Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 1st 2014 Contents A37
June 1, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
The US Department of Energy on Friday
said it would be unable to meet a deadline
to remove drums of nuclear waste from
Los Alamos National Laboratory in New
Mexico because of safety concerns tied to
the radiological materials.
New Mexico officials asked federal officials
to remove 3,706 cubic metres of waste from
a mesa on the Los Alamos complex, out of
a concern that wildfires could reach the
Much of that nuclear waste has been
removed, and the US Department of Energy
had agreed to transfer the rest of it to a
Texas facility by June 30.
But those shipments have been put on
hold due to concerns about the chemical
stability of the mixture in the containers
that have arisen since it was discovered a
drum from the federal Los Alamos National
Laboratory may be behind a radiological
leak at a repository near Carlsbad, New
"As we work to assess the conditions of
the transuranic waste programme at the
(Los Alamos) lab, we have decided to halt
further shipments until we can reassure the
public that it is safe to do so," David Klaus,
an Energy Department secretary for man-
agement and performance, said in a state-
New Mexico Environment Department
Secretary Ryan Flynn said in a statement
he was "disappointed, but not surprised"
by the decision.
The backup of nuclear waste at Los Alam-
os has been worsened by the shutdown of
the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad,
the only facility of its kind in the United
States, where material from Los Alamos
had been sent.
A drum from Los Alamos is suspected in
New sexual abuse charges against a former
top administrator of a southern California
military boarding school for boys were
unsealed on Friday in a California state court.
Jeffrey Barton, 56, who was charged with 16
counts of sexual abuse in October, pleaded not
guilty to the new indictment, which added
seven new charges and one new victim.
"This is a serious sexual abuse case spanning
three decades, three schools and seven victims,"
Deputy District Attorney Tracey Prior said.
In the new indictment filed in San Diego
Superior Court on Friday, Barton was charged
with sexually assaulting four students of the
Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad, Cal-
ifornia, between the seventh and ninth grades
at his private cottage and on various field trips,
including instances where he used prescription
drugs to incapacitate his victims.
One victim testified before a grand jury that
while he and another student were on a snow-
boarding trip with Barton in 1997, he awoke
feeling paralysed to the sight of Barton sodomis-
ing the other boy, Prior said in court.
The assaults charged in the indictment
occurred between 1996 and 2001, Prior said.
The individuals are now between the ages of
28 and 42 years old.
Barton was initially charged in October with
sexually abusing two students from the acad-
emy based on testimony given by seven indi-
viduals who said they were victimised. Three
had gone to similar schools in South Carolina
and Tennessee where Barton had previously
Judge Kathleen Lewis raised Barton's bail
from US$3 million to US$6 million in light of
the new allegations.
Barton's attorneys argued that the charges,
secured by a secret grand jury, left him without
the right to cross-examine those who testi-
"Mr Barton was promised an opportunity
to have a preliminary hearing so we can test
the veracity of the allegations against him. This
violates Mr. Barton's right to a preliminary
hearing and his federal rights to due process,"
said defense attorney Daniel Greene.
"These are horrible allegations and now Mr
Barton has been denied the opportunity to
confront his accusers and defend himself."
Prior said however that the secret grand jury
process was done only to protect the victims.
"It is only about the victims in this case,"
Deputy District Attorney Prior said. "We are
trying to get them closer the closure they need."
US to miss deadline for removing nuclear waste
a radiation leak on February 14 at the underground
repository for so-called transuranic waste, which
consists of tools, rags and other debris contaminated
with radioisotopes such as plutonium from US nuclear
Government investigators believe a chemical reac-
tion between organic kitty litter used as a new
absorbent and nitrate salts in the radiological waste
likely caused the drum to breach and eject materials
onto a container nearby.
Also on Friday, officials at the Waste Isolation Pilot
Plant said an ongoing investigation and cleanup tied
to the February 14 radiation release and an accident
the week before that saw a truck catch fire would
prevent the facility from setting firm deadlines for
sealing off two vaults that collectively hold 368 drums
of nuclear refuse from Los Alamos. (Reuters)
Former California military
academy head hit with
new sex assault charges
Links Archive May 31st 2014 June 2nd 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page