Contaminated water is spilled at Los Alamos lab - Albuquerque Journal

Contaminated water is spilled at Los Alamos lab

SANTA FE – Two hundred gallons of contaminated water spilled at the Los Alamos National Laboratory nearly a month ago after a worker failed to close a cooling valve.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the July 19 incident at the lab’s plutonium facility caused some of the liquid to flow into an air vent and an inactive glove box used for handling radioactive materials.

The lab said that workers discovered mildly radioactive water on the facility’s first floor near a pump room and a small amount of water in the basement and that there was no risk to employees or the public.

The spill has prompted an internal investigation, according to the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, a government watchdog.

The safety board’s most recent weekly report said the spill resulted from a worker not closing a valve after refilling a water tank, coupled with another spring-closed valve not clamping shut.

The board expressed concern about the water draining into a vent and then through a glove box, a sealed compartment with attached gloves that workers use to handle radioactive items.

The report suggests a flow of such water into an active glove box containing radioactive components, debris or residue could be hazardous.

The July spill is much smaller than the 1,800 gallons released in March when a worker also left a valve open. In that incident, an internal alarm failed to alert personnel in the operations center.

Home » Journal North » Journal North Recent News » Contaminated water is spilled at Los Alamos lab


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
A look at five pieces exploring the intersections of ...
Arts
Exhibit on view at the National ... Exhibit on view at the National Hispanic Cultural Center
2
ALT brings one-woman play 'The Belle of Amherst' back ...
Arts
The Albuquerque Little Theatre production 'The ... The Albuquerque Little Theatre production 'The Belle of Amherst' kicks off its two week run beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30.
3
NMPhil announces rock and pop series
Arts
Rock and pop music fans can ... Rock and pop music fans can hear the music of the movies, flamenco fusion and a symphonic version of Genesis when the New Mexico ...
4
New concertmaster to make NMPhil debut Sept. 25
Arts
On Sunday, Sept. 25, Cármelo de ... On Sunday, Sept. 25, Cármelo de los Santos will give his first concert with the New Mexico Philharmonic at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, playing the ...
5
Now is the time to prep for moving citrus ...
Arts
It's time to start to monitoring ... It's time to start to monitoring your trees for any pests that could be congregated or hidden on the citrus.
6
'Contemporary Ex-Votos: Devotion Beyond Medium' explores the understudied iconographic ...
Arts
Opening on Sept. 30, at the ... Opening on Sept. 30, at the New Mexico State University Art Museum, 'Contemporary Ex-Votos: Devotion Beyond Medium' sheds light on this understudied
7
Former reporter pulls from personal experience in 'The Power ...
Arts
Elizabeth 'Digger' Doyle is the protagonist ... Elizabeth 'Digger' Doyle is the protagonist of Rosalie Rayburn's lively, crisply-written debut novel 'The Power of Rain.'
8
One-woman play 'Katie's Tales' debuts at Fusion's Cell Theatre
Arts
Fresh off a run at the ... Fresh off a run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Agnieszka Kazimierska's one-woman play debuts at Fusion's Cell Theatre on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.
9
Electric demand to outpace capacity for New Mexico utilities
ABQnews Seeker
Blackouts feared for 2023, 2024 seasons Blackouts feared for 2023, 2024 seasons