Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Update on Los Conchas- LANL fire from CCNS

Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety via 
show details 10:33 PM (9 hours ago)

Hi All,
One of the lessons of the Cerro Grande Fire, which burned over 47,000 acres during a two-week period in May 2000 in the same areas as the Las Conchas Fire, is that we can't trust the statements by the officials.  Their statements and data eventually end up in reports that say that there was no exposure.  For example, the Risk Assessment Corporation reported following the Cerro Grande Fire:

The cancer incidence risk from breathing any LANL-derived chemical or radionuclide released to the air during the fire was less than 1 chance in 1 million.

“Summary Report:  Analysis of Exposure and Risks to the Public from Radionuclides and Chemicals Released by the Cerro Grande Fire at Los Alamos,” p . 7 < >

But we know the opposite is true because of the stories people have told following the Cerro Grande fire.  For example, communities that had never had a case of childhood leukemia began to experience those cancers; animals in the Embudo Valley aborted; and very rare cancers have grown in residents living in communities downwind and downstream of LANL.  Many have died and we are so sorry.   

In that spirit, please check out the following website for photos and videos of the fire so that you can make your own decisions about whether to evacuate, or when to evacuate.  Remember the six “Ps” -

  1. People and pets
  2. Papers, phone numbers and important documents
  3. Prescriptions, vitamins, and eyeglasses
  4. Pictures and irreplaceable memorabilia
  5. Personal computers (information on hard drives, memory and discs)
  6. “Plastic” (credit cards, ATM cards) and cash

*** More ***
1.  On the KOAT-TV website:  LOS ALAMOS, N.M. -- Dr. Michio Kaku discussed his concerns Tuesday for the hazardous materials housed at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Kaku said around 20,000 to 30,000 barrels of plutonium contaminated waste is stored at the lab. That waste includes everything from gloves to fuel rods, according to Kaku.
“Plutonium is one of the most toxic particles known to science. A particle you can’t even see lodged in your lungs could cause lung cancer,” Kaku said. “What we’re worried about is what happens when the fires go right into these buildings and perhaps pop open some of these 55-gallon drums.”
ight now, Los Alamos National Lab officials said dangerous materials in the lab are secure and do not pose a threat.
ku said no one has ever fully tested the lab under real fire conditions.
at happens if the fire spreads to the very heart of the laboratory? At that point, we have to cross our fingers hoping that ‘secure sites remain secure,’” Kaku said.
ight 2011 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Read more:

2.  Bob Martin of KRQE-TV went up in a helicopter this afternoon.  You can see the fabric tents at Area G in the foreground and the fire moving in that direction.

To view the fire and Area G from satellite on your computer, go to the Nuclear Watch New Mexico blog to learn how to use Google Earth and the US Forest Service information to keep track of the fire.

    You want to focus on the red square areas north of State Road 4 and the location of the Area G fabric tents which store the 20,000 to 30,000 drums of plutonium contaminated wastes – about 3 1/2 miles northeast of the red squares.  You can see the four tents west of White Rock.  They are also south of the green east-west line.

    It appears the Google Earth updates the information about the fires across the U.S. by zooming out.  Then you have to zoom back in to see if it has updated the Las Conchas fire.

4.  And a big shout out and thank you to all of you who forwarded the Action Alerts to social media networks! We are grateful because we while we can talk about transuranic waste at Area G, we don’t know much about social media tools.

5.  There was a press conference today.  You can read about it at:

Los Alamos County Update - June 28, 2011 4:30 PM
: Las Conchas Wildfire
Released: 4 hrs. ago
Los Alamos, NM - The Los Alamos County Council will host a town hall meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) with White Rock residents and those who have been evacuated from Los Alamos. A representative of the USFS will be on hand to answer questions about the fire. The meeting will be held at 2:00 p.m. at the White Rock Baptist Church (80 State Rt 4). Atomic City Transit will offer bus service from the two shelters to the meeting. Bus pick up times are: 12:45 p.m. at the Santa Claran Resort Center and 1:15 p.m. at the Cities of Gold Hotel Conference Center.
Media Advisory: Fire Chief Doug Tucker will give a Las Conchas fire update to the press at the Media Staging Area at 20th/Trinity at approximately 7 p.m. The County will continue to co-host Noon news conferences with LANL at the Media Staging Area until further notice.

7.  Air Quality Issues from the Incident Information System:

8.  From Jean Nichols on Tuesday, June 28th in the evening:

Today I was given a medical type mask (AOSafety 1050 Pleats Plus Particulate Respirator Medium Large N95 NiIOSH)

It actually seems to help a lot when outside in the smoke, - at least it helps how my lungs feel. I believe these are the same kinds used in surgical situations.
They are much more comfortable than full respirators or construction dust masks. You can buy them at Walgreens or other pharmacies.  We should be asking the Governor or the Red Cross or FEMA  or someone in Public Health to make them available to everyone who wants one, especially those with respiratory issues. They could be given out at the food banks this week. While they probably won't help with the serious radionuclides, I'm sure they will help with some of the other airborne particulates.

9.  From Sheri Kotowski of the Embudo Valley Environmental Monitoring Group on Tuesday June 28th in the evening:
Hi Everyone,

Here's an up date on Las Conchas Fire air monitoring.

I spoke with NMED LANL Oversight at 2:30 PM. Steve Yanicak gave me the
rundown of air monitoring that is happening in and around the lab. They are
short staffed at the moment and they have a lot to do.

NMED changed out filters this morning on AIRNET (low volume) stations
(measuring gross alpha and beta radiation, isotopic uranium and plutonium,
americium, strontium) on the perimeter of LANL and at the airport. They will
have data back in seven days. They are also setting up high volume samplers
that will be analyzed for the same constituents as AIRNET and also for heavy

The lab has put out 60 additional air monitoring stations. Turn around time
on the data will should be very quick according to NMED Oversight. We should
start seeing data soon. I will find out how the public can access this

EPA is sending out 16 - 24 air monitoring stations. EVEMG is helping to
locate a half a dozen of them up here north east of the lab and in the
plume. They should be arriving tomorrow- Wednesday, and hopefully deployed
very quickly. There will be one located at the Embudo Valley Library. Other
locations are being worked out.

EPA is readying the ASPECT aircraft to begin flying at regular intervals
through the plume of the fire as early as tomorrow- Wednesday. This aircraft
is specially fitted with monitoring equipment and will be measuring
radioactivity as well as detecting other substances of concern.

The NMED Radiation Bureau is locating radiation detection equipment on the
roof top of the hospital in Española, and at locations in Alcalde, Pojoaque
and Nambe.

I hope you find this information useful.
Please feel free to contact me if you have questions. If I don't have
answers hopefully I will be able to find someone for you to talk to.

Please pass this information on.

Take care,

            505 579 4076      

10.  Please share this email with others.  And yes, our home page has been hacked; we’re working on it.    

Pray the Water Canyon fire line will hold the progress of the fire.   

Take care All,

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