Los Alamos National Laboratory is now at the center of a federal inquiry into a leak at a New Mexico nuclear-waste facility, the Associated Press reports.
Energy Department accident investigators have been working at Los Alamos for roughly three weeks in connection with the February radiation leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, a state environment official said in comments quoted by AP on Thursday. A container from the nuclear-weapons laboratory ruptured in the underground repository in February, spreading contaminants to 22 workers and forcing personnel out of much of the site.
The Energy Department probe was one of nine looking into the radiation release, said Jeff Kendall, general counsel for the New Mexico Environment Department.
He said the waste facility near Carlsbad and the Los Alamos laboratory each face a high likelihood of receiving penalties tied to the incident as new details become available. Los Alamos may have sent more than 350 rupture-prone waste drums to the waste complex, and over 100 additional problematic containers to a commercial storage site in Andrews, Texas.
Kendall added that the Energy Department would inform New Mexico next month of “how the recovery plan is working,” as well as “deadlines, dates and timelines” for scrubbing the site of errant radioactive particles and resuming operations there.
It remains unclear when the waste facility may reopen. One Justice Department official, though, downplayed the possibility of the site remaining permanently closed.
“I don’t foresee that. Nobody is contemplating a closure of WIPP,” said Eileen McDonough, a federal attorney representing the Energy Department.
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It’s all about the 1% and Wall Street versus everyone else for Bernie Sanders—even when he’s talking about race relations. Like Hillary Clinton, he needs to appeal to African-American and Hispanic voters in coming states, but he insists on doing so through his lens of class warfare. When he got a question from the moderators about the plight of black America, he noted that during the great recession, African Americans “lost half their wealth,” and “instead of tax breaks for billionaires,” a Sanders presidency would deliver jobs for kids. On the very next question, he downplayed the role of race in inequality, saying, “It’s a racial issue, but it’s also a general economic issue.”
It’s been said in just about every news story since New Hampshire: the primaries are headed to states where Hillary Clinton will do well among minority voters. Leaving nothing to chance, she underscored that point in her opening statement in the Milwaukee debate tonight, saying more needs to be done to help “African Americans who face discrimination in the job market” and immigrant families. She also made an explicit reference to “equal pay for women’s work.” Those boxes she’s checking are no coincidence: if she wins women, blacks and Hispanics, she wins the nomination.
Under pressure from a judge, the State Department will release about 550 of Hillary Clinton’s emails—“roughly 14 percent of the 3,700 remaining Clinton emails—on Saturday, in the middle of the Presidents Day holiday weekend.” All of the emails were supposed to have been released last month. Related: State subpoenaed the Clinton Foundation last year, which brings the total number of current Clinton investigations to four, says the Daily Caller.
UPDATED: Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) will not be playing the role of Ralph Nader in this year’s election. Speaking in Dallas today, Webb said, “We looked at the possibility of an independent candidacy. Theoretically, it could be done, but it is enormously costly and time sensitive, and I don’t see the fundraising trajectory where we could make a realistic run.”