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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The national polls, once again, tell very different stories: Clinton leads by just one point in the IBD, Rasmussen, and LA Times tracking polls, while she shows a commanding 12 point lead in the ABC news poll and a smaller but sizable five point lead in the CNN poll. The Republican Remington Research Group released a slew of polls showing Trump up in Ohio, Nevada, and North Carolina, a tie in Florida, and Clinton leads in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Virginia. However, an independent Siena poll shows Clinton up 7 in North Carolina, while a Monmouth poll shows Trump up one in Arizona
If you need a marker for how confident Hillary Clinton is at this point of the race, here's one: CNN's Jeff Zeleny reports "she's been talking to Republican senators, old allies and new, saying that she is willing to work with them and govern."
Sources tell CNN that longtime Democratic operative Ron Klain, who has been Vice President Biden's chief of staff, is "high on the list of prospects" to be chief of staff in a Clinton White House. "John Podesta, the campaign chairman, has signaled his interest in joining the Cabinet, perhaps as Energy secretary."