BY MAIRE O”NEILL
The Los Alamos Reporter reached out to Los Alamos National Laboratory Friday following reports that radioactive cobalt had been found Wednesday on a trash truck leaving the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) at TA-53 on East Jemez Road.
LANL spokesperson Laura Mullane responded that radioactive material was detected on a garbage truck on October 19 as it was leaving the location of the Laboratory where the particle accelerator is housed on Jemez Road.
“Because the accelerator can make nearby materials temporarily radioactive, we have a robust program to detect, track and handle radioactive materials appropriately. As an extra layer of protection, we installed portal monitors at the exit of the site so that people, vehicles and their contents leaving the site are checked for radioactivity. Those monitors are set to a sensitive level so that nothing potentially harmful can get through. When these monitors’ alarms sounded, we immediately secured the truck,” Mullane said.
She noted that at the levels of radiation detected, there was never any risk to workers, the public or the environment. Operations were not impacted by the discovery, Mullane said.