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Oil Damages Los Alamos Laser Lab

Photonics Spectra
Apr 2001
Officials at Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, N.M., estimated that an oil spill at the Atlas pulse power facility in January caused $1.7 million in damage to a laser research facility in the basement. Seven ultrafast lasers, microscopes and tables were damaged in the lab, which is operated by the materials science and technology division.

Laboratory employees discovered that 5700 gallons of mineral oil had leaked from a 12,000-gallon tank. A preliminary investigation suggested that a gasket on the test tank had failed, but similar seals on the Atlas system itself displayed no problems.

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