Jun 12, 2009

Lockout at TA-48/RC-1

Some of the latest comments on the Shocking News post are discussing a lockout at RC-1 Wednesday. Initially it was reported that foreign nationals were being turned away at the gate by guards. Later it was clarified that all non-Q cleared people were excluded due to a "classified exercise". Another commenter implies that the facility was searched, though there is no mention of law enforcement being involved.

So what's going on at RC-1? Could it be that something classified is missing and they didn't want uncleared people searching for it. Or perhaps RC-1 is one of the sites accidentally disclosed in the recent US declaration to the IAEA and security was doing a vulnerability assessment. What's your theory?

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

I checked links for the past few days and there's nothing in there about a security exercise, like there has been in the past. Something happened...

Anonymous said...

http://www.lasg.org/maps/
pages/contents/ta48.htm

TA-48 Brief Description (LASG):

4.25.1 Site Description

The Radiochemistry Site [Table 4-23 and Figure 4-25 (index map of TA-48)] is an R&D facility established and constructed between 1955 and 1957. It is located 1.1 mi (1.77 km) from the TA-3 Administration Building on an unnamed access road, just off Pajarito Road and immediately northeast of TA-55. The entire technical area covers 115.9 acres (46.9 ha), and the main buildings are located in an 8.59-acre (3.48-ha) area enclosed behind a security fence.

4.25.2 Facilities Description

The facilities at TA-48 support research and development in nuclear and radiochemistry. Measurements of radioactive substances are taken in hot cells equipped for remote handling of radioactive materials. Although radiochemical operations are conducted primarily in Buildings 1, 8, 28, 45, and 107, only Building 1 contains sufficient radioactive materials to be considered hazardous. All remaining buildings are devoted to administrative and technical activities.

Anonymous said...

4.25.2.1.1 Nuclear Facility Hazard Categories (LASG)

Although Building 1, Radiochemistry Laboratory (Figure 4-25, Sheet 1), is currently categorized as a L/RAD, it is a candidate for nuclear facility status. Therefore, it will be discussed here as a Hazard Category 3 nuclear facility.

The majority of TA-48’s radiochemistry R&D, medical radioisotope production, development of waste management technologies, and counting room operations take place in Building

1. The building is divided into an office wing, light-chemistry laboratories for performing low-level radiochemistry, a hot-cell complex to produce medical radioisotopes, an alpha wing used for processing alpha-emitting radioactive and toxic materials, and a counting room complex. There is also a secure data wing with a classified computer and vault containing historical weapons data.

Activities at Building 1 include small-scale radiochemistry in the laboratories area, chemical research of high-alpha-activity materials in the alpha facility, final analysis of samples in the counting room, and small-scale production of medical radioisotopes in the hot-cells area.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if they deal with tritium at all...TA-50, the radiological liquid waste facility, had some tritium discharge problems recently...I have heard some blame RC-1 but I am not sure why

Anonymous said...

Hmm. The silence on this topic today is deafening. This tends to indicate a coverup. Can't wait to see what pops up in the newspapers ...

Anonymous said...

No, TA-48 doesn't deal with tritium. Good grief. Now expand your mind and think outside the box a little.

and what would the discharge issues have to do with front gates being locked down?

Anonymous said...

Mikey is getting an anal probe and he does not want us riffraff to watch.

Anonymous said...

So Pinky, any hits from outside on this post? If not, nevermind and move on. But if so, what agencies are the most interested?

Anonymous said...

It's a non-story. Move along.

Anonymous said...

But if so, what agencies are the most interested?

6/13/09 10:37 PM

No one is interested in Los Alamos anymore. You over estimate the importance of the place.

Anonymous said...

If it is a non-story, 11:54, then perhaps you can tell us what did happen and why it was trivial.

And why are foreign nationals even allowed in RC-1?

Anonymous said...

That's because Los Alamos has nothing to contribute anymore. What was once a great institution continues now only by virtue of tradition, not necessity.

Anonymous said...

Here you go, 3:24.

Tradition!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKHTabTYl_M

Anonymous said...

The idiot from 6/14/09 2:37 PM asked ..."And why are foreign nationals even allowed in RC-1?"

Because it is has been an open area for over 10 years now with the exception of the vault/data wing area.

Anonymous said...

Open for 15 years, actually. But who's counting?

Anonymous said...

This is 2:37 responding to 6:31.

I am well aware that parts of RC-1 are open, and it would have been obvious from the post anyway that parts were open, otherwise FN's would not have had an expectation of being able to enter.

I was questioning the wisdom of allowing FN's into RC-1, and I hope that the relevant NNSA security office would investigate the RC-1 access policy.

Anonymous said...

To 7:25 PM ... You are clearly a FN hater, who are you? Terry Wallace, Nat Farhnam? Stop trying to stir up trouble. As 6/14/09 11:54 AM said ... "It's a non-story. Move along."

Anonymous said...

"You are clearly a FN hater, who are you? Terry Wallace" - 7:50 PM

Terry Wallace hates the FNs at LANL? I thought he hated all the bright scientists who still work at LANL and not just the FNs.

In fact, Terry loves the idea of scientists leaving LANL and even said so during his last All-Hands meeting! Is it any wonder that the few good scientist who are left are all looking for an exit plan?

Anonymous said...

I'm not aware of any official security designator that could make a facility off-limits to FN's but still allow in uncleared US citizens. And good luck enforcing it through sole administrative means. It would take 2 seconds before the first exception was requested.

Anonymous said...

"In fact, Terry loves the idea of scientists leaving LANL and even said so during his last All-Hands meeting!" - 10:35 PM

Terry apparently knows what you do not, 10:35 PM. LANL's future is in cleanup work and pit production type activities that are funded directly from NNSA. Scientists need not apply here any more as they will become a minor part of the future activities.

The talk of turning LANL into a thriving "national security" lab used by many different parts of the US government is just that, talk. It's a convenient distraction from what's really occurring at LANL under the guidance of NNSA and for-profit LANS.

Anonymous said...

How do we get rid of Terry?

Anonymous said...

6:04 am: "I'm not aware of any official security designator that could make a facility off-limits to FN's but still allow in uncleared US citizens."

Well, sorry, but they exist - they're called "sensitive facilities," and the FV&A office requires hosts of FNs to declare what facilities are to be inhabited/visited by the FN. Threy aren't necesarily security aeas, just too much risk of technical espionage. The declaration of "off limits" depends on the technology involved and the citizenship of the FN. This isn't a NNSA or LANL thing - it's the result of US export control laws, the Export Administration Regulations as one exapmle.

Anonymous said...

I am going to ask a big favor. I work for the county but the only other blog in town and the monitor will not publish anything from us because they are afraid to (other blog owners wife works for county and newspaper gets too much money from county). I sent the following but no one will publish it. Do you think you could make one major post, only one topic, where county employees can vent a little bit. Please consider it,sometimes we are as stressed as you at the lab but have no outlet:

I have read this blog for a while now and am somewhat afraid to post because not sure what is allowed but I will attempt. Weeks ago a golf course employee was unable to interview for the job of our incredible Denny who retired because this employee did not have a degree;the job was "reopened" and changed (no degree now) because council and administrator gave orders for this guy to be interviewed. This is wrong because the exact same thing happened to a female recreation employee several years ago who had a degree but a deree in the wrong thing. The job requirements were not changed for her and she was not eligible to interview. It gets worse now becuase two females will be be fired the HR mgr and her boss for following direction from the higher-ups. Why should anyone care, well cause it is plain discriminatory and we will get sued and lose big time unless the judge is a chauvinist too. I hope you will check the facts XXXX (deleted on purpose) so you can post without feeling guilty.

Anonymous said...

7:41 PM, good question and good luck. That incompetent shit has managed to move up the ladder after numerous public fuck-ups. Momma in a powerful position clearly helps people look the other way and ignore his poor judgement. Sheesh, even Al Sattelberger was a thousand times better and more competent than Terry. Go figure...

Anonymous said...

How do we get rid of Terry? (7:41 PM)

Same way we got rid of Nanos. Get the message out that he is totally incompetent for the position he's been given and that he is harming the lab. Maybe the powers that be will then see to it that he's given a nice position over at DTRA. If he continues to hold his current position, the odds are high that he'll soon become our next LANL Director. That's a frightening thought!

Anonymous said...

If he continues to hold his current position, the odds are high that he'll soon become our next LANL Director. That's a frightening thought!

6/15/09 10:32 PM

A former rock museum curator and snake oil salesman becomes LANL's next Director? Sounds about right to me given were LANL has headed.

Anonymous said...

Everyone at TA-48 has been told to shush up. Like that Obama transparency?

Anonymous said...

Oh, right 7:56. Obama is now running LANL.

If you only knew how pathetic you sounded...

Anonymous said...

Since when was Obama appointed the manager of TA48, jerko?

Anonymous said...

"Everyone at TA-48 has been told to shush up." 7:56 PM

I work in RC-1. I haven't been told shit. I wasn't told what the "exercise" was about, and I haven't been told to shut up. Or perhaps I was too busy working....

Anonymous said...

"Or perhaps I was too busy working...."

Maybe. Doubtful.

Anonymous said...

"...too busy working."

Ok, you had us going until then, 8:51.

Anonymous said...

Any additional news about what the heck was going on at RC-1?

Frank Young said...

I checked and RC-1 is listed in the declaration as I speculated on the original post, however this seems unrelated to the IAEA. I think my first theory is closer to the truth.

To the person who asked who was interested in this post - I remember DOE was there for hours, probably waiting on comments. All the other usual visitors read it too. The only visitor I don't recall ever seeing before was the UC office in DC.

Anonymous said...

Frank: "I think my first theory is closer to the truth."

So something classified is missing, the whole incident is thus classified and nobody can talk about it...

Anonymous said...

So something classified is missing, the whole incident is thus classified and nobody can talk about it...

6/21/09 8:37 AM

It never happened even if it did happen. Now, get back to work! LANS needs to meet the NNSA PBIs for the end of year 20% executive bonuses.