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Los Alamos Comments on Area G Nuclear Waste Site

PHOTO: Los Alamos National Laboratory is addressing concerns over the future of its Cold War-era nuclear waste site known as Area G. Image courtesy of Los Alamos National Laboratory.
PHOTO: Los Alamos National Laboratory is addressing concerns over the future of its Cold War-era nuclear waste site known as Area G. Image courtesy of Los Alamos National Laboratory.
November 12, 2013

SANTA FE, N.M. – Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is addressing concerns over the future of its Cold War-era nuclear waste site known as Area G.

Santa Fe Mayor David Coss is asking LANL to remove radioactive materials buried at the site.

In a written statement, LANL said: "Under the Consent Order, the final remedy at Area G will be decided by the state of New Mexico after receiving input from the public. As that process continues, our sampling and monitoring to date – the results of which are all public – have shown that the buried material is safe where it is, now and for the foreseeable future."

Meanwhile, Scott Kovac, director of research and operations with New Mexico Nuclear Watch, says Area G could contaminate the area's water supply.

"Some of the waste – some of the contaminants – from Los Alamos have already reached the aquifer,” he claims, “not necessarily from Area G but from other areas around Area G."

Kovac adds the amount of radioactive nuclear waste in Area G is about the size of the Empire State Building.

LANL says removing the nuclear waste would cost upwards of $30 billion and take 30 years to complete. However, Kovac says his organization believes it can be done for much less.

"We estimate that the lab could excavate the waste, sort it out – recycle – ship it to different waste sites for around six billion dollars," he says.

The New Mexico Environment Department will ultimately decide if LANL has to relocate the waste at Area G or allow it to remain in place with some modifications.


Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NM