Floods to Fires

newjesustimes's picture

Raging wildfires in New Mexico forced the evacuation of the famed nuclear lab at Los Alamos Monday, though officials insist that radioactive material is secure.

The government sent a plane equipped with radiation monitors over the Los Alamos nuclear laboratory Wednesday as a 110-square-mile wildfire burned at its doorstep

The pillars of smoke that can be seen as far as Albuquerque, 60 miles away, have people on edge. The fire has also cast a haze as far away as Kansas. But officials said they analyzed samples taken Tuesday night from some of the lab's monitors and the results showed nothing abnormal in the smoke.

Anti-nuclear groups have sounded the alarm about thousands of 55-gallon drums containing low-grade nuclear waste - gloves, tools and other contaminated items - about two miles from the fire. Lab officials said it was highly unlikely the blaze would reach the drums, and that the steel containers can in any case withstand flames and will be sprayed with fire-resistant foam if necessary.

Kevin Smith, site manager for the National Nuclear Security Administration, said the lab's precautions have been scrutinized by dozens of experts.

The lab has been shut down since Monday, when all of the city of Los Alamos and some of its surrounding areas - 12,000 people in all - was evacuated. The fire has held up research on such topics as renewable energy, AIDS and particle physics.

"We have 10,000 experiments running at the same time," said Terry Wallace, science chief at the lab. "We'll have to do an analysis to see what's been affected and how it's been affected."

The plane is just one part of an elaborate air monitoring network surrounding the lab. The lab and the New Mexico Environment Department have dozens of monitors on the ground throughout the region. McMillan said four high-volume air samplers were deployed Tuesday and more were on their way Wednesday.

Some experts familiar with the Los Alamos lab said there is no reason to fear that flames will scatter radiation.
"The nuclear materials are secure," said Penn State University nuclear engineering professor Barry Scheetz, who has served on National Academy of Sciences nuclear review boards and has been to Los Alamos several times. "There's multiple redundancy in the protection of this material. It's not just laying out. It's not there so that a fire is going to disrupt it there and disperse it. The procedures that are in place to protect this material are tremendous."

He added: "The U.S. government, the Department of Energy, has spent literally hundreds of millions of dollars for scenarios that are so unlikely to occur that it is even ridiculous to think about."

The worst-case scenario Energy Department planners could envision for a fire at Los Alamos would release less than 25 rems or radiation - a dosage that is below short and long-term health concerns, according to a 1998 Environmental Impact Statement for operating the lab written by the department.

would release less than 25 rems or radiation does that even make sense, it would just be a burst of radiation? not particles that emit radiation for a long time wherever they go? around and around where they stop nobody knows.


McJ's picture


hahaha - I was just reading about this and I thought to myself, I'll put up a post titled Floods and Fires."

From the UK Guardian: "Flames extended to an area of 95 square miles and at one point reached within 50ft of the nuclear laboratory’s grounds, just across a road."
"Officials have said there is no risk of contaminated material getting into the giant smoke plume rising over the area...But they have stepped up efforts to monitor radiation levels in the air..."

They must be worried there is a risk or then why bother?

"Officials at the laboratory said the steel drums were stored on a concrete floor surrounded by gravel, with few trees nearby, and would be sprayed with foam if the fire somehow reached them...."

Just check out some pictures of this fire - does anyone really think foam will help if this sweeps over them steel drums?

Re: "rems or radiations"
- is it a typo? do they mean 'of' instead of 'or'? Rem is Radiation Exposure Monitor so a measure of radiation exposure could be in rems/hour or rems/year.
"The exposure to radiation is measured using the conventional unit rem or the SI unit sievert (Sv)" = http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=5&ved=0CD8QFjAE&url=http%3A%...

admin's picture

rems vs radiation

a typo or intentional obfuscation? it's not rems that escape, but rem-emitting particles that last for hundreds or thousands of years. So to say 25 rems would escape doesn't really make sense to me.

McJ's picture


Your right it is nonsensical. Everything they say about these crisis situations is basically nonsensical. I was just reading today that when the head of the NRC toured the Fort Calhoun Plant he told reporters, "he would not guess if the water would rise and what could happen in the future". Well, I would think he wouldn't want to be 'guessing' about that. He's the head of the NRC. Shouldn't he know what will happen if this plant floods and wouldn't he have access to the information on projected flood levels? That's a rhetorical question because of course, he knows damn well what will happen.

newjesustimes's picture


the world will become gradually more irradiated until major parts or all of it are uninhabitable?
well not from this one plant, but from the gradual cascade of accidents and mishaps at all these facilities over the years. They're all spent fuel storage sites and the spent fuel needs to be babysat for a long time.....
oops we didn't think the water would breach the damn, we didn't think the fire would reach the barrels, we didn't think the earthquakes and tsunamis would knock out the pumps, we didn't think! sorry about that, future generations, our bad!

McJ's picture

Israel sabbotaging Gaza flotilla ships?

Sabotage of MV Saoirse in Turkey:
'An Act of International Terrorism'
by Irish Ship to Gaza

"The Irish-owned ship, the MV Saoirse, that was meant to take part in Freedom Flotilla 2 has been sabotaged in a dangerous manner in the Turkish coastal town of Göcek, where it had been at berth for the past few weeks."
"The damage was very similar to that caused to the Juliano, another flotilla ship, in Greece. "
"One of the most shocking aspects is the delayed nature of the sabotage. It wasn't designed to stop the ship from leaving its berth; instead, it was intended that the fatal damage to the ship would occur while she was at sea and this could have resulted in the deaths of several of those on board. This was a potentially murderous act."

McJ's picture

More floods to fire

More floods to fire....

A worker at the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant was injured on Thursdays when the gas tank of a portable pump he was refilling caught fire. He was medevaced by helicopter to a burn center in Lincoln. The pump was being used to remove water that is seeping under the sand barrier.

They are sure having a lot of accidents and fires at this plant.

McJ's picture

The maid's been lying

say two unnamed law enforcement officials close to the DSK case.

"One of the officials told the Times that the woman has repeatedly lied since making the initial allegation May 14."

According to the New York Time, the case is on the "verge of collapse" as prosecutors raise issues about the accuser's credibility in the case.

"Strauss-Kahn's bail is expected to be substantially reduced at a hearing Friday because of the issue of the accuser's credibility, the Associated Press reported, citing an unnamed person familiar with the case."

What a surprise!

I'm sure everyone involved in this piece of kabuki theatre is lying.

Lies, lies, lies...

Lies...Living in a fantasy
Lies...Don't even know reality
When you start talking
I start walking
Lies. Lies, Lies

lies lies lies

I'm shocked! Shocked, shocked, shocked!!! I'm so totally fu....
Never mind.

This story is still getting massaged (if i can use that word in this context)
yes, McJ, lies lies lies

McJ's picture


"This story is still getting massaged" rolling on the floor laughing

Massages all around methinks. smiling

McJ's picture

Strauss-Kahn Free From House Arrest; Charges Stand

Strauss-Kahn Free From House Arrest; Charges Stand

"The stark turn in the case came after the woman admitted to prosecutors she had made up a story of being gang-raped and beaten in her homeland of Guinea to enhance her application for political asylum, prosecutors said in a letter to defense lawyers.
She also misrepresented what she did after the alleged attack - instead of fleeing to a hallway and waiting for a supervisor, she went to clean another room and then returned to clean Strauss-Kahn's suite before telling her supervisor that she had been attacked, prosecutors said.
She also misrepresented her income and claimed someone else's child as her own dependent on tax returns, they said."

newjesustimes's picture

I was thinking

to make a new blog post on this subject but i've fallen behind. too many irons and too many fires.

We could fire you, NJT ........

but I think we'll just have to haul over the coals instead laughing out loud

newjesustimes's picture

i think you're right

i'll suffer much more this way,

newjesustimes's picture

Some comments on the NM fire

I found these at the bottom of an ABC news article, of all places, by a commenter called Thebes42, thought they're worth sharing;

All comments from Thebes42

In Response To: Los Alamos Fire: Perimeter of Nuclear Lab Set AblazeThe news story says "no higher levels of radiation were detected then" in relation to the 2000 fire.I live outside of Taos, which is (once again) directly in the plume of Los Alamos's contaminated smoke. I know a man who insists his wife died of cancer from that one, and I know many other people living in the area believe that they were also sickened from the smoke. Everyone I know who had gardens then, before I moved here, culled their entire crop rather than risk eating it. The locals most certainly DO NOT agree that there were no radiation releases back then.IF plutonium was sucked up by trees and burned, would the EPA's minimal monitoring efforts even reveal it? Not necessarily, the thick smoke and ash I saw last night eddied and swirled so much that I would not be sure smoke from a given tree drifted through one of their seven testing stations even IF they decided to tell the truth in the event it should. Even if they detected something I doubt they would say, across the world the history of nuclear disasters tells us that governments have always tried to conceal the extent of any contamination.

In Response To: Los Alamos Fire: EPA Testing for RadiationEPIC MEDIA FAIL Am I the ONLY person who noticed that the published data only tested for Gamma radiation, yet most plutonium and other transuranics release only BETA radiation???Its not an outright LIE to say that the testing showed no elevated levels. But no first year physics student would have expected them to even if they were burning Pu-239 in open pits.

- Other than that, it seems by the lack of recent news that the fire danger at Los Alamos has passed.


Let me get this straight Mc, are you saying you think we have been lied to?

I am not sure who is worse off, people in New Mexico or me having gulf fumes blow over me all the time.

They buried so much waste around Los Alamos after the manhatten project and years after the whole place has long since been a death trap. They rolled barrels into the Rio Grande and buried more up on the ridge. Many think the trees are even radioactive by now.

They will find a use for them no doubt. They could make them into wood pulp and sell them as extender for taco bell hamburger. You make more money on beef here and pitch in with pharma for population reduction. It looks like a win win situation.

By the way there is a big oil spill on the Yellowstone River. I am wondering if the Fort Peck dam which is "earth filled" will continue to hold up under oiled earth in the future.

I can think of all kinds of names for the rice products coming out of the rice fields in Mississippi when the tritium, oil and GMO reach them. How about Tritglogmo Rice, a taste you will never forget!

I am sure you missed it as not many reports on an explosion at a French nuclear reactor. Transformer problem they say.


But don't you worry, the fire was put out immediamente and there is no worries about any contamination mates. Go shopping and keep a sharp little eye out for terrorists. Watch look listen and report.

A13's picture

Transformer Problem..

"Transformers, more than meets the eye"
sorry i couldn't help it Whistle
yes i do wonder if little "accident" after little accidet will eventually lead to one stuffed up world.
Cheers A13

McJ's picture


"Let me get this straight Mc, are you saying you think we have been lied to?" rolling on the floor laughing

Yes Mick, that is exactly what I may possibly be saying!! You have my word on that. And if you have any lingering doubts as to the veracity of my 'Lies, Lies Lies' just ask me, there is a wild goose chase I can send you on. smiling

I read about the oil spill in Yellowstone River but missed the explosion in France. Thanks for the link, I'll check it out.

Re: The Fort Peck Dam
Now, that falls under the category of 'dam lies' smiling
I have been doing a little research on that one and it is very interesting. I would think if one of the dams were to fail, that would be the one. Although, I haven't checked out the Gavin's Point Dam which I have read a lot of people are worried about.

Someone blew open a levee just upstream of Ft. Calhoun on Sunday sending trapped water back into the Missouri River and raising the river level up to 4 inches in that area. No one seems to know who did it and everyone is denying it was them. The Red Cross has cleared out of the Ft. Calhoun area cause there just wasn't enough need for them to be there in the middle of a major flood. And the NRC has imposed a 10 mile evacuation order around the Ft. Calhoun Plant because it's "prudent".

And then there is the Fort Cooper Plant which is still pumping out the power, full steam ahead...flood waters be damned, there is money to be made!

Everything is safe as can be though so, no need to worry. Go back to what you were doing.

McJ's picture

Egypt gas pipeline to Israel explodes

Egypt gas pipeline to Israel explodes; sabotage suspected
"Cairo (CNN) -- A pipeline that supplies gas from Egypt to Israel exploded Monday in the northern Sinai Peninsula near Bir el-Adb, an Egyptian security official said.
The explosion appears to be an act of sabotage, said Gen. Saleh al-Masri, the head of security in Egypt's northern Sinai Peninsula.
"It is an act of sabotage, but the army and members of Egyptian Natural Gas Company are on the scene trying to understand what happened," al-Masri said.
The explosion has shut off the flow of gas to Israel and Jordan, said Ayman Jahin, a general manager at the gas company."

newjesustimes's picture

Fukushima Radiation Danger

TOKYO — Soil radiation in a city 60 kilometres (40 miles) from Japan's stricken nuclear plant is above levels that prompted resettlement after the Chernobyl disaster, citizens' groups said Tuesday.

The survey of four locations in Fukushima city, outside the nuclear evacuation zone, showed that all soil samples contained caesium exceeding Japan's legal limit of 10,000 becquerels per kilogram (4,500 per pound), they said.

The highest level was 46,540 becquerels per kilogram, and the three other readings were between 16,290 and 19,220 becquerels per kilogram, they said.

The citizens' groups -- the Fukushima Network for Saving Children from Radiation and five other non-governmental organisations -- have called for the evacuation of pregnant women and children from the town.

The highest reading in the city of 290,000 people far exceeded the level that triggered compulsory resettlement ordered by Soviet authorities following the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine, they said.

Kobe University radiation expert professor Tomoya Yamauchi conducted the survey on June 26 following a request from the groups.

"Soil contamination is spreading in the city," Yamauchi said in a statement. "Children are playing with the soil, meaning they are playing with high levels of radioactive substances. Evacuation must be conducted as soon as possible."


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