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New Mexico Nuclear Facility Safe For Now

New Mexico Nuclear Facility Safe For Now

A very large wildfire in New Mexico was moving close to a nuclear facility at Los Alamos, but fortunately firefighters have been successful at keeping it at bay. Los Alamos is the site where the first atomic bomb was constructed. Eleven years ago, due to wildfires, some of the lab’s structures burned.  On July 4th the Los Alamos National Lab website posted an alert for their employees about their work schedule: “Los Alamos National Laboratory has announced it will re-open to employees on Wednesday, July 6, 2011, after being closed for more than a week during the Las Conchas fire, the largest wildfire in New Mexico history.”

Los Alamos national lab is located in an area that is prone to wildfires, and it appeared this year the fires might reach the research facility. “There was a scary moment when the fire spotted high up in Los Alamos Canyon, the fuel-rich gateway funneling into town and the lab.” (Source: KRQE.com) Last year wildfires were also a problem in the area.

Extreme weather like drought is now thought to be linked to climate change, which is a growing trend, and dry conditions make wildfires more likely. So does Los Alamos face a future of more wildfires, and if so, what would the consequences of the lab catching on fire? A related news article stated there are 20,000 drums of nuclear waste stored at Los Alamos, and if they were exposed to high temperatures, they could burst and release their contents into the fire plumes, which would be likely to spread the waste material.

Plans are also in the works for greater plutonium use there. Plutonium bomb-making wastes will double, according to Nuke Watch.  Why are such large amounts of potentially damaging waste stored in an area that is prone to wildfires, and may actually become more so, due to dry conditions made worse by the effects of climate change?

Image Credit: Public Domain

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38 comments

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10:15AM PST on Feb 27, 2013

WOW that thing is a monstrosity...thanks.

7:54AM PST on Feb 23, 2013

Thanks

7:54AM PST on Feb 23, 2013

ty

10:15AM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

7:13PM PDT on Jul 20, 2011

Yes, for now.... and after that???

12:13PM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

Only when the last tree has been cut down; Only when the last river has been poisoned; Only when the last fish has been caught; Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
(Native American proverb)

"We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not yet learned the simple art of living together as brothers." (Martin Luther King)

10:37AM PDT on Jul 7, 2011

The goverment has been experimenting on using the weather as a weapon now for years, And it has made the natural pattern of the global jet stream change and is making for super storms to cause major damage and death. No Im not crazy.

10:28AM PDT on Jul 7, 2011

No Nuke is a good Nuke.

3:14AM PDT on Jul 7, 2011

That was a close shave.
I hope that even Republicans and Southern Baptists will recognize that the increase in severity and frequency of disasters is due man made to global warming and not, as they believe, due to abortions being legal in the USA or due to the fact that homosexuality is tolerated in parts of the country.
Of course, on of the possible threats to this facility that could be very serious indeed, because it could disperse some of the 32000 barrels each containing 55 gallons of Plutonium that are currently stored in metal and concrete underground bunkers, is the fact that the Nuclear facility is on an earthquake fault line.
We've had more, and more severe earthquakes than is usual for some time. This is possibly due to the fact that both the South and the North Poles are losing incredible amounts of ice with increasing speed.
As they do so, the mass over the poles decreases and so does the force of gravity that is exerted on the poles. So the earth is "snapping back into shape" with the pressure off and one can therefore expect a few cracks.
Something to think about, as you drive your car or fly to your far away holiday destination. Why don't you see if you can find someone you can car pool with?
Also, you can plant trees right here on Care2 with you r butterfly credits.

8:48PM PDT on Jul 6, 2011

Why isn't there a contingency plan for emergencies as fires and floods, the lives and money lost would more than compensate.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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