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Monday, June 27, 2011

Fire destroys 30 structures as it nears Los Alamos nuke lab with more threats of nuclear contamination spreading.

Up to 2,500 clear out around site where world's first atomic bomb was built.
A raging wildfire spread to within one mile of the nation's preeminent nuclear weapons facility on Monday after destroying 30 structures, including some homes, overnight.
(posting note, Little is mentioned about the possibility that they have underground reactors. This is now another issue with reactors in harm’s way.)

Officials at Los Alamos National Laboratory scrambled to make sure that radioactive and hazardous material were protected from the wind-driven fire that has forced the installation to close.
Overnight winds from the northwest kept the blaze from moving onto lab property, though forecasts called for a change in wind patterns by midday.
The number one priority at the moment is to make sure all the radioactive and hazardous material is protected, Janet Bettinger, deputy manager of finance, told NBC News.
Residents from the rural towns of Cochiti Mesa and Las Conchas were evacuated after the fire started Sunday.
Los Alamos County fire chief Doug Tucker said the blaze was the most active fire he had seen in his career, forcing residents near Cochiti Mesa and Las Conchas to flee with "nothing but the shirts on their back."
At nearly 44,000 acres, the blaze has destroyed at least 30 structures, he added, though it wasn't clear how many were homes.
The fire has the potential to double or triple in size, Tucker said, and firefighters had no idea which direction the 60 mph-plus winds would take it.
"We are preparing for the fire to go in any direction," Tucker said.
As a precaution, natural gas was cut off to Los Alamos structures nearest to the fire.
Red flag conditions, the highest fire alert, are expected to feed the growing blaze throughout Monday.
Officials have established an emergency operations center and have dispatched emergency crews across the lab to protect key facilities and materials, Los Alamos Laboratory spokesman Kevin Roark said.
Protected areas include all hazardous and radioactive facilities and our proton accelerator and supercomputing centers, Roark said. "We're not going to back off until the lab is in the clear," he told Reuters.
Los Alamos National Laboratory was where scientists developed and tested the first atomic bomb during World War II.
Were it all started.
Los Alamos National Laboratory (or LANL; previously known at various times as Site Y, Los Alamos Laboratory, and Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory) is a United States Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory, managed and operated by Los Alamos National Security (LANS), located in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The laboratory is one of the largest science and technology institutions in the world that conducts multidisciplinary research for fields such as national, outer space, renewable energy, medicine, nanotechnology, and supercomputing.
It is the largest institution and the largest employer in northern New Mexico with approximately 9,000 LANS employees plus approximately 650 contractor personnel. Additionally, there are roughly 120 DOE employees stationed at the laboratory to provide federal oversight of LANL's work and operations. Approximately one-third of the laboratory's technical staff members are physicists, one quarter are engineers, one-sixth are chemists and materials scientists, and the remainder work in mathematics and computational science, biology, geoscience, and other disciplines. Professional scientists and students also come to Los Alamos as visitors to participate in scientific projects. The staff collaborates with universities and industry in both basic and applied research to develop resources for the future. The annual budget is approximately US$2.2 billion.
Los Alamos is one of two laboratories in the United States where classified work towards the design of weapons is undertaken. The other, since 1952, is Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. (wikipedia)
This unique high-security facility houses modern equipment for research and engineering testing of nuclear materials and is the place where plutonium expertise is developed, nurtured, and applied. Research on highly enriched uranium also is performed there.
Little is mentioned about the possibility that they have underground reactors. This is now another issue with reactors in harm’s way.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Neo-nephrite the British are coming, We are all slaves to our foolish uneducated news driven mass. What sheep to the slaughter, I think somebody said vail over the eyes of the damned!!!!