If the coronavirus doesn’t get you…

Los Alamos National Laboratory will release radioactive vapors into the atmosphere to ventilate several barrels of tritium-tainted waste generated during the Cold War.

The lab informed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency earlier this month that it would ventilate four waste containers, beginning April 17, to relieve the built-up, radioactive hydrogen in the barrels’ headspace to prevent them from rupturing while they’re being handled. The EPA approved the application for the radioactive release last year…

Wind velocity and direction would be factors during the release…

If the federal [radiation] limit is reached before all the drums are ventilated, the remaining drums would be put back into storage at the lab until next year…

L.A.N.L. is more cautious about these containers since their last radioactive leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad six years ago. They packed a waste drum with a mixture of cat litter and nitrate salts, causing it to explode and spray radiation.

They had to shut down W.I.P.P. for three years and the cleanup cost American taxpayers $2 billion.

2 thoughts on “If the coronavirus doesn’t get you…

  1. p/s says:

    “Los Alamos National Laboratory should be able to produce 80 plutonium pits to meet surges in demand, not just the official goal of 30 pits a year, according to a proposed update to the lab’s last sitewide analysis.” https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/new-study-says-lanl-nuclear-pit-production-could-go-higher/article_3e39bea8-6a1b-11ea-bb6e-93cdeb54791f.html “…Defense officials say the new pits are needed to modernize the nation’s nuclear arsenal to better protect the U.S. against Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and rogue states that are improving their weaponry. The pits would arm two new warheads on intercontinental ballistic missiles — one type that’s land-based and the other launched from submarines.”

    Weapons grade Plutonium-239 has a half-life of 24,110 years and emits alpha particles that are too bulky to penetrate even skin or paper. It is most dangerous when inhaled as a dry powder, where its decay in the lungs can cause cancer https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16447-earliest-weapons-grade-plutonium-found-in-us-dump/

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