Sparks flying from nuclear waste barrel prompt investigation

Flawed packing of radioactive waste caused sparks to fly from a container at Los Alamos National Laboratory, prompting evacuation of the work area and later the underground disposal site near Carlsbad where two similarly packed canisters were stored.

| April 15, 2021

The sparking caused no injuries, damage or radiation to be released, according to a letter the lab wrote to the New Mexico Environment Department.

But any combustion involving transuranic nuclear waste is deemed dangerous and calls up memories of the 2014 incident in which a ruptured container from Los Alamos closed the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Southern New Mexico for three years and cost almost $2 billion to clean up.


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