Skip to content


Audit raises concerns about wildfire risks at US nuclear lab via AP

By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — One of the nation’s premier nuclear laboratories isn’t taking the necessary precautions to guard against wildfires, according to an audit by the U.S. Energy Department’s inspector general.

The report comes as wildfire risks intensify across the drought-stricken U.S. West. Climatologists and environmentalists have been warning about worsening conditions across the region, particularly in New Mexico, which is home to Los Alamos National Laboratory and where summer rains failed to materialize last year and winter precipitation has been spotty at best.

The birthplace of the atomic bomb, Los Alamos has experienced hundreds of millions of dollars in losses and damage from major wildfires over the last two decades. That includes a blaze in 2000 that forced the lab to close for about two weeks, ruined scientific projects, destroyed a portion of the town and threatened tens of thousands of barrels of radioactive waste stored on lab property.

Watchdog groups say the federal government needs to take note of the latest findings and conduct a comprehensive review before the lab ramps up production of key plutonium parts used in the nation’s nuclear arsenal.

[…]

The audit released this month found that cutting back vegetation along power lines and other measures to reduce the risk of catastrophic fires were not always done, increasing the potential for another devastating fire like the Cerro Grande Fire in 2000. 

Federal auditors said not all fire roads were maintained to ensure safe passage for firefighters and equipment responding to blazes on lab property.

The audit also cited federal policy that requires a comprehensive, risk-based approach to wildfire management — something the inspector general’s office said had not been developed by the contractor that manages the lab for the U.S. government. It also pointed to a lack of oversight by Energy Department field staff.

[…]

The report included photos that depicted overgrown areas. In Los Alamos Canyon, for example, specialists indicated there were about 400 to 500 trees per acre. Auditors said the ideal number should be 40 to 50 trees per acre. 

Lab spokesman Peter Alden Hyde said that since the audit was conducted in late 2018 and early 2019, the lab has adopted “an aggressive approach” to wildfire management on its 39-square-mile (101-square-kilometer) campus. That has included thinning vegetation along access routes, improving fire roads and recently removing thousands of trees downed by wind storms.

Read more at Audit raises concerns about wildfire risks at US nuclear lab

Posted in *English.

Tagged with , , , .


4 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. Rekeying Services Tolleson AZ says

    Wow, cool post. I’d like to write like this too – taking time and real hard work to make a great article… but I put things off too much and never seem to get started. Thanks though.

  2. ironcad design crack says

    IRONCAD Design Collaboration Suite Crack is a weak and new business creation package, just like the engineers and configuration you need to create and modify the 2D and 3D models. This epic app has all the tools you need to turn your mind into natural health. ironcad design collaboration suite crack

  3. شفا کلینیک says

    درمان بواسیر در بهترین مرکز درمان بیماری های نشیمنگاهی، شفا کلینیک

  4. avast antivirus crack says

    easeus data recovery crack is the best accessible data recovery software to recover all lost data – recover lost data from hard drive, external hard drive, USB drive, memory card, digital cameras, cell phones, music, and other media, feedback, software crash, faulty hard drive, virus infection, distribution or other errors. Just three steps and a few clicks to get EaseUS data recovery full crack everything you can fall back on!



Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.