On top of two nuclear power plants in Nebraska (Fort Calhoun and Cooper) being flooded by the Missouri River, now a raging wildfire is endangering the Los Alamos Nuclear Lab in New Mexico.
According to the New Mexico Fire Information website, the Las Conchas wildfire began at 1:00 p.m. last Sunday, June 26, 2011, in the Santa Fe National Forest, approximately 3 miles south of Los Alamos, and has burnt at least 43,624 acres.
Los Alamos is one of two laboratories in the United States where classified work towards the design of nuclear weapons is undertaken. The other, since 1952, is Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.
The New Mexico Fire Information website says: “The Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) will be closed due to the fire. All laboratory facilities will be closed for all activities and nonessential employees are directed to remain off site. Employees are considered nonessential and should not report to work unless specifically directed by their line managers. Employees should check local news sources, the LANL Update Hotline 505-667-6622 and the LANL web page www.lanl.gov for updates. All radioactive and hazardous material is appropriately accounted for and protected. LANL staff is coordinating the on-site response and supporting the county and federal fire response.”
As of 10:30 pm last night, the fire is 0% contained.