Los Alamos NM
June 29, 2011 by staff
Los Alamos NM, A wildfire near the birthplace of the atomic bomb Advanced National Laboratory Los Alamos and thousands of drums outdoor waste contaminated with plutonium Tuesday, authorities intensified efforts to protect the site and monitor the air for radiation. Officials at the laboratory main nuclear weapons nation said hazardous materials were able to withstand the flames of 93 square kilometers. As of noon, was as close as 50 feet from the border of the grounds and two miles of waste materials.
“These drums are designed for a safety standard that would withstand a wildfire worse than this,” said Lisa Rosendorf, spokesman for the laboratory.
The fire has forced the evacuation of the entire city of Los Alamos, population 11,000.
A small piece of land in the lab caught fire was quickly extinguished Monday before. The teams were on high alert and spent the day clearing the perimeter of the laboratory.
“We’re throwing everything at this we have,” Senator Tom Udall, DN.M. Said.
Nuclear watchdogs fear that can reach the largest number of 30,000, 55-gallon drums.
“The concern is that these drums so hot that they explode. That would put this toxic material in the pen. It is a concern for everyone,” said Joni Arends, executive director of Citizens for Nuclear Safety affected.
Organization Arends’ are also concerned that the fire might raise nuclear contaminated soil on the property of laboratory experiments were carried out years ago.
Laboratory officials said that there is little risk that the fire reaches the drums, because the flames have to jump through canyons first. Authorities also were ready to cover the drums with fire-resistant foam.
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