Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory, new mexico
The above two images show the Las Conchas wildfire on June 29. Active fire areas are outlined in red. The top image shows a natural color view of the fire. The lower image combines visible and infrared light to show the area burned throughout the week. In the infrared light, the smoke is a faint blue haze that allows a view of the ground below. The hot fire glows orange, and the newly burned land is dark red. [Source]
Yesterday, I read that the Los Alamos Nuclear Lab will be reopened this Friday.
From the New Mexico Fire Information website, on the Las Conchas wildfire:
|Fuels Involved||Mixed Conifer, Ponderosa Pine. Fuel moisture is extremely low.|
Little change is expected in the weather from yesterday. Thunderstorms are possible with the chance of strong outflow winds. East and southeast winds will develop over the fire area today, pushing the fire generally to the northwest. Winds developing after 10 am will push the fire up slopes and drainages, especially in drainages with east/west orientation. We also expect another day of very active fire behavior where open lines exist on any western edges or fingers.
The fire above Los Alamos is active and visible. Containment lines are secure. There are many islands of unburned ground. In these areas, fire backs down slopes, and then makes visible short uphill runs. This pattern is likely to continue until the summer rains extinguish the fire. Meanwhile, with support of the Los Alamos Fire Department, the fire is being carefully monitored.
Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant, Nebraska
Flooded land: About 170,000 acres of Nebraska land is inundated by Missouri and Platte Rivers floodwater, according to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. That’s the equivalent of more than 265 square miles.
- Fort Randall Dam in South Dakota is releasing water at a rate of about 155,000 cubic feet per second. Releases from the Dam will be reduced Thursday for Army Corps of Engineers officials to inspect repair work that had been done on the structure before the spring runoff season. Engineers want to see how the structure is performing.
- A similar inspection was conducted last week at Big Bend Dam in South Dakota, upstream from Fort Randall.
- Gavins Point Dam on SD-NE border — the lowest dam on the Missouri River, immediately downstream on the Nebraska border from Fort Randall — continues to perform well and no similar closure is expected. (Please note that this is completely contrary to the alarming, malicious, and totally unconfirmed rumor about plans to “blow up” Gavins Point Dam, on this blog, June 28, 2011. I’m glad I sat on the story and did not post it on FOTM.)
Meanwhile, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists chastises the media for their failure to investigate and report on the flooded Fort Calhoun and Cooper Nuclear Power Plants:
Failure of the fourth estate. Newspapers and websites all over the country have reported on the flooding and fire at Fort Calhoun, but most articles simply paraphrase and regurgitate information from the NRC and OPPD press releases, which aggregators and bloggers then, in turn, simply cut and paste. Even the Omaha World-Herald didn’t send local reporters to cover the story; instead, the newspaper published an article on the recent fire written by Associated Press reporters — based in Atlanta and Washington. Unsurprisingly, much of the information in recent press reports has lacked context….
Admittedly, it’s not easy finding information about Fort Calhoun, even if you’re a local reporter without a tight deadline. OPPD press releases and the company’s online newsroom do not provide details about the plant’s layout and components. Some of that information was available before 9/11 but was removed because of concerns about terrorism. In protecting ourselves from enemies, we have also hidden vital information from ourselves. So finding the relevant facts takes some digging and dialing, and most newsrooms today don’t have that kind of manpower. That’s especially true at newspapers scrambling to cover a multitude of flood impacts across the region.
A June 9 report delivered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), “Information Needs of Communities,” states that the number of full-time journalists at daily newspapers has fallen from a peak of about 56,900 in 1989 to 41,600 in 2010 — fewer than before Watergate.