The federal Department of Energy has estimated that it will cost $1.2 billion to clean up all the radioactive and hazardous waste at Los Alamos, but New Mexico Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn says he believes that amount is “far too low.”
Flynn, speaking at a meeting of a Los Alamos National Laboratory citizens advisory board here Thursday, called the DOE’s cost projection “a bare minimum.”
Flynn said the parties involved need “to have an honest conversation about the extent of the problem.” LANL is expected to receive $181 million in federal funds for environmental remediation in the next federal budget year…
And Flynn said any assumption that the state Environment Department will accept the cheapest so-called cap-and-cover contamination remedies from DOE “is misplaced.”
Flynn’s comments came as part of the first public discussion of plans to revise the 2005 legal agreement between the state and DOE over cleanup of LANL’s legacy waste dating back to the 1940s Manhattan Project that developed the first atomic bomb.
Under the 10-year-old consent order that ended a legal fight between New Mexico and the feds, cleanup of the lab’s 40-square-mile site was supposed to be completed by this year. But that didn’t come close to happening and the two sides are preparing to negotiate revisions.
RTFA for lots and lots of details.
Most of this crappola goes back 75 years. No one on Earth expects the US Government or the Pentagon to be in a hurry to live up to their responsibilities at contaminating the planet; but, you’d think they’d do something about the little county in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico – that they own lock, stock and barrels of radioactive goo.
Everyone in Los Alamos knows about most of the stuff buried under the town itself. Which fast-food restaurants where you only use the drive-up window. But, I continue to be surprised by the highest-paid help in the entire United States sticking around for those paychecks when they learn what they’re sleeping and living over.