Australian news, and some related international items

About nuclear plants and bushfires

NUCLEAR WILDFIRES  Inlander, Robert Alvarez

The recent wildfires at Department of Energy nuclear sites are among the most serious nuclear emergencies in the United States. In May, the Cerro Grande fire destroyed nearly 48,000 acres on and around the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. The Hanford wildfire in Washington state raged over 192,000 acres in late June. In late July, a wildfire cut a swath about 12 miles long and four miles wide at the DOE’s Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, coming close to large amounts of stored nuclear wastes and forcing the evacuation of 1,800 workers.
Nuclear-site wildfires burn off protective layers of soil and vegetation, causing radioactive materials to be carried over great distances. Fires can disrupt safety systems at nuclear facilities, leading to loss of power and ventilation. They can ignite waste areas containing solvents, hydrogen and flammable forms of nuclear materials. And these wildfires are increasing. So far, 6.4 million acres have burned this season — 3.5 million acres above the 10-year national average. According to the Forest Service, there is an acute shortage of resources to fight such fires……..

November 11, 2019 - Posted by | General News

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