This morning, two separate United States nuclear facilities are threatened by fire and flood. In New Mexico, the Los Alamos National Laboratory (i.e. the "nation's nuclear weapons laboratory" according to Reuters), has been evacuated due to a "fast-moving" wildfire. In Nebraska, rising floodwaters have breached a protective berm surrounding the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant and the head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is headed to the facility.
At Los Alamos, special fire crews have been dispatched to protect the nuclear laboratory from a fire a mile away and the lab has said, "All radioactive and hazardous material is appropriately accounted for and protected," reports CNN. A statement on the lab's site reads: "All laboratory facilities will be closed for all activities and nonessential employees are directed to remain off site."
In Nebraska, officials at the Fort Calhoun plant have told ABC News that "there is no danger to the public" and that the berm "wasn't critical to protecting the plant." Still, the flooding breach "allowed Missouri River flood waters to reach containment buildings and transformers and forcing the shutdown of electrical power," writes the news outlet. The facility has been shut down for refueling since April. NRC chairman Gregory Jaczko will fly over the plant and then speak to officials later on Monday, relays the Associated Press.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.