LANL faces penalities in cleanup delays

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Posted: Friday, June 27, 2014 9:00 pm | Updated: 12:16 am, Sat Jun 28, 2014.

State regulators have denied several requests in recent weeks from Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Department of Energy to delay hazardous waste cleanup deadlines set under a consent order and is now considering penalties against the lab.

It is the first time in at least three years the department has denied LANL’s request for extensions and comes on the heels of the discovery that a container that leaked radiation at the nuclear waste repository near Carlsbad in February came from Los Alamos.

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  • Greg Mello posted at 9:16 am on Sat, Jun 28, 2014.

    Greg Mello Posts: 17

    Chris Mechels is right. Accountability is utterly missing and has been for many decades. His prescriptions are sound as well.

    It is indeed all about money -- not for the region, which has not benefited economically from LANL, as its economic history relative to the rest of the country over past decades shows -- but rather for specific patronage recipients. Our congressional delegation depends on LANL to win elections. NMED depends on DOE for millions in annual subsidies. Nuclear Watch has received large grants from the DOE cleanup program (through the New Mexico Community Foundation) for PR.

    Today's article attempts to get at complex realities overlain with years of propaganda from all sides, but fails to reach the core problems or their solutions, which have to do with contractor greed, cultivated incompetence, government failure, and florid failures of citizenship that have enabled these.


    * The Consent Order did not require cleanup (see http://www.lasg.org/press/2004/PressRelease9-1-04.htm ).

    * There is no significant external fire danger to drums at Area G; IMO that was a ploy to leverage money flogged by the above parties.

    * Probably two billion in "cleanup" funds have been wasted here on gold-plated studies that accomplished little.

    * New radioactive waste is made every day by programs LANL wants to grow; some is permanently buried on-site in expanding dump sites.

    * June's deadline applied to some waste stored above-ground, not all.

    * No cleanup is planned for most LANL contamination.

  • Chris Mechels posted at 8:19 am on Sat, Jun 28, 2014.

    Chris Mechels Posts: 65

    Much more effective than NMED fines, which are just pin pricks to LANL, the more obvious and effective approach would be simple.

    It would involve taking the cost of reopening WIPP out of LANL's budget. LANL caused the shut down, both with pressing the misguided policies that eliminated a good deal of monitoring, and then, under the reduced monitoring, shipping the waste which caused the shut down.

    So, why the additional funds for WIPP pressed for by our Senators?? This is just rewarding WIPP and LANL for their misguided policies and practices. This is paying the child who screwed up, at the expense of the good child.

    The additional $120 million for WIPP clean up is "chump change" for LANL. They have a lot of "deadbeat" programs that need to be closed, such as LANSCE, and that money could by used for WIPP. It would also benefit the taxpayers, long term, to kill these "pork" projects.

    So, why the emphasis on fines?? This just serves LANL, as the sums involved have never cause them much discomfort. Stop chasing such trivial ends!!!

    Go after the real problem. LANL should pay for the WIPP clean up costs. That WOULD get their attention, and change their performance.

    So, ask you Senators to support that direction. Take the WIPP cleanup money out of LANL's hide!!! Or is this just about money???


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