by: Anonymous Coward
Disclaimer: This is a message board post and has not been fact checked
|6/28/11 -- LOS ALAMOS FIRE MAP -- shows just how close the fire is to some serious waste!|
I came across the most recent survey map of the wildfire in Los Alamos at the following site:
[link to wildfiretoday.com]
I thought it would be informative to overlay this map with a map showing the technical areas (TAs) and material disposition areas (MDAs) on the Los Alamos National Lab reservation. Check this out:
[link to www.flickr.com]
The fire is located within the hatched orange outline shown in the lower left-hand corner of the picture.
I don't know the exact scale of this map but it is about 11 miles from Los Alamos to White Rock so that should give you some sense of distance.
It appears that the fire, as of June 28th, is about a mile or so from TA-16 and TA-28.
TA-16 is a tritium and high explosives processing facility according to:
[link to www.lasg.org]
TA-28 is an explosives storage area.
As far as the MDAs go, the fire is closest to MDA-R, MDA-S, MDA-Z and MDA-AB. These contain various toxic metals, organics, high explosives and radioactive wastes mostly buried in pits.
All of those 30,000 drums of low-level radioactive waste we have been hearing about are in MDA-G, which is further away from the fire at the moment.
But, oddly, what we haven't heard much about is the storage site for transuranic waste which is in MDA-C. This one is a little scary. Here is the description from the LASG site:
[link to www.lasg.org]
Location: Technical Area (TA) -50
Period of use:
Pits (6): June 1948 to December 1964
Shafts (107): 1958 to April 1974
Size: 11.8 acres
Number and type of disposal units:
Pits 1- 4: 610 by 40 feet
Pit 5: 705 by 110 feet by about 18 feet
Pit 6: 505 by 100 feet by about 23 feet
Chemical pit: 180 by 25 feet by about 12 feet
Vary between 1 to 2 feet in diameter, and 10 to 25 feet deep
Specific wastes and quantities:
Estimated Volume: 3,186,000 ft3 of TRU waste
Pits contain, as of January 1973:
25 Curies (Ci) of uranium
26 Ci of plutonium-239
149 Ci of americium-241
49,136 Ci of tritium
40 Ci sodium-22
20 Ci of cobalt-60
31 Ci of strontium-90
5 Ci of uranium-233
50 Ci fission products
200 Ci of induced activity
Also contains quantities of mercury, copper, cobalt, boron, beryllium, and silver. (2)
Potential environmental impacts:
Lies near Ten-Site Canyon New Mexico Environment Department's (NMED) Hazardous and Radioactive Material Bureau (HRMB) ranks this MDA as an area with a high probability of contaminant mobilization and a moderate to high potential of release to the groundwater.
That is an insane amount of highly radioactive waste. And notice at the end there that it is ranked as HIGH probability of contaminant mobilization!
Just a heads up for you guys. We really need to watch this thing!