Jul 6, 2007

It's been a while

since anybody brought up pollution. LANL's excuse to date has been, "But we did that a really long time ago."

Now, with all the pressure that is building to make LANL the full-fledged replacement for the now shut down Rocky Flats Plant, lets start to imagine the the new, improved pollution potential from production-scale Pu fabrication operations up on The Hill.

--Gussie

http://www.freenewmexican.com/news/64321.html

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

How's that new Rio Grande water going to taste, Santa Fe? The extra little zing will be courtesy of your friends up on The Hill.

Anonymous said...

Talk about shitting in your own living room.

Well, Santa Fe's living room, actually.

Anonymous said...

"Carpenter said LANL will be primarily responsible for monitoring of pollutants reaching the river. If the lab fails to carry out that responsibility, he said, additional monitoring and treatment would mean higher operating costs for the diversion project."

Well, I certainly feel better, now that I know LANL will be responsible for monitoring their own pollution. Don't you?

Gussie Fink-Nottle said...

Los alamos has plenty of shit in their own living room. They're now seeing hexavalent chromium in their drinking water. LANL is assuring everybody that the levels are extremely safe.

Anonymous said...

Isn't chromium always hexavalent?
WTF?

Anonymous said...

I have a question. Has anyone done and environmental impact study on the construction of this new Pu Pit facility or has this one slipped by the NM government and the environmentalist? Maybe no one care and it will be business as usual. I guess once you have a permit to do Pu work as long as you don't close the facility you can just keep craping it up.

Pinky and The Brain said...

7/6/07 5:01 PM,
Take a look at this story. The last line describes an environmental impact study due later this year.

"Later this year, the NNSA is expected to issue a draft environmental impact statement that will announce the agency's preferred site for future plutonium pit production."

Anonymous said...

I'd go look at that story, but they want me to sacrifice a goat to the registration gods before they let me peek.

Pinky and The Brain said...

Here's "The Rest of the Story"

Pantex gets nuke part
First produced since 1989
By Jim McBride
jim.mcbride@amarillo.com

The Pantex Plant has received the first replacement plutonium weapons core produced in the United States since environmental problems shut down plutonium processing at Colorado's former Rocky Flats plant 18 years ago.

The W88 pit, used to trigger a nuclear explosion, has been sent to the Pantex Plant, where it will be mated with high explosives and eventually deployed on a submarine-launched ballistic missile, the National Nuclear Security Administration announced Monday.

Los Alamos National Laboratory, which produced the first pit since 1989, now plans to make 10 W88 pits each year and eventually aims to create between 30 to 50 pits yearly.

"Having this capability means that we can maintain the safety, security and reliability of the W88 nuclear weapon without having to conduct underground nuclear tests," said NNSA Acting Administrator Bill Ostendorff. "This achievement could not have been possible without the tremendous scientific and technical expertise at NNSA's Los Alamos National Laboratory and the very important contributions from the rest of the nuclear weapons complex."

After the Rocky Flats Plant in Colorado stopped production in 1989, the United States did not have the capability to manufacture new pits for the nation's nuclear stockpile. When Rocky Flat's plutonium operations were shut down, the plant had not produced enough W88 replacement pits needed for routine destructive evaluations. Pits and warheads are routinely removed from the stockpile and destroyed to ensure the nation's nuclear arsenal is reliable.

In 1996, Los Alamos, which maintained a limited plutonium manufacturing capability, was given the task of recreating W88 pits designed and built at Rocky Flats, NNSA officials said.

The New Mexico lab worked with other government weapons sites to certify the first new bomb-ready pit since NNSA established its goal of re-establishing plutonium pit production by September 2007.

The NNSA now is eyeing long-term plans for producing new pits on a larger scale.

Pantex and four other sites are possible candidates for a new facility that would produce up to 200 new pits annually and conduct plutonium research.

Later this year, the NNSA is expected to issue a draft environmental impact statement that will announce the agency's preferred site for future plutonium pit production.

Anonymous said...

LANL's current EIS allows production of up to 80 pits per year. So far this fiscal year, we've built... two.

I don't think it's time to panic just yet.

Anonymous said...

7/6/07 4:03 PM - no, chromium can have all oxidation states between (0) and (VI) - afaik. The most stable (and common) form is Cr(III), rather insolvable, whereas Cr(VI) is highly solvable. Also Cr(VI) is a powerful oxidizing agent.

Anonymous said...

7/7/07 12:38 PM said... "no, chromium can have all oxidation states between (0) and (VI) - afaik. The most stable (and common) form is Cr(III), rather insolvable, whereas Cr(VI) is highly solvable. Also Cr(VI) is a powerful oxidizing agent."

Oh thank goodness our chemistry division friends have come to the rescue and shown how smart they are. Too bad they are just unsafe and probably dumped the Cromium into our water.