A wildfire has grown extreme in Northern New Mexico and clearly threatens a major nuclear research facility: Los Alamos National Laboratory, best known for the Manhattan Project, that created the first atomic bomb ever.
The news on this matter pile up and I'm having a bad case of unexpectedly slow Internet connection, so I'd be succinct and redirect you to Energy News for further information. The facts are that fire crossed yesterday into the property of the LANL, causing forced evacuations, that it has been acknowledged officially that the fire is going to stay for some time and may grow to several times its current size.
More from yesterday evening (American time):
- Officials shocked about how fast the fire is growing.
- Video from NBC.
- All aircraft grounded because of too high winds.
- Fire is incontrollable and highly unpredictable.
- Firefighters are not trained to work in nuclear fires.
Also yesterday it became known that some 30,000 barrels (drums) of plutonium and contaminated waste was stored in the LANL above ground level in fabric tents. This contradicts previous claims that all nuclear material in the facility is in safe vaults underground. Eventually, it was acknowledged by officials that there is indeed nuclear material stored above ground in Area G. It was also known that LANL holds largest number of nuclear weapons on Earth.
- A site that initially announced that LANL has above ground nuclear materials appeared hacked (it was still showing only gibberish last time I looked at it).
- Special team was called to LANL to track levels of plutonium and uranium in the air.
- NASA data shows the fire heading to the North and East, which may be towards Los Alamos eventually (which is Northeast of the center of the fire) - shown below.
See also: US nuclear plant flooded for the other looming nuclear danger now in North America (updated).
Update (June 29): Effectively the uncontrolled fire is reaching the nuclear facility, where 20 or 30 thousand barrels of nuclear material are virtually in the open. See also Energy News for regular news updates.