs from the wooded canyon.
    Winds are fierce in the afternoon,
    fuels are at record dry conditions.
    Retardant red loads are placed with
    the best tactics, but these winds can carry
    hot burning chunks of flame a mile away,
    scatter spot-fires everywhere.
    The forest-management thinning projects
    will never be funded again, apparently.
    Let’s get it straight everybody: urban environmental
    political people have not the slightest idea about
    how to manage any woodlands, nor anything
    at all.

    • “… urban environmental political people have not the slightest idea about how to manage any woodlands, nor anything at all.”

      Yep. That’s a good summary.

      • milk and cheese milk and cheese

        I suppose clearcut Western loggers handled things much better. Give us a break.

  • Ariana

    Thanks Savvy! I know those backfires can be very tricky when the wind is high. I just pray for the safety of those firefighters. There are a lot of firefighter deaths due to heat exhaustion in a wildfire.

  • Ariana

    Oops, I meant Thanks Elenin! I get my names mixed up!

  • Ariana

    Any water dumped from the air would mostly evaporate anyway, especially with a fire this intense.