Potential catastrophic disaster

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By The Staff

New Mexico citizens will be exposed to potential public highway accidents involving high explosives if the New Mexico Environmental Department denies Los Alamos National Laboratory’s permit to treat these explosives at Los Alamos.

Each year LANL safely burns many thousands of pounds of high explosive wastes at temperatures sufficiently elevated to destroy all toxins and render them inert.

If the permit is denied, these wastes will have to be transported on New Mexico’s public highways to treatment facilities in distant states.

Cost-wise, it is cheaper to ship those wastes. However, LANL made the choice decades ago to treat on site in order to eliminate public exposure.

Ironically, the New Mexico Environmental Department is now attempting to force the laboratory to take the cheaper, but much less safe, course.

The role of the Environmental Department is to protect, not endanger, the public.

Bart Olinger

Los Alamos