I’m sure everything’s just fine. They would tell us if it wasn’t, right?
One of the top nuclear weapons research facilities in the US will remain closed until Thursday as fire fighters battle a wildfire raging at its boundary.
Only “essential-duties” staff at Los Alamos National Laboratory will be permitted on site on Wednesday.
Officials at the New Mexico facility have said they detected “no off-site releases of contamination”.
The town outside the laboratory in the state of New Mexico was evacuated on Monday as the fire raged nearby.
Officials said the nuclear facilities faced “no immediate threat” but warned of damage to houses.
[..] The blaze was said to be as close as 50ft (15m) away from the grounds of the lab on Tuesday afternoon, raising fears it could reach a cache of 30,000 drums, each containing 55 gallons (208 litres) of plutonium-contaminated waste.
The fire had reached the lab’s southwestern boundary and leapt a state road onto the land, burning roughly an acre, state fire officials said.
“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 Associated Press news agency.
“That would put this toxic material into the plume,” she added.
But officials said there was very little risk of the fire actually reaching the lab’s facilities and that workers were standing near the waste drums to coat them with fire-resistant foam if the blaze got too close.
Oh, well then! You shouldn’t be too upset about this additional information:
Officials insist explosive materials on the laboratory’s grounds are safely stored in underground bunkers made of concrete and steel. But the group, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, told the Associated Press that the fire appeared to be about 3.5 miles from a dump site where as many as 30,000 55-gallon drums of plutonium-contaminated waste were stored in fabric tents above ground. The group said the drums were awaiting transport to a low-level radiation dump site in southern New Mexico.