Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Posts Tagged ‘LANL’

Radiation Leak in N.M. WIPP Leaves Nuclear Waste in Limbo

Posted by feww on March 1, 2014

NUCLEAR DISASTER WATCH
RADIATION LEAK
NUCLEAR WASTE DISPOSAL
NIGHTMARE SCENARIO 043
.

Los Alamos nuclear waste in limbo after radiation leak at WIPP in New Mexico

The radiation leaks at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), which has exposed  at least 13 workers at a nuclear dump near Carlsbad, New Mexico two weeks ago, has  put operations at the plant on hold including shipments of toxic waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Shipments of nuclear waste from labs in Idaho, Illinois and South Carolina are also without a home while operations are halted, AP reported.

As of late January 2014, WIPP had accepted about 85,000 cubic meters of nuclear waste.

Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)

WIPP is one of DOE’s nuclear waste dumps where the U.S. Gov buries transuranic (man-made radioactive elements that are heavier than Uranium) radioactive waste such as plutonium used in making nuclear weapons.

wipp
A shipment of contact-handled transuranic waste arrives at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Source: WIPP, US Department of Energy

Located about 26 miles east of Carlsbad in SE New Mexico, WIPP has “disposal rooms” excavated in an ancient salt formation, about 700m (2,150 feet) underground. WIPP employs more than 800 workers. Waste disposal began at WIPP in 1999.

RH3-small
The Horizontal Emplacement and Retreival Equipment (HERE) is used to push remote-handled transuranic waste into horizontal boreholes in the disposal room walls. Source: WIPP, US Department of Energy

The 250-million-year-old salt formation below the Chihuahuan Desert is used to dump thousands of cubic meters of TRU radioactive waste each year. About 4% of the TRU waste received at WIPP is far too toxic and the containers must be remote-handled by robots and automated  machinery.

If Anything Can Explode, Leak, Contaminate… It Will!

On January 12, 2014 FIRE-EARTH forecast:

Estimated 100,000 HAZMAT storage sites across the U.S. can potentially explode, leak, contaminate the environment

United States is dotted with an estimated 100,000 HAZMAT storage sites containing one or more of deadly substances including radioactive, biohazardous, toxic, explosive, flammable, asphyxiating, corrosive, oxidizing, pathogenic, or allergenic materials, as well as herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers that don’t fall into those categories.

Some of the substances (hazchems), which include more than 200 types of dioxins, are so lethal that even a small leak into the water supply could kill or permanently harm millions of people, before they are detected.

Related Links

Posted in 2014 Disaster Forecast, Global Disaster watch, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Fire Surrounds Los Alamos Nuke Lab

Posted by feww on June 29, 2011

LANL shuts down supercomputers as fire advances

Las Conchas fire explodes to more than 70,000 acres, attacking south and west of Los Alamos

The massive blaze has destroyed at least a dozen homes in Los Alamos County so far, officials said.

Meantime,  The Los Alamos National Lab (LANL) said it had shut down two of its largest supercomputers, as the massive blaze continued to burn nearby.

A team of Los Alamos employees have reportedly conducted preliminary analysis on air samples taken near the nuke lab on Tuesday.

“There is no additional material in the samples from lab activities or from our waste-management activities.”Said the lab director Charles McMillan.

In 2000, after Cerro Grande fire broke out, Los Alamos employees detected elevated levels of radioactive radon gas.

Las Conchas Fire map


Las Conchas Fire map June 29, 2011. Click image to enlarge. Original Map (PDF)


Las Conchas Fire Progression Map June 28, 2011. Click image to enlarge.


Flames above Los Alamos.
Photo taken by Los Alamos National Laboratory on June 28, 2011. Some rights reserved


Volcanic Like Smoke Billowing out of Santa Fe National Forest. This image showing the Las Conchas wildfire raging in the Jemez Mountains of the Santa Fe National Forest in north-central New Mexico the was taken by a crew member aboard the ISS on June 27. The fire is  burning just southwest of LANL. Source: NASA.

Fire Summary:

  • Name: Las Conchas Fire
  • Date Started: 1 p.m., 6/26/2011
  • Location: Approximately 12 miles southwest of Los Alamos off NM 4 at mile marker 35
  • Fuels: Mixed Conifer, Ponderosa Pine. Fuel moisture is extremely low.
  • Cause: Unknown – under investigation [The fire was reportedly ignited by a fallen power line]
  • Size: 69,555 acres based on 06/29 infrared data
  • Percent Contained: 3%
  • Residences Destroyed: 12

Fire Update [from InciWeb]

Area Command Team 1 (Dan Oltrogge, Area Commander) and an additional Type 1 Incident Management Team (Dugger Hughes, Incident Commander) in-briefed with host agencies late yesterday. Firefighting efforts were broken in two zones. Rienarz’s Type 1 Incident Management Team will manage the north zone of the fire and Hughes’s Incident Management Team will manage the south zone. Crews are dealing with extremely dry fuels and potential threats from thunderstorms and dry lightning strikes.

Northwest – Firefighters scouted a potential fireline and burnout opportunities, including opportunities for aerial ignition on peaks to help moderate fire intensity along Valles Caldera 2 Road and Valles Caldera 9 Road. Firefighters will also continue to maintain a fire line using mop up methods along 4 Road to prevent the fire from spreading within the Valles Caldera National Preserve. Fire line construction will also continue toward the Cerro Pelado area.

East – Firefighters will be working along SR 501 and Ski Area Road on through Highway 4 to curb the fire from spreading east. Structural protection continues in Bandelier National Monument. Crews will also be working spot fires along Ski Area Road. A structure implementation plan was set in place for the Pajarito Ski Area. The Los Alamos Fire Department was brought in to provide added resources in the area.

A Sandoval County Assessment team is completing a post fire damage assessment. Their current assessment has documented twelve residences destroyed.

South side – The fire is backing down several drainages. Firefighters are scouting for potential fireline south of the fire and monitor the Alamo and Hondo Canyons, as well as the Sanchez and Capulin Canyon.

Current Evacuations:

City of Los Alamos – The acting Los Alamos County Administrator issued an evacuation order for the city of Los Alamos. The Cities of Gold hotel in Pojoaque is offering shelter services for evacuating residents of Los Alamos. Los Alamos evacuees are advised against sheltering in White Rock, although White Rock is not at risk. White Rock is currently under a voluntary evacuation.

The Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society and the Espanola Valley Humane Society will be taking in dogs, cats and other small household pets to help those displaced by the Las Conches Fire. They are also collecting names for those willing to host animals. For more information, please contact: Santa Fe (503) 983-4309, or Espanola (505) 753-8662.

The American Red Cross in New Mexico activated two official shelters in northern New Mexico: the Santa Claran Hotel & Casino in Espanola and the Cities of Gold Casino near Santa Fe. The American Red Cross (505) 265-8514 or 800-560-2302.

Pre-Evacuation Alert

If you live near the fire or near the Forest, you should always be ready for emergencies including evacuations, the three-step process is easy to remember and implement:

· Ready – Take personal responsibility and prepare before the threat of a wildland fire so your home is ready in case of a fire. Create defensible space by clearing brush away from your home. Use fire-resistant landscaping and harden your home with fire-safe construction measures. Assemble emergency supplies and belongings in a safe spot. Plan escapes routes. Make sure all those residing within the home know the plan of action.

· Set – Act immediately. Pack your vehicle with your emergency items. Remember your six P’s: people, personal computers, pets, pills, papers and pictures. Stay aware of the latest news and information on the fire from local media and your local fire department.

· Go – Leave early! Follow your personal action plan. Doing so will not only support your safety, but will allow firefighters to best maneuver resources to combat the fire.

Closures

NM 4 is closed at Jemez Falls Campground and at NM 501. NM 502 westbound into Los Alamos is now closed to all motorists. Access is controlled and limited to official traffic until further notification.

For a recorded update on evacuations and road closures, call a Santa Fe National Forest toll-free line: 877-971-FIRE.

Bureau of Land Management: The Bureau of Land Management’s Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument will close to the public. The monument isn’t currently threatened, but the road to the monument will be used by firefighters to access the southern flank of the fire.

Bandelier National Monument: The Bandelier National Monument will be closed indefinitely.

Los Alamos National Labs: The Los Alamos National Laboratory will be closed due to the fire. All laboratory facilities will be closed for all activities, and nonessential employees are directed to remain off site. Employees that are considered nonessential should not report to work unless specifically directed by their line managers. Employees should check local news sources, the LANL Update Hotline (505) 667-6622 and the LANL web page http://www.lanl.gov for updates. All radioactive and hazardous material is appropriately accounted for and protected. LANL staff is coordinating the on-site response and supporting the county and federal fire response.

Safety Message

The wildfire and burnout operations will continue to produce heavy smoke. Residents with respiratory problems in the path of smoke may want to consider relocating temporarily until smoke dissipates. Motorists should exercise caution due to reduced visibility.

Related Sites

Related Links:


Posted in NM wildfires | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Las Conchas Fire Approaching Plutonium Dump Site

Posted by feww on June 29, 2011

Massive Los Alamos blaze has consumed at least 61,000 acres, threatening plutonium waste storage

The blaze may have already reached the grounds of the LANL complex, and could reach a toxic dump site where 30,000 drums (6.25 million liters) of plutonium-contaminated waste are stored.

“Carl Beard, director of operations for the lab, said there has been no release of radioactive or hazardous materials into the environment and there was no immediate threat to public safety, ‘even in these extreme conditions.'” Said a report.

“The concern is that these drums will get so hot that they’ll burst,” Joni Arends, executive director of the Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, told the AP news agency.

“That would put this toxic material into the plume,” she added.

Looking northwest from southern edge of municpal airport in Los Alamos. June 27, 2011. Photo by LANL phot-stream on Flickr

Volcanic-like plumes of smoke have blackened the sky over the Los Alamos forcing the evacuation of the entire city of about 12,000.

The communities of Cochiti Mesa, and Las Conchas have been evacuated.

On June 27, the fire breached the grounds of Los Alamos National Laboratory and a one-acre spot fire reportedly burned on the lab complex before firefighters extinguished it.

Las Conchas Fire Map


Las Conchas Fire map June 28, 2011. Click image to enlarge.

What People Have Said:

“I seriously believe it could go to 100,000 acres … We have fire all around the lab. It’s a road away.” Doug Tucker, Los Alamos fire chief said.

“We’re doing our best to keep it off the lab,” He added.

“We are throwing absolutely everything at this that we got,” Sen. Tom Udall of N.M. said.

Fire Summary:

  • Name: Las Conchas Fire
  • Date Started: 1 p.m., 6/26/2011
  • Location: Approximately 12 miles southwest of Los Alamos off NM 4 at mile marker 35
  • Fuels: Mixed Conifer, Ponderosa Pine. Fuel moisture is extremely low.
  • Cause: Unknown – under investigation [The fire was reportedly ignited by a fallen power line]
  • Size: 60,741 acres based on infrared data [as of latest available data posted on the Internet on June 28, 2011, 11:30 am local time]
  • Percent Contained: 0%

Fire Update: [from InciWeb]

East – Crews are working to protect structures near Bandelier, as well as working to contain the fire along the Frijole Canyon.

West – Crews are building direct lines to prevent fire movement to the west.

Northeast – Crews are working to contain the fire using burnout methods to prevent the fire from spreading north of Pajarito Road and east of Highway 501.

South – North of Cochiti fire progression is being slowed by lighter fuel types. Firefighters are evaluating methods to stop the fire from spreading south.

Current Evacuations:

City of Los Alamos – The acting Los Alamos County Administrator issued an evacuation order for the city of Los Alamos. The Cities of Gold hotel in Pojoaque is offering shelter services for evacuating residents of Los Alamos. Los Alamos evacuees are advised against sheltering in White Rock, although White Rock is not at risk. White Rock is currently under a voluntary evacuation.The Cities of Gold hotel in Pojoaque offers shelter services for evacuating residents of the Los Alamos townsite. Cities of Gold also accepts pets. Many residents remain in White Rock following voluntary evacuations which began Sunday. Los Alamos townsite evacuees are advised against sheltering in White Rock, although White Rock is not at risk. The Cities of Gold hotel in Pojoaque offers shelter services for evacuating residents of the Los Alamos townsite. Cities of Gold also accepts pets. Many residents remain in White Rock following voluntary evacuations which began Sunday. Los Alamos townsite evacuees are advised against sheltering in White Rock, although White Rock is not at risk. The Cities of Gold hotel in Pojoaque offers shelter services for evacuating residents of the Los Alamos townsite. Cities of Gold also accepts pets. Many residents remain in White Rock following voluntary evacuations which began Sunday. Los Alamos townsite evacuees are advised against sheltering in White Rock, although White Rock is not at risk.

Pre-Evacuation Alert

If you live near the fire or near the Forest, you should always be ready for emergencies including evacuations, the three-step process is easy to remember and implement:

· Ready – Take personal responsibility and prepare before the threat of a wildland fire so your home is ready in case of a fire. Create defensible space by clearing brush away from your home. Use fire-resistant landscaping and harden your home with fire-safe construction measures. Assemble emergency supplies and belongings in a safe spot. Plan escapes routes. Make sure all those residing within the home know the plan of action.

· Set – Act immediately. Pack your vehicle with your emergency items. Remember your six P’s: people, personal computers, pets, pills, papers and pictures. Stay aware of the latest news and information on the fire from local media and your local fire department.

· Go – Leave early! Follow your personal action plan. Doing so will not only support your safety, but will allow firefighters to best maneuver resources to combat the fire.

Closures

NM 4 is closed at Jemez Falls Campground and at NM 501. NM 502 westbound into Los Alamos is now closed to all motorists. Access is controlled and limited to official traffic until further notification.NM 502 westbound into Los Alamos is now closed to all motorists. Access is controlled and limited to official traffic until further notification.NM 502 westbound into Los Alamos is now closed to all motorists. Access is controlled and limited to official traffic until further notification.

Bandelier National Monument: The Bandelier National Monument will be closed indefinitely.

Los Alamos National Labs: The Los Alamos National Laboratory will be closed due to the fire. All laboratory facilities will be closed for all activities, and nonessential employees are directed to remain off site. Employees that are considered nonessential should not report to work unless specifically directed by their line managers. Employees should check local news sources, the LANL Update Hotline (505) 667-6622 and the LANL web page http://www.lanl.gov for updates. All radioactive and hazardous material is appropriately accounted for and protected. LANL staff is coordinating the on-site response and supporting the county and federal fire response.

Safety Message

The wildfire and burnout operations will continue to produce heavy smoke. Residents with respiratory problems in the path of smoke may want to consider relocating temporarily until smoke dissipates. Motorists should exercise caution due to reduced visibility.

Related Sites

Related Links

Posted in US Wildfire | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Los Alamos Fire Explodes to 50,000 acres

Posted by feww on June 28, 2011

Las Conchas wildfire burning near Los Alamos grows by a whopping 850 percent

The fire briefly entered the grounds of Los Alamos National Laboratory, but was reportedly beaten back by firefighters.


Fire near Los Alamos National Laboratory

The flames have not yet reached buildings on 28,000-acre lab complex, and authorities said there was little threat to plutonium facility on the northeast side of the complex, according to reports.

“The facility is very well protected from any kind of wildland fire threat,” said a lab spokesman.

In May 2000 a wildfire destroyed several buildings within the complex causing at least $1 billion in damage, he said.

Cerro Grande fire consumed nearly 50,000 acres destroying several hundred homes and about 100 buildings within LANL complex 11 years ago.


Las Conchas wildfire. Freeze frame from a video clip.

The fire started about 1:00 pm on Sunday, June 26, 2011 and is currently zero percent contained.

“The fire burned actively all day to the north/northeast. Running, crowning, and spotting up to a half a mile of the head of the fire was observed.” Said a fire report.

Fire Location

Jemez Ranger District, Santa Fe National Forest; approximately 12 miles southwest of Los Alamos off NM 4 at mile marker 35.


Las Conchas Fire map. Click image to enlarge.

Evacuations

The city of Los Alamos is under MANDATORY evacuation as of 1:45 pm (June 26). White Rock remains under VOLUNTARY evacuation. Cochiti Mesa, Las Conchas, Bandelier National Monument, and campgrounds near the fire were evacuated yesterday. There were approximately 100 residents evacuated from Cochiti Mesa and Las Conchas, and no evacuees reported to the evacuation center at La Cueva Fire Station.

Los Alamos National Labs

The Los Alamos National Laboratory will be closed due to the fire. All laboratory facilities will be closed for all activities, and nonessential employees are directed to remain off site. Employees that are considered nonessential should not report to work unless specifically directed by their line managers. Employees should check local news sources, the LANL Update Hotline (505.667.6622) and the LANL web page http://www.lanl.gov fo updates. All radioactive and hazardous material is appropriately accounted for and protected. LANL staff is coordinating the on-site response and supporting the county and federal fire response.

Threats to Structures and powerlines

  • Power and phone lines are down in the area.
  • All aircraft in the are have been grounded due to the smoke and other hazards.

Pacheco Fire: 2 miles north of Santa Fe Ski Basin


Source: InciWeb

Related Links

Posted in US Wildfire | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Fire Near Los Alamos Grows to 6,000 Acres

Posted by feww on June 27, 2011

Las Conchas wildfire forces closure of Los Alamos National Laboratory; County under voluntary evacuation

The raging blaze had consumed its way to within 1 km  of the lab’s SW boundary, forcing the authorities to activate its Emergency Operations Center and shut down the complex.

Las Conchas wildfire is actively burning near Frijoles Canyon in Jemez Springs with zero percent containment, as of posting.

The blaze is currently about 10 miles away from residential areas of Los Alamos and White Rock counties, where the officials have asked residents to consider a voluntary evacuation.


Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is one of two laboratories in the United States where nuclear weapons are designed.

Related Links

Mega Disasters:

Posted in environment, US Wildfire | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »