Los Alamos Fire - Cerro Grande May 2000 title14.gif (1701 bytes)
Print out Peace Action Petition  against US toxics and weapons of mass destruction ! 

Read Dr. Dan Kerlinsky on the Los Alamos situation

(R) Los Alamos fire from about 20 miles away on May 10. I shot this four miles from home, [email protected]   Maps and media links below provided as a public service.

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See also
Nuclear Watch of New Mexico
Nuclear groups in Local New Mexico page
Nuclear groups - Environment page
Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety (CCNS) has posted current information, political contact numbers, Rad Alert readings, and critical recommendations for action by officials and concerned citizens.  Important notices about related events.


   "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."
--Dwight D. Eisenhower
   "The lab at Los Alamos (LANL) simply should not be there. It is a far greater danger to the health and security of our people than any foreign enemy.  The current debates about safeguards, blame for the fire, and who should pay simply sidestep the overriding issue of the inherent evil of such technology. It cannot be made safe, and those in charge cannot be trusted.  Permanent shutdown is rquired by patriotism and loyalty to our communities, our people, and our land."  [email protected]
Comparing the LANL weapons budget with  cleanup funding, Jay Coghlan of Nuclear Watch and Willem Malten, participants in the three standing-room only public meetings over the Los Alamos fire, held at Cloud Cliff Bakery, Santa Fe, New Mexico. bakery
Questions they aren't asking--

Why do they have 2.7 metric TONS of plutonium?
Why does ANYONE have plutonium?
Why is Los Alamos still there after the Cold War is long ended?
Why is no one monitoring non-radioactive toxics burning from 50 years dumping in the canyon?

The assurances of safety come from the same folks who told lab workers they weren't exposed for 50 years.  Story

satellite view of plume 05-11 >>>>
What's in that smoke?

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Fire map in Albuquerque Journal

Downwinders is an extensive resource on nuclear fallout and contamination for communities and victims

Los Alamos National Laboratory, detailed report on contaminant remediation

Los Alamos National Laboratory fire update #14 5-11

US Forest Service Southwest Area morning report 5-13

Los Alamos County information for evacuees

From Santa Fe New Mexican: Agencies test N.M. air for radiation
   Lab critics remain skeptical about the lab's claims that no releases of radiation or other hazardous emissions occurred. They say the lab harbors many contaminated sites above and below ground from decades of nuclear weapons research and testing involving radioactive materials such as plutonium and uranium. The lab said its plutonium is stored in a concrete-and-steel reinforced building designed to withstand every imaginable disaster, from fires and earthquakes to a 747 jumbo jet crash. They said that building was not breached in this fire.
   Schumann acknowledged today that the possibility exists
that the fire could have spread contamination from the soils
or other hazardous waste sites.
   "Does the possibility exist that it could happen? Yes, it does," Schumann said. "But we have absolutely no firm information that it's taken place. And the firm information we do have suggests to us that it has not taken place."

NO END IN SIGHT (from Albuquerque Journal Friday, May 12, 2000 l)
    Farther north, the fire entered Mortandad Canyon, where Los Alamos has discharged radioactive liquid since the late 1960s. The concern is that flooding during the rainy season following a fire will be greatly enhanced and could carry contaminated sediments toward the Rio Grande.
     Vinyl tents on a mesa top store thousands of barrels of plutonium-contaminated garbage destined for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. The tents are on a largely treeless mesa, giving fire little fuel to spread.
     Environmental and health advocates worried about toxins sent skyward by burning trees and plants. Carol Miller, a health advocate from Ojo Sarco and former Green Party congressional candidate, gathered thick wads of ash outside her house in hopes of having it tested.  "Some of us wonder if any of the trees had absorbed any of the toxins in the past, so when we started seeing this debris falling we started worrying," she said.
     State and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials made plans to deploy several machines to sniff the smoke continuously for radioactive elements and toxins. The Energy Department also is calling in three teams to test for airborne radioactivity.

USA TODAY Some are questioning safety of nuclear lab Officials insist there's no danger


Some local news media

The Santa Fe New Mexican
The Albuquerque Journal
The Albuquerque Tribune
Los Alamos Monitor
US Forest Service fire map
Channel 4 KOBTV Albuquerque

from USA Today:
   Thousands of barrels of radioactive waste sit above ground in partial enclosures on lab property and there are large swaths of contaminated ground awaiting cleanup. It is unclear whether the fire posed a risk in those areas.
   Outside experts questioned whether the lab has fully disclosed the fire's potential risks.
   They noted that safety assurances from lab officials have focused on the weapons material in Los Alamos' vaults but have made little mention of threats from contaminated land and nuclear waste in open areas. In just the past year, the lab has cleared brush from many of those areas.  But the fire's rapid advance over large swaths of lab property is likely to test those measures. 
   'There's a lot of stuff that isn't in vaults that poses significant risks,'' said Robert Alvarez, a former top DOE safety adviser. ''There's a lot of contaminated land, waste sites, storage buildings with residual high explosives, and there's a real threat that contaminants can be swept up in the fire and (carried) in smoke that can get to populated areas.''
   It's a serious concern, even in a community used to living with a nuclear weapons lab. Los Alamos was born with the lab, existing first as a closed town supporting the secret Manhattan Project that spawned the lab's creation during World War II."
Nuclear fears in Los Alamos fire
from the London Times
    The most hazardous substances, including plutonium, were stored in bunkers designed to withstand the crash of a jumbo jet, officials said.
    Even so, some environmentalists are concerned that the fire could release small concentrations of radiation if it burns through Bayou Canyon, site of experiments in the lab's early years. The canyon underwent two clean-ups but tests show that trees and plants are still mildly "hot" from strontium-90.
Official reactions to Los Alamos fire from MSNBC

Nuclear sites on our Local New Mexico web page

blbullet.gif (859 bytes)   Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety and SWEIS - Los Alamos National Laboratory Site-Wide
blbullet.gif (859 bytes)  Environmental Impact Statement (Draft) and other nuclear issues links
blbullet.gif (859 bytes)   Indigenous Anti-Nuclear Summit Declaration Albuquerque, NM September 5-8, 1996
blbullet.gif (859 bytes)   Los Alamos Study Group " From international treaties to environmental hazards, we want to provide all interested parties with a reliable and independent perspective of what's happening at our nuclear weapons laboratories.


From Fire update 5-11 MSNBC:
   Governor Gary Johnson and several other New Mexico politicians have expressed their concern about the impact of the fire on Los Alamos National Laboratory. Despite the raging fires, the lab says the nation’s weapons secrets are safe. “We’re not worried about national security threatened in any way from someone taking advantage of the confusion from the fire to get into our facility,” said Los Alamos spokesman Kevin Roark.
   And officials say the lab’s supply of 2.7 metric tons of plutonium is secure in fireproof bunkers, protected by fire breaks. “The fire is no threat that any special nuclear materials could be exposed to fire,” said Roark. Lab officials have been monitoring closely those areas that house hazardous waste materials.
   Los Alamos, like other Cold War weapons complexes, has tons of toxic wastes stored on its property, including heavy metals like mercury, beryllium, depleted uranium, PCB’s and solvents, all of which would pose a serious health threat if they burn and contaminate the plume of smoke filling the sky. “Uranium is quite toxic. PCB’s when burned, form dioxins, which are extremely toxic in low concentrations, and we are lucky that these areas really haven’t burned,” said Greg Mello with the Los Alamos Study Group.
   Critics of the Department of Energy complain this threat, from a witches’ brew of toxic chemicals generated during 50 years of bomb making, was bound to manifest itself sooner or later.

COLLEGE PARK, Maryland (AP) --     
     Researchers who are reclassifying millions of  records at the National Archives facility in College Park, Maryland, have discovered that some of the documents are radioactive.  STORY

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, WIPP, is the world's first underground repository licensed to "safely and permanently" (yeah, right) dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons.   (26 miles SE of Carlsbad, NM, US). Contact Citizens for Alternatives to Nuclear Dumping (CARD) at New Mexico Research, Education and Enrichment Foundation, 144 Harvard SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106 [email protected].  Walk to shut WIPP Sept 1-4 Roswell to Carlsbad, NM.
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" We turn wine into water " --" critical mass " every Sunday
WHO is this man?  And why does the nuclear lab at Los Alamos want him to go away?  Why was he arrested for listing the burned house numbers for evacuees?

from Santa Fe New Mexican: Anti-nuclear iconoclast isn't glad lab in danger

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Smokey Bear was a citizen of New Mexico. 

Smokey Bear Historical State Park in New Mexico is the final resting place of the original Smokey, who died in 1976.   An important chapter in Smokey's long history began early in 1950, when a burned black bear cub survived a catastrophic fire in the Lincoln National Forest near Capitan, New Mexico. The Smokey Bear Historical State Park is located along Highway 380 in the heart of the Village of Capitan, New Mexico.  Smokey's own website

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