Los Alamos

Oversight board questions radiation risk at LANL

Jul 12, 2012

A federal oversight board says Los Alamos National Laboratory has significantly underestimated how much radiation could leak from its main plutonium lab in the event of a major earthquake and fire.

The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board says it has "identified a number of deficiencies" in calculations that concluded any release would be below the threshold deemed safe to the public.

Board staff say their calculations indicate the potential for a radiation release from a seismically induced fire could instead be more than four times that level.

Photo via www.cakitches.com

Reviewer Jim Terr sees a lot of cultural and entertainment events in the course of a year in northern New Mexico.  But he says his favorites have come down to a small number, including one event that occurs annually in Los Alamos.