Fire Outside Los Alamos Lab Poses 'Low' Risk to Nuclear Waste: Fire Chief

Eli is a contributing correspondent for Science magazine.

The Albuquerque Journal reports on a press conference an hour ago in which authorities fighting the raging blaze downplayed the risk of the fire striking a huge cache of nuclear waste stored onsite.

The chance of flames from the Las Conchas fire reaching plutonium and chemical waste stored in Los Alamos National Laboratory's Area G waste site is low, Los Alamos fire chief Doug Tucker said at a news conference this afternoon. And even if the flames do approach, the waste is stored in an area cleared of vegetation and protected by fire teams, officials said.

The tens of thousands of drums stored outdoors under protective covers has been a central concern for anti-nuclear activists who have long complained about the risks of Area G.

Sharing in this view is antinuclear activist Jay Coghlan, who is quoted in the Journal's story.

A spokesperson for the lab, Kevin Rourke, told ScienceInsider this afternoon that no new fires have been detected on lab property since officials extinguished a 1-acre blaze yesterday afternoon.

Posted in Policy, Climate