“Officials are especially concerned”: New Mexico lawmakers hold hearing about Los Alamos floods transporting nuclear material into water supply (VIDEO)

Published: July 19th, 2011 at 8:31 pm ET
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Potential flash floods still a concern, KRQE, July 19, 2011:

[T]here is still a lot of concern about flash floods in the burned out areas.

Officials are especially concerned about the canyons around Los Alamos where nuclear materials from the lab have gotten into the soil [...]

A legislative committee held a hearing in Santa Fe on the risks from that.

Lab officials insisted there is nothing to worry about, but lawmakers are still concerned. [...]


Santa Fe gets 40% of its drinking water via the Rio Grande, which is fed by runoff from Los Alamos

Also from today: Head of New Mexico department dealing with hazardous waste at Los Alamos labs mysteriously resigns — Officials not providing any details

Potential flash floods still a concern: kasa.com

Published: July 19th, 2011 at 8:31 pm ET
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14 comments to “Officials are especially concerned”: New Mexico lawmakers hold hearing about Los Alamos floods transporting nuclear material into water supply (VIDEO)

  • PaleHorse

    Well, let’s see how the “legislative committee” does, against the assassins.


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  • CB CB

    Why comment, ENE is posting faster than we are, yeahhhhhh! Snowballing.


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  • Soil Cleanup at Los Alamos National Laboratory:
    Sediment Contamination in the South Fork of Acid Canyon[2005]

    http://www.ieer.org/reports/lanl/cleanup.pdf

    Section One: Introduction

    Between 1944 and 1964, multiple liquid radioactive waste streams were released into the South
    Fork of Acid Canyon from Los Alamos National Laboratory. From 1944 to 1951, “untreated
    radioactive effluent from former Technical Area (TA) 1 was discharged into the head of the
    South Fork of Acid Canyon” and from 1951 to 1964 a “radioactive liquid waste treatment plant
    at former TA-45” discharged its effluent into the canyon. Today, this area is located within
    1,000 feet of a residential neighborhood and less than a mile from a local high-school.
    1
    We
    chose to examine the remediation of Acid Canyon because; (1) it is a site that is already
    accessible to the general public, (2) it has already had remediation efforts undertaken based, in
    part, on analyses conducted by DOE for site-specific exposure scenarios, and (3) it illustrates
    some of the general concerns that will arise at Los Alamos and other sites which have actinide
    contamination (uranium, plutonium, neptunium, americium, etc.) as the main driver of risk.
    In the South Fork of Acid Canyon the following radionuclides were identified by DOE as being
    of potential concern:
    Tritium (H-3), Strontium-90, Cesium-137, Uranium-234, Uranium-235, Uranium-238,
    Plutonium-238, Plutonium-239, and Americium-241.
    2


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  • Plans and Practices for Groundwater Protection at the Los Alamos National Laboratory: Interim Status Report (2006)

    http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11781&page=1

    Discharges of wastes from activities associated with the federal government’s Los Alamos site in northern New Mexico (see Figure 1) began during the Manhattan Project in 1943. Now designated the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), the site is operated by Los Alamos National Security LLC1 under contract to the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) of DOE. Through past and ongoing investigations, radioactive and chemical contaminants have been detected in parts of the complex system of groundwater beneath the site. Effective protection of groundwater is important for LANL’s continuing operations.

    Seven of Los Alamos County’s 12 drinking water supply wells are located on the LANL site. Water from one of these wells is known to be contaminated with limited but detectable levels of tritium and perchlorate.

    Slightly elevated concentrations of contaminants have also been observed in a group of springs near the site. Some contamination from the laboratory has been carried by stormwater runoff into the Rio Grande River, which provides water to parts of New Mexico.


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

    “Until as recently as five years ago, LANL used to protect the “myth” that the volcanic tuft overlying the deep groundwater was impermeable, therefore groundwater contamination was impossible. More recent data completely dispels this myth.”

    Groundwater flow: Easterly at a rate of 1 foot per day, aside from the pumping wells.


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  • Rainfall has the potential to
    increase radiation fatalities significantly.

    Atmospheric effects and societal consequences of regional scale
    nuclear conflicts and acts of individual nuclear terrorism

    http://climate.envsci.rutgers.edu/pdf/acp-7-1973-2007.pdf


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  • Ariana

    Um, potentially dumb question, but: Why weren’t they concerned about flash floods before the fire? It seems to me that they should have thought of this a LONG time ago.


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  • paulie906

    not so surprising though is it?


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  • cossack55

    I. for one, am especially relieved that the politcos are especially concerned about our welfare. I’m going to go watch American Idol now. All is in order.


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