Great article by Paul DeRienzo on the problems of dealing with nuclear waste. Where the hell does it go now that WIPP is down? And remember, Yucca Mt was already found to be non-hospitable; just because the Senators want it to come back to life so that we have a place to store nuclear waste, doesn’t make Yucca a safe repository! All roads lead to shutting down nukes so that we make no more waste and figure out how to deal with the waste we will have for the next tens of thousands of years.
5/6/15 How much Plutonium leaked? And how far did it go???
Safety Culture to blame at WIPP. Nuclear Radiation Protection at WIPP found to be inadequate. (RadCast: This is nothing new in the world of Nuclear power, weapons and waste)
Concluded that the failure of LANL
Gov’t Analysis: Up to 592 Trillion Bq of Plutonium equivalent involved in disaster at US nuclear dump – Over 5,000 times amount in waste drum blamed for WIPP release — Official: “We thought for sure” there were multiple ruptured drums — “It actually was measured” in city many miles away.
AUDIO HERE from DOE
RadCast said on day 1 of the WIPP release that the amount of Plutonium that escaped was much higher than what was being reported. Apparently more numbers are now coming out.
From Enenews: Excerpt from audio:
- Question (at 1:43:15 in): So you’ve come up with an amount that you think was in the drum, and you’ve been able to forensically track that. The underground is pretty contaminated at this point, the walls are contaminated, the filters are contaminated — and it actually was measured in Carlsbad 30 miles away. So that’s a significant quantity of plutonium or other isotopes. How is that quantity matching with what is in the drum?
- Ted Wyka, US Dept. of Energy Chief Nuclear Safety Advisor and chairman of DOE’s Accident Investigation Board: You’re right, any release is obviously too much. We do have hundreds of surveys… We think we have a pretty good source term calculation to the extent that we need to identify it as one drum…
- Question: I don’t feel like that answers my question, which is of course is your job, right?… There’s so much plutonium, americium, or whatever those secret ingredients were, and now it’s spread all over in a layer and it’s leaked into the air — what is that quanity?…
- Wyka (at 1:49:15 in): Does that mean there’s no other sympathetic secondary releases from other drums? I can’t tell you that.
U.S. DOE Accident Investigation Board (AIB) Report Phase 2, Radiological Release at WIPP (pdf), Apr 2015: The inventory in drum 68660 [was] 2.84 PE-Ci [plutonium equivalent curies]… Source terms initially released in Panel 7 Room 7 [is estimated at] 2 to 10 PE-Ci.
> ESTIMATES OF TOTAL INVENTORY OF ACTIVITY INVOLVED
- Source Term (ST) = MAR [Material at Risk] x DR [Damage Ratio] x ARF [Airborne Release Fraction] x RF [Respirable Fraction]
- Assume a 2 Ci release from Room 7 based on assessment from previous slide
- Bounding Case 1… MAR = ST / (DR x ARF x RF) = 2 Ci / 0.5 x 0.0005 x 0.5 = 16,000 Ci [592,000,000,000,000 becquerels]
- Bounding Case 2… MAR = ST / (DR x ARF x RF) = 2 Ci / 0.5 x 0.01 x 1.0 = 400 Ci
Note the AIB reports the total inventory of activity in drum 68660 was 2.84 Ci. SRNL’s estimate of total inventory of activity involved was 400-16,000 Ci (141-5,634 times drum 68660 inventory).
This may explain Wyka’s statement at the Carlsbad town hall, “We went in thinking there’s another drum…We thought for sure we’d see something. Most of the analysis team thought so.”
5/2/15 A Deal Has Been Struck
The US energy department is to fund $73m in road and other infrastructure projects in New Mexico as compensation for radiation leaks at a nuclear laboratory and underground dump.
The deal struck between the department and New Mexico forgoes fines and instead applies funds to upgrade federal nuclear facilities and surrounding communities in the state, according to settlement documents.
Projects include construction of a $5m emergency operations centre in Carlsbad, near where the nuclear waste dump leaked radiation in February 2014.
NOTE FROM RADCAST: This paragraph from the article is PR only. While they say only 22 people have been radiated, it is far more than that, the numbers of which we will never know due to lack of proper care at all nuclear facilities following outbreaks/leaks of radiation. The cancers will follow. The true statistics are in the local cancers in the years to come.
“The leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, or Wipp, exposed 22 workers to radiation in amounts not expected to threaten their health and led to the indefinite suspension of key operations at the site, which is the energy department’s only permanent underground disposal facility for certain types of waste from US nuclear labs.”
This is also PR as the officials have absolutely no way to know when WIPP will re-open or if it will be able to be re-opened. That’s why the money is going to outside areas of WIPP rather than dealing with the inside of the plant. The plant is still too hot to deal with.
But don’t worry because they assure us that all employees are in NO danger!
2/1/15 A finding from 12/14 Los Alamos Labs Slashed $$$
Feds cut 90% of funds to LANL due to the radiation leak at WIPP causing WIPP to close down and possibly never be re-opened, a major disaster for nuke storage everywhere and for the nuke industry daily…the more they operate, the more waste is created and the more waste is created, the more pressing the need for storage for that waste.
RadCast would like to point out that this sentence in the article gives a false sense of reality in that no one knows if WIPP will ever be re-opened and by the time it does, if it does, it will be after many more billions are spent on getting to that point and proceeding w/ a re-opening: “It’s expected that reopening WIPP will cost at least a half-billion dollars, and when that will happen is uncertain.”
And all the while, the nuke industry working w/ LANL, the NNSA, is patting itself on the back trying to make light of the severity of the issue of the radiation leak at WIPP. Tsk Tsk. This was a huge disaster and people, as we will probably come to see in the next few years, will develop cancer from being exposed to the Plutonium and Americium released inside of WIPP and from the release into the environment. Business as usual and a pat on the back is certainly part of the culture of the nuclear environment and why we at RadCast are opposed to creating more nuclear waste and upgrading nuclear weapons.
Remember when they wanted you to believe in the beginning of the WIPP disaster that it would be just days before it re-opened and RadCast told you it probably would never re-open? And after those few days, they told us it would be a few weeks but no one was hurt. RadCast said impossible that no one was hurt. And then they released the numbers of those hurt in the accident. And RadCast told you that the release would affect the community at large. And then they told us that they found Americium and Plutonium outside the facility at least over a mile away and that workers brought the dust home from day one on their clothes into the homes and their community at large. And then they told you kitty litter stories to make it sound not so bad. And RadCast told you it was so bad. Far worse than they will ever admit? The last fake guestimate on their part for reopening was to be set in 3 years. RadCast said No Way. This will potentially never be reopened and certainly not so soon if at all. We believe it never should reopen. Well here we are today.
Mining and Ground Control engineers discovered on Jan. 15 that portion of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant ceiling in Panel 3 had fallen. The fallen piece of ceiling was found in the Panel 3 access drift of the WIPP underground, an area that is already labeled as restricted due to low levels of radiation contamination in the area.
As RadCast was posting the article archive on Jan 15, 2015, unbeknownst to anyone outside of WIPP was that a ceiling had collapsed inside WIPP. “An 8 by 8 foot section of ceiling in the panel 3 access drift has collapsed at WIPP. The area of the collapse is also in the contaminated areas of the mine. “ They decided to release this information today on Jan 22, 2015. Because what could be so bad with a ceiling collapse, dust particles and plutonium and americium all mixing together in the air???
“A larger problem was admitted earlier this month. WIPP contractors had been saying that doing ceiling bolting activities were their priority, even above dealing with the at risk storage rooms and unstable barrels in room 6 and 7. Seven ceiling areas were found to be unsafe and are now labeled as restricted.”
Regarding what the contractors had been doing previously to fix pieces of fallen ceiling…
…an oversight inspection found errors in the estimates for running the needed machinery with the air handling system in filtration mode.
Filtration mode is required to keep the contamination from the exploded barrel from being released to the environment but the poorly designed air handling system can not create enough air flow in filtration mode to safely operate the needed equipment and deal with the toxic particulates created by the diesel powered equipment.
There will always always always be a very meditated spin on these stories with facts left out to make you look the other way. Here is what they say followed by what RadCast says:
“This event highlights the need to continue prioritizing roof bolting and ground control in both the contaminated and uncontaminated areas of the WIPP underground facility in order to ensure safety and habitability in the underground,” stated a WIPP news release.
RadCast says this: WIPP was built under the lie and hubris of men who in order to make a lot of money, more money than most of us will ever see in a few lifetimes, created a meme which said WIPP will NEVER FAIL FOR EVEN 10,000 YEARS. And men posing as substitutes for godly figures created WIPP. Nuclear power generates death. That is all. The final outcome will always be death. Stay tuned…
Jan. 15,2015 Jumping into 2015 or Jumping into 2018???
Feds say troubled US nuclear waste dump in New Mexico may not fully reopen until 2018
The cardinal rules for understanding nuclear power are:
1. No Nukes are Safe
2. Nuclear Accidents cannot be cleaned up in their entirety
3. Due dates and cost projections for clean-ups are always a lie. It takes longer and costs more. Always.
4. The Nuclear PR Teams will always tell you that everything is fine. No matter what.
5. Nukes kill.
“The initial closure of Panel 6 was supposed to be one of the quick and easy things to be done. It’s not done. It’s not quick. It’s not easy. There are going to be risks to workers just to do that,” he said.
As the “due dates” come up, do not be surprised to find that WIPP is still not working. You can’t just brush plutonium and americium under the carpet.
Dec.11, 2014 Senator Udall Says He’s Upset But Don’t Fire Anyone!
For those following the nuclear fiasco in the US and abroad, you might already know that the DOE is totally out of control, has no control and cannot do its job properly because it is 100% dysfunctional. So when a Senator says that the problems as he sees it are about the contractors and the DOE shouldn’t replace them but somehow pull a feather out of a hat to get the contractors to change their ways, what will the DOE do? Tell them to follow the procedures that were already in place? Do we know what those procedures were to be followed by the letter that LANL didn’t follow? We do know what the LANL did to cause this fire, but were there procedures in place telling them to never do what they did? It comes down to carelessness and recklessness and that seems to be what anyone and everyone in the nuclear industry does at some point. Remember that all of the major accidents at nuclear power plants and now at WIPP were ALL caused by HUMAN ERROR. Fix that, DOE!
Dec. 6, 2014 Blame Someone Else!
New Mexico has fined the U.S. Energy Dept. more than $54 million over the accidents that occurred this past February 2014 in the country’s only underground nuclear waste repository, Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).
2 dozen workers were exposed to contamination at the plant
Procedural problems and 37 violations of state regulation in handling of radiation waste was found.
The Energy Dept. has said it could cost more than $500 million to return WIPP to full operations.
The improper waste treatment and storage of drums coming from Los Alamos National Laboratory contributed to the accidents of last February.
Washington and Idaho have also sued and fined the Energy department over its handling of nuclear waste.
Sept 21, 2014 Purrrr. It wasn’t the kitty litter; it was the lead glove.
RadCast had predicted after the kitty litter idea floated that this was not the answer, no matter how much WIPP et al wanted it to be the answer in order or there to BE an answer. Today the answer is perhaps the lead glove.
The TRU Waste from the drum was found to be from Rocky Flats, CO back in 1985. That waste, according to the story now, is that it was divided into different drums. Of those drums, some gloves containing lead were added to some of those drums. Included among the gloves in those drums were ‘bags of liquid and nitric acid, which was a byproduct of an evaporative process to reclaim plutonium scraps back in 1985.’
Because nitric acid interacts with lead at low temperatures, it is possible that these could have heated up to have caused the explosion. Apparently the authorities are now saying that they have narrowed this problem down to 2 drums in Panel 7. The drum that exploded was put inside WIPP in January and blew up in February.
1. Why did the drum blow up within one month and not at all during the years that the glove had mixed with the nitric acid?
2. Is this more of a distraction explanation in order to re-open WIPP when clearly we cannot store nuclear waste safely anywhere?
Sept 11, 2014 RadCast Reviews the WIPP Radiation Releases as found by the New Mexico University Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center:
WIPP Radiation Release De-constructed by RadCast
Our initial question was multifold:Did the initial release happen only once, how long did it last and what were the measurements in Bq and when did they occur. Answer to these questions will help us understand just how bad the release was.
21 people were directly exposed by inhaling radioactive particulates and an unknown amount of people outside of WIPP were exposed due to the lack of understanding the importance of radiation exposure and immediate decontamination.
Answers as we can find them look like this:
WIPP reported this news started at midnight on Valentines Day which is the 14h.
Data starts on Feb 15th as we can find it at 06:30.
109 yards from the exhaust shaft:
Americium-241 at 1.3Bq
Plutonium 239/240 at 0.115 Bq
Plutonium 238 at 0.004
Same spot 18th-25th
Americium-241@ 0.02 Bq
Pu-238 @ 0.004Bq
Same Spot 3/11-3/21
Am-241 @ 0.013Bq
Pu-239/240 no data
Pu-238 no data
For the next 3 months they are finding only trace amounts.
New Sample AIR 0.6 Miles from Exhaust Shaft NW
Am-241 @0.0645 Bq
Pu-238 no data
Same sample 2/16-/18
Am-241 @0.007 Bq
Pu-239/240 no data
Pu-238 no data
UNM waited until the 18th to pull the air sample from the 109 yards detection due to high concentrations of radiation.
Discharge Air of the Exhaust Shaft
2/15 6:30 AM-8.40 AM (for those of you w/ Geiger Counters, this would be like taking ambient readings in CPS, though here it is in Bq.)
Am-241 500,000Bq (disintegration per second) to 10,000Bq
Pu -239/240 80,000Bq-1,000Bq
Pu-238 1200 Bq-80
These readings stabilize starting about 3 days later on the 2/18 at 08:30
However, they do not go to 0(zero). These readings (see below) stay level until 2/21.
Pu-239/240 1 Bq
Sept 6, 2014 A Rose By Any Other Name … LANL To Relabel or Not?
This article starts out by saying that the NRC still does not know why the drum on 2.14 exploded at WIPP. This goes back to what RadCast has been saying; they tried to blame it on catnip. They tried to blame it on human error. RadCast still asserts that perhaps what happened is as simple and as profound as the knowledge that radioactive waste CANNOT be contained safely regardless of how safe the NRC has us pretend nuclear waste is.
Now they are deciding if it should be called “ignitable” or “corrosive”. Corrosive? Deadly and Explosive would suffice. There are over 300 drums at WIPP waiting to be “renamed”.
There’s really nothing much new in this recent article except the issue of relabeling.
Aug 22, 2014 More testing?
We know a few things about plutonium and americium and that is that both last a very very long time. Being that the exploded drum had americium and plutonium in it as well as who knows what (though we wish we did know!), and we know that the drum exploded but is still sitting where it was when it exploded, we can deduce quickly that it is still leaking. Leaking does not mean that it is pouring out in liquid form. Leaking can also mean that the radiation is escaping from the drum which it in fact, must be doing.
So the new testing that they are supposedly doing at WIPP is well called for, though RadCast still is waiting to find out what the original measurement was when the original explosion occurred and what the measurements were daily 24/7 from that moment forward. SURELY they are monitoring that. Or has the EPA turned off the monitoring stations as well in collusion with the good folks at WIPP also not testing since no results are good results, according to the nuclear industry.
Again, to test for data but not release the actual data is NOT helpful and it IS dangerous to all life in the path of the ongoing plume coming from WIPP. To those in its path, we are very concerned for your health. We encourage you to pressure WIPP and your State government to give you answers with real data demanding measurements for radiation doses.
Aug 19, 2014
Moniz on WIPP….Same ol’, Same ol’
In a nutshell, Moniz says yes yes yes, WIPP is SOOOO important to the US Govt while the US Gov gives WIPP a 2M$ bonus for “exemplary performance” after the truck fire fiasco followed by the kitty litter bandit making bombs out of radioactive waste 2 miles deep into the earth (WIPP) which then blew plutonium, americium and many other radioactive isotopes into NM, CO, TX and beyond. Yes, exemplary my dear Watson.
…”six months after the Feb. 15 radiation leak, Moniz tells New Mexico, “This is really an absolutely core facility for the country,” getting it back online is “a very high priority” and “safety has to be the driver” of that recovery.”
Good luck with that, Sec Moniz.
7/16/14—This is posted to WIPP UPDATES because WIPP is the plant that receives waste from Los Alamos and other sites. It was a drum from Los Alamos that exploded at WIPP on Feb 14, 2014.
July 16, 2014
By Rachel Oswald–Global Security Newswire. (see link for entire article)
So the conjecture as you know now is that the faulty kitty litter lined drums that blew up at WIPP came from Los Alamos. And now Los Alamos gets an unfavorable rating from the DOE. RADCAST WOULD LIKE TO GIVE THE DOE AN “F” GRADE OR DYSFUNCTIONAL RATING FOR THEIR OVERSIGHT!!!
* The Los Alamos facility in New Mexico had 38 nuclear criticality safety infractions in the last fiscal year and received an overall performance rating of “does not meet expectations.” RADCAST WOULD LIKE TO ASK THE DOE WHY LOS ALAMOS WAS ALLOWED TO REMAIN OPEN WHEN THE DOE KNEW OF THESE CRITICALITIES AND SAFETY INFRACTIONS IN ONE YEAR?!!!
* The Y-12 complex, located in Tennessee, received an “adequate” performance rating, even though it had 71 infractions. RADCAST WOULD LIKE TO ASK THE DOE WHY THE Y-12 COMPLEX WAS ALLOWED TO REMAIN OPEN WHEN THE DOE KNEW OF THESE CRITICALITIES AND SAFETY INFRACTIONS IN ONE YEAR?!!!
RadCast: It would appear that not is the DOE content with failing ratings but it is also accepting of adequate as a result. This is nuclear waste and nuclear storage we are talking about. Nothing should be less than EXCELLENT when dealing with nuclear waste, don’t you think??
From a RadCast viewer, here is an update on WIPP:
Yet another Lordsburg, NM quake
About 350 miles due West of WIPP …about half way between Arizona’s triple Palo Verde NNP & WIPP
Some of you may have noticed an ENEnews story about a bigger quake in the same location around June 29th – there were claims that that quake caused ground motion at WIPP – but I haven’t been able to verify that claim.
I’m guessing that these Lordsburg quakes are caused by fracking – just a guess.
Nuclear Radiation Releases Continue in New Mexico
By William Boardman, Reader Supported News
02 June 14
Something happened in February, something is STILL going onnvironmental radiation releases spiked again in mid-June around the surface site of the only underground storage facility for nuclear weapons waste in the U.S., near Carlsbad, New Mexico. The facility, the Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP), has been shut down since February 14, when its isolation technology failed, releasing unsafe levels of plutonium, americium, and other radio-nuclides into the environment around the site.
Radiation levels in the underground storage area, 2,150 feet below the surface, vary from near-normal to potentially lethal. At the time of the February accident, more than 20 WIPP workers suffered low level radioactive contamination, even though none of them were underground. WIPP assumes, but cannot confirm, that underground conditions have not changed since May 31, when the last entry team went into the mine, as reported by WIPP field manager Jose Franco on June 5:
As I noted in my previous letter, we have identified the damaged drum believed to be a contributing source of the radiological release. On May 31, an entry team was able to safely and successfully collect six samples from a variety of locations in Panel 7 of Room 7, including from the breached drum and a nearby standard waste box. These sample results are consistent with the contamination previously identified.
In mid-March, WIPP suffered a surface radiation release almost twice the levels released in February. WIPP was designed to isolate highly radioactive nuclear weapons waste from the environment for 10,000 years. It went 15 years before its first leak of radioactivity into the above-ground environment.
The latest elevated radiation levels were detected by monitors placed by the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED). The monitors measure radiation only after it has passed through the WIPP filtration system, which is designed to minimize radiation that escapes from the storage area half a mile underground. Radiation levels in the storage area where the original leak occurred are possibly as lethal as Fukushima, hampering efforts to determine the source, cause, and scale of the February leak.
What happened underground remains a mystery and a danger
More than five months after the February accident, officials still have no certain understanding of what went wrong. It is generally thought that one 55-gallon drum of waste (perhaps more than one) overheated and burst, spilling radioactive waste in a part of the storage area known as Panel 7, Room 7. This room, designated a “High Contamination Area,” measures 33 by 80 feet and presently has 24 rows of waste containers. The room holds 258 containers, tightly stacked and packed wall-to-wall, with no aisles to allow easy access. There is some clearance between the top of the stacks and the room’s ceiling.
The high contamination in Room 7 is a threat to human inspectors, limiting inspection of the room to date to mechanical means, primarily cameras on extension arms. As a result of these limitations, WIPP teams have inspected only ten of the 24 rows of waste containers in Room 7. Rows #1-14 have been out of reach of the available equipment.
WIPP has begun building a full scale replica of Room 7 above ground, to provide a realistic staging area in which to test methods of remote observation that might reach the 14 uninspected rows. According to WIPP:
Options include a device that uses carbon fiber rods to extend the camera, a gantry camera suspended on wires, or a boom system mounted on a trolley that would move across the waste face from wall to wall and out 90 feet to view all rows of waste.
WIPP has spent much of June improving the air filtration system to the mine, adding filters that reduce escaping radiation and improving underground air flow for the sake of entry teams. WIPP suspended underground entries on May 31, apparently to improve safety conditions. Reporting on June 18, field manager Jose Franco wrote:
Since the radiological event, we have safely entered the underground facility nearly a dozen times. Each time, we learn more and we use those discoveries to refine our tasks moving forward. Our entry teams have identified a breached container and we are using all of the resources at our disposal to find the cause.
No one is more eager than we are to determine what happened and return to normal operations.
Nuclear waste in Los Alamos puts National Lab at risk
“Normal operations” in the past included accepting thousands of waste-filled containers from the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), which is under a June 30 legal deadline to clean up its above-ground and shallow underground waste that has accumulated since the 1940s, when Los Alamos scientists were building the first atomic bombs.
The contractor packaging LANL waste into containers made a change a while back, substituting organic kitty litter for the standard inorganic product. More than 500 containers with organic kitty litter have been prepared, 368 of them already stored underground at WIPP. One frequently cited theory (promoted by a WIPP booster) is that one or more of these containers underwent a chemical, heat-generating process because of the organic kitty litter and that reaction caused the container to burst.
The rest of these containers with organic matter are temporarily buried at a West Texas site or remain on the LANL property. They are under constant watch and reportedly none have failed to date.
Los Alamos has been under pressure to clean up its radioactive waste for years, if not decades. But it took the approach of wildfires to the LANL waste site for the laboratory to enter into a binding agreement with the New Mexico Environment Department to remove all the waste it has accumulated. As the June 30 deadline approached, LANL again asked the state for an extension of the deadline, saying there wasn’t enough money in its federal budget to comply with the court order.
In the past, the state had granted an extension more than 100 times. This time New Mexico said no. That will subject LANL to further sanctions, including fines.
Lawsuit over state-approved high-level waste containers
Almost two years ago, after New Mexico approved new containers for use at WIPP without holding a public hearing on the application, the Southwest Research and Information Center (SRIC) sued to block the containers from coming into use. In the center’s view, these new, shielded containers were less robust than containers already in use for highly radioactive waste. That issue should have been considered at a public hearing, SRIC argued at the time:
The Appellants and approximately 200 individuals requested that the request to modify the state’s WIPP permit be subject to a public hearing because of the dangers posed by RH [Remote Handled] waste, the technical complexity of handling RH waste at WIPP, and the substantial public interest in the request. NMED ignored those comments and approved the Department of Energy (DOE) request despite the fact that the state agency had in December 2011 and January 2012 rejected virtually the same request.
Remote Handled (RH) waste is so designated because radiation levels are too high to allow close personal contact, so the waste must be handled by remote-controlled machinery. About 10 per cent of WIPP waste is Remote Handled.
In December 2012, NMED had publicly announced a public hearing on the new container issue. The department rescinded the hearing notice four days later, without explaining the change.
The New Mexico Appeals Court heard closing arguments in the case in July 2013, but had not rendered a decision at the time of the February 2014 accident at WIPP. On June 26, the court held a further hearing to consider whether the radiation release at WIPP was relevant to the use of the new, high-level waste containers. As reported by the New Mexican, this case has a number of anomalies:
The Environment Department said in an email that the shielded containers can be transported in fewer shipments, and the process is quicker and significantly reduces the dosage rates of radiation from the drums.
Moreover, although the department doesn’t know who manufactures the shielded containers, their safety has been vetted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency….
Regulators and the nuclear watchdog group hope the judges will make a decision sooner rather than later. Even though WIPP is closed for now, a whole lot of highly radioactive waste has to be packaged into containers for temporary storage until shipments resume.
Investigations rampant, answers scarce
On June 16, four months after the radiation release from WIPP, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced its “decision to conduct an investigation into the facts and circumstances associated with potential programmatic deficiencies in the nuclear safety, radiation protection, emergency management, quality assurance, and worker safety and health programs revealed by the February 2014 fire and radiation release at the Waste Isolation Pilot Project.”
Currently there are at least nine investigations into WIPP’s failure, including DOE, which operates the facility largely through private contractors. A few days later, a DOE attorney told the New Mexico Court of Appeals that “Nobody is contemplating a closure of WIPP,” but that WIPP is unlikely to reopen until 2016 at the earliest.
In March, Don Hancok of SRIC published a piece listing questions that were then unanswered:
What caused the leak?
How much leaked into the underground salt mine?
How much leaked into the environment?
Where are those radioactive and toxic wastes now?
To what amount of radiation were the workers exposed?
What are the health effects for those workers?
What decontamination is necessary in the underground mine?
What decontamination is necessary on the WIPP site and surrounding area?
If WIPP reopens, what changes in the operation, monitoring, and safety culture will be implemented?
On June 25, Hancock published another piece in the same online magazine, La Jicarita, pointing out that the questions of March all remained unanswered in June. The piece carried this headline:
Why do we still not know what’s wrong with WIPP?
RadCast Notes: Please be aware of misleading statements from the press. Please be advised concerning this article:
1. “Mysterious radiation leaks”.
They told us that they wanted us to believe that these leaks were caused from either kitty litter or another organic substance that was never supposed to be used as a absorbent for the nuclear waste drums. But now they call it a mysterious leak. I guess we’re back to pretending we don’t know what the leak came from.
2. Required to PLAN for another drum exploding? That doesn’t even make sense. If they thought drums would explode, they wouldn’t accept them in the first place.
2A. They have a plan to protect the community from a drum exploding? I’m not sure why they missed the obvious, but a drum DID explode and they did NOT have a plan for that and they did NOT protect the community.
By JERI CLAUSING, Associated Press
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Scientists investigating a mysterious radiation leak(note 1) at the federal government’s underground nuclear waste dump have identified five other potentially explosive containers of waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory that are being stored at a site in West Texas, New Mexico Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn told a legislative panel Tuesday.
Flynn told lawmakers that scientists have been unable to replicate the chemical event believed to have a caused a drum to breach at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant on Feb. 14, contaminating 22 workers. But they have tied the barrel to a waste stream from Los Alamos with an unusually high acid level, he said.
That waste was packed into a total of six drums, including the one at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, New Mexico. The rest are among more than 100 that were shipped from Los Alamos to Waste Control Specialists in Andrews, Texas, after the leak indefinitely shuttered the New Mexico facility, which is the federal government’s only permanent repository for waste from decades of building nuclear bombs.
Asked if the public should be worried, Flynn said: “Every member of the community should be concerned. … But I don’t think they should be worried. I don’t think people should be panicked about another drum exploding because we required (the U.S. Department of Energy) to plan for that (note 2.) and have a system in place to protect the public.”(note 2A)
Chuck McDonald, spokesman for Waste Control Specialists, said all the drums there have been specially packed and are under constant monitoring.
Extra precautions are being taken with barrels that have been identified as potentially more problematic, McDonald said. Los Alamos and Waste Control Specialists took a series of extra measures to secure the more than 100 drums left in limbo by the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant’s closure because they were packed with cat litter to absorb moisture. A leading theory is that a switch by Los Alamos from inorganic to organic cat litter helped fuel the “heat event” that popped the lid off the 55-gallon barrel that leaked at the nuclear waste dump.
The Department of Energy has dozens of the world’s finest scientists trying to identifying what type of reaction could have caused the leak, Flynn said after the hearing. But he estimated it would be months before a definitive cause is determined.
Until then, Flynn said, it is hard to speculate on what if any action can be taken to finish getting the last of thousands of barrels of decades-old waste off the Los Alamos campus in northern New Mexico. The lab had been under orders to have the waste shipped to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant before wildfire season peaks. But given the uncertainty of what caused the radiation leak, transporting the waste now is seen as too risky.
Flynn said it also remains unclear how long the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant will be closed or how long it will take the plant to seal off the rooms where more than 350 other barrels of suspect waste from Los Alamos are currently stored.
“We just don’t have any clear answers,” he said.
6/4–The Plan is A Band-Aid and will the Band-Aid even stick?
The DOE required WIPP to create a plan and have it in by 6/1. Here’s the plan. It only address what has happened, not what might happen in the future. How can they possible admit that another accident due to any reason could ever occur again? Afterall, this one was never supposed to ever ever happen. Not in 10,000 years. Nor was the truck fire a week before the Valentine’s Day accident supposed to have happened. Let’s not put money on their predictions for the future.
How well will they do in the future? Well, according to this document, they refuse to call this an explosion. They insinuate that there was just heat cause plastics to burn and then somehow, the seal to the drum lid opened. In the paragraph below that, it states that the investigation is not complete. So we are to feel good about the not-yet-seen-as-fact that there was no explosion, just a drum of nuclear waste open and releasing emissions filled with plutonium and americium into the cave and into the environment via vents that did not work as planned, allowing the radiation to leak out. Hmm.
You can see the level of concern by WIPP for their workers when they mention that smoke and heat are more of a concern than breathing in airborne radionuclides.
• The risk to workers is from heat, smoke, airborne radionuclides, and pressure
related to container(s) breaching.)
As to more of The Plan, here’s a good one: • Conduct drills, training, and mock-ups
How can you conduct a drill or training or a mock up when you don’t know or care what other sites are sending you in these drums? The owners of WIPP had made mention weeks ago that it was never their responsibility to know what the protocol is from those who send them their waste. How irresponsible and just so wrong! How can you plan for something you don’t care about or know about?
RADCAST REMARK: THIS PLAN IS JUST A BAND-AID TO MAKE YOU THINK EVERYTHING WILL BE BETTER IN THE FUTURE. This is nuclear waste we are talking about. There is no “better” in the future. There is no We Can Do Better when we have no way of safely containing nuclear waste. The only Better is to stop making it. In the meantime, we will have more accidents like these. What does that mean? Simply, more radiation will escape any containment it is sitting in no matter where, how deep, how high, how wet, how dry, how little, how much. There is no safe way to contain plutonium.
5/30 Money Money Money….Money!
Lessons from living close to Hanford for as long as I have taught me to follow the money, not the talk. When accidents occur, one can almost be assured it was due to a rush job of some sort in order to meet a deadline. Deadlines in the nuclear industry were created not actually to get a job done on time, but to get the bonus that comes with getting the job done, no matter it seems, how the job gets done. This is the part where we recognize and reiterate to new readers that there is absolutely zero oversight anywhere in the nuclear industry. The NRC is supposed to oversee the contractors at the job level. The NSFSB is supposed to oversee the NRC thought they have less power of enforcement than the NRC and the IAEA is supposed to create rules to follow for safety in the industry, but the IAEA is made up of people from the boards of the nuclear power companies, so you can see how they are useless in creating a safety net for citizens, while terrific in clearing lots of benefits and huge salaries for themselves.
Why is this important? Because nuclear accidents should NEVER happen. And yet they do.
One of the things WIPP said yesterday is that it is not their responsibility as to how Los Alamos creates its containers or Hanford or whomever else gives them waste. It is absolutely their responsibility. How can they turn a blind eye to the protocols of the companies who send them waste to store, when that waste is capable of exploding, which of course did happen on Feb 14, 2014?
After the opening of WIPP there were regulations that mandated checking each lid on each drum to be sure the head-space was at the correct level. A few years later, that regulation was softened as checking each drum was really time consuming and expensive as it took man hours to the job. And once more, it was softened again so that instead of checking just a few drums from each shipment instead of all, now they could check one if they chose to. Again, lessons from Hanford showed me that the culture in the nuke industry, once regs went soft, were forgotten and trouble was just over the horizon.
In the case of the explosion at WIPP this part of the problem. But the other part of the problem was that LANL wasn’t in compliance either with their own regulations. Compliance is not easy to do in the world of nuclear power. Cutting corners is. Who is checking whom? Is there anybody out there?
But there’s more. I told you that I did not believe from the start that kitty litter was the issue here. I asked that you be patient and wait to see what surfaces. Something always does!
Don Hancock who has become the spokesperson to the community regarding what may have happened, has not confirmed the kitty litter theory. Once you start look at hard data, you can figure out the appropriate questions to ask. Due to the radionuclides that blew out of the drum into the air at WIPP, we know a few things; from my friend Bobby1′sBlog, we see discrepancies in the data if it were coming from LANL. Could it have come from a different source? Idaho National Labs for instance?
The top of the following graphic shows the isotope measurements for the WIPP release, measured at Station A. The bottom shows the average isotope concentrations for the LA-MIN02-V.001 waste stream from Los Alamos, which has been identified to be the source to the plutonium and americium release.
The WIPP measurements show there was 2 times as much Americium-241 released as Plutonium 239+240. The waste stream analysis shows that there was 92 times as much Plutonium-239+240 in the waste as Americium-241.
That is a huge difference in the isotopic ratios. There is 184 times as much americium as would have been expected from the average amounts in the waste stream.
While there are individual differences in the drums, and since we don’t know how much Plutonium-241 was released from WIPP, it is possible that the WIPP release came from this waste stream, though it really seems unlikely, and the container had to have been an “outlier” that did not reflect the average proportions of isotopes in the waste. If it turns out that more than one container contributed to the WIPP release, this becomes wildly improbable.
I had said from the start that I believed it would be possible for something more devastating than TRU waste to have arrived at WIPP due to either negligence on the part of let’s say Hanford workers or pressure from Hanford Contractors to get the High Level Waste over there to WIPP in small doses since the license to upgrade to HLW has not yet gone through but has been requested by WIPP. We still don’t know where it came from. We still don’t have the initial measurements of how high the readings were on day one. Or each day since. We have nothing but a pile of kitty litter that is slowly dissolving into what I hope is the truth.
5/29 Is it turning into Cat Scratch Fever? Click Here for article.
New Mexico Environment Department has made public online internal Los Alamos National Laboratory emails showing Los Alamos approved products to be used in the drums that some experts say contain ingredients widely known to cause a heat reaction when combined with the drums’ other contents.
The issues seem to be about organic materials, not when the switch from inorganic to organic happened.
The emails trace LANL’s approval of two products requested by contractor EnergySolutions, which packages LANL waste, to neutralize the pH balance of drum contents sent to WIPP.
1. EnergySolutions asked LANL managers for approval in a May 2013 email to switch to one of the products. LANL approved the change a month later – despite product warnings clearly stating that the product is incompatible with metallic nitrates and “strong oxidizers,” such as nitrate salts, both of which are found in the LANL drums. This creates heat!
2. The other product mentioned in an email was a new liquid to neutralize acids and bases in the drums. When Zeke Wilmot, EnergySolutions industrial hygienist, asked in an August 2013 email for approval to use the product, he notes that “criticality safety issues are not my area of expertise” and “it may be advisable to have LANL personnel weigh in on these issues as well.”
Article: Smith said the WIPP permit does not detail procedures for the neutralization process or for obtaining neutralizing products, and NMED was not involved in either purchasing decision.
RadCast:This means that WIPP does not have a say in what it takes in. How is that even possible? This is such a major part of the problem, the part that doesn’t get talked about. Who the hell is designing protocol here? Why would they not want to know what they will be storing? It’s radioactive, folks. How can you not want to know even the smallest of details?? WIPP wants only to blame others when they took no responsibility for what they are receiving!
The most notable line in the article is this: “It doesn’t really matter who is to blame,” he said. “They all work for DOE.”
AND more from our friend Bobby1 Blog:
New emails reveal concern over plutonium-related nuclear chain reaction in WIPP containers — “There shouldn’t be a ‘significant’ reaction… reactivity of plutonium and criticality safety issues are not my area of expertise” — “Significant amount’ of plutonium” — No mention of kitty litter
They used Kolorsafe liquid acid neutralizer…
Section 7. Handling and Storage
Avoid high heat and/or freezing conditions. Keep container tightly closed. Suitable for general chemical storage under normal warehouse conditions.
NOTE: If this product is stored at temperatures >150 °F or at elevations above 5000 feet, gas may form, increasing the pressure within the container, causing the container to bulge. If bulging occurs, remove the container from the work area and slowly open the container to release the gas. Be sure to wear proper
personal protective equipment.
The video is a demonstration of this product. Imagine them pouring it into plutonium, instead of vinegar.
I am holding firm to the missing link or the elephant in the room. We have been following radiation counts for over two and half years and others, much longer than that. We can tell how dangerous a release is by the measurement of radiation dosage. We have yet to see even one reading. RadCast would like to see the initial reading on Feb 14, 2014, the readings from the previous three weeks and the daily readings from Feb 14 onward into today and daily from here on out.
Why have we not seen even one? I ask again. Why is that? Do they have them? Did they have them? They must have had some way of knowing that radiation leaking tripped the alarm. As far as we are concerned, this latest report still sees fact as conjecture regarding the kitty litter postulation being the cause of the lid on the drum to be blown off.
The important questions still unanswered…is the drum still leaking? Last I read, plutonium has a half-life of 25000 years, so I am assuming that it is still leaking. No word on the officials putting the drum back together, much like my memory of the Humpty Dumpty story. All the kings men and all the kings horses couldn’t put Humpty together again. And if so, where are the readings?
5/24 Organic or Inorganic? Kitty Litter, I mean.
It seems as if the kitty litter according to this article, is in fact the culprit and the fault of one person for choosing to leave the chain of protocol/command by using organic kitty litter instead of inorganic. Looks like the decision to use organic could close shop to the only nuclear storage facility in the US. I’m not sure whether to condemn the man for being such an idiot or congratulate him for bringing attention to the issues surrounding the impossibility of storing nuclear waste safely!
I must call out The Verge writer Matt Stroud for repeating the fallacy about no one really getting injured due to the emission release and the amount of people present. We don’t know yet how high the numbers were that triggered the alarm in the first place. If we knew that, we would also know implicitly what levels of radiation dosage to talk about. Plutonium and Americium were never mentioned in the article and yet these radioisotopes were found two and a half miles away from the building and that assumes that someone continued to check beyond that, finding nothing, another point to which we are in the dark.
How many people are sick? How many people will get sick in the near future? In the next generation? We don’t know and it is more than a mild oversight for The Verge to ignore or play dumb to these very blatant omissions in their article.
The Verge: Even if WIPP does begin operating again, “we have no idea how long this will take until WIPP is back to normal operations, or what the new normal operations will be,” Rempe says. “No one knows right now. And it could be a long time before anyone knows.”
This paragraph suggests the wrong question. It is not a matter of waiting to see when and how WIPP will resume but when another kitty litter malfunction or something else creates yet another radioactive disaster and how soon before locking these drums in a sealed room will just exacerbate that next explosion or emission. Human error has proved more often than not, the cause of far too many nuclear catastrophes. We can be assured that another will occur at some point.
The answer my friends is blowing in the wind and what’s blowing is radiation; what we can do at this point, is shut down all nuclear facilities producing power and weapons. That would certainly be the most auspicious start to a problem which is killing us all slowly, but surely. But don’t ask the nuke industry. They’ll tell you how green, cheap and healthy and wonderful nukes are. Clearly the radiation has gotten to their minds.
5/22 STARDUST: WIPP Storing Weapons Grade Plutonium In Room 7
Nitrates.. Solids or liquid for you? WIPP, we’ll take solids please! Just when you started enjoying the stories of WIPP only holding radiated medical gloves and radiation suits and the stories of kitty litter, WAKE UP! WIPP is actually storing weapons grade plutonium. It is a far cry from low level waste.
WIPP can only accept solids and therefore liquid nitrate salts were immobilized into solids to be past off to WIPP for containment. The story now says that a change in the solidifying agent from vermiculite to a wheat based cat litter is thought to be the root cause of the explosion. This is still part of the ongoing investigation.
WIPP is storing WEAPONS GRADE PLUTONIUM and did not want the public to know. The room in which the explosion occurred contained this WGP. 1.4 cubic meters per kilogram of plutonium per container. When exposed to moist air plutonium forms oxides and hydrides that expand the sample up to 70% in volume, which in turn flake off as a powder that can spontaneously ignite. Could there have been a water leak down there creating this chemical reaction? http://grist.org/article/should-i-clay-or-should-i-go-now/
When WIPP doesn’t want to spend money for safety precautions, the results can be deadly when dealing with weapons grade plutonium or any radioactive waste, for that matter. “An an influential 1994 study of plutonium disposition options by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), considerable emphasis was put on the “spent fuel standard.”The idea was that disposition plutonium should be embedded in a waste form that generates a “self-protecting” gamma radiation barrier like that surrounding the plutonium in spent fuel. The waste packages in WIPP do not have such a radiation barrier”
While WIPP has you and I thinking about Kitty Litter, they are doing a fabulous job at obfuscating the true reason there was an issue in the first place; 51 containers in Panel 7 Room 7 of inerted weapons grade plutonium stored within the room along with the explosive LANL barrels. As of January 2014 222 of these inerted weapons grade plutonium barrels have been shipped to WIPP. These barrels are kept next to the barrels from Los Alamos creating a clear and present danger, one that we have already witnessed having created an explosion.
Do you know what happens if the inerted WGP blows up? The barrels would have become dirty bombs.
Regarding the inert material for the WGP, what exactly is it? Kitty Litter or STARDUST? Those in the industry would like only to call it Stardust. “Right now it is unclear if any of these barrels have been damaged in room 7″ so they say. I disagree. If the mixed waste barrels contained radioactive gloves and suits while the other barrels contained weapons grade plutonium and we know that Americium and Plutonium were released in the Feb 14 explosion, I think it’s safe to say that it was not gloves that blew up. This is where it gets difficult for them, the industry/WIPP/DOE/NRC to contain the lie. Which is it? Gloves or WGP? You decide.
5/22 WIPP Plans for the Band Aid Approach which already proved faulty: The New Mexico Environment Department on Tuesday demanded the federal government seal off two underground storage rooms in a nuclear waste repository to prevent the possibility of another radiation leak.
Seal off the rooms to prevent the possibility of another leak….this is a Class A Con Job. Let RadCast explain…you can’t prevent the possibility of another radiation leak. If you could, Fukushima, Chernobyl, TMI and all nuke plants in the world would never leak.
Were they saying that in case it does leak, they can somehow seal it in the room the drums are in? This wouldn’t work either. If you have a hydrogen explosion and the explosion release has no where to go i.e. no way to vent out because it’s sealed in, things can get really ugly or should we say, explosive. —In their own words at WIPP, [the] drums that are believed to have caused a hot reaction that led to a radiation release
And what’s more is this premise which we still don’t know is true, though it is the latest in the telling of tales as to what they THINK happened: nitrate salts and an organic kitty litter used as an absorbent in the LANL drums may have combined to cause a reaction hot enough to melt sealed containers, allowing radioactive elements to escape.
If this statement is true then the initial premise of this article would no longer need an argument regarding fake possibilities of explosions but instead, probabilities. It is fascinating that even after Dr. Walter Tamosaitis came out as a whistle blower at Hanford regarding the potentiality of hydrogen explosions when moving unknown mixes of chemicals with radioactive waste, that the DOE, NRC and heads at WIPP have no idea what they are asking by demanding to seal off these rooms.
Back to the Kitty Litter trail…they aren’t even sure if it was the kitty litter mixed with the waste that caused this. How do we know? Because the drums in the area are too hot to go into to test directly. This is a guessing game with terrible consequences not only when the guesses are incorrect, but when the directives due to unsubstantiated claims are also based on bad science.
As for this statement, “Evidence comes in on a daily basis,” said NMED general counsel Jeff Kendall. “The timing of these two orders is the result of the most recent evidence provided to us.”, it would be beneficial for the “authorities” to share that with the public. Evidence has proof. If they have the proof, how did they get it? What is it? Where is it? Who gave them the proof? Why do we not have all of the proof?
This method has a probability of exploding the entire WIPP facility.
What happens if there is no way to store nuclear waste safely? Answer: There isn’t. And it’s precisely because of this that the WIPP team has such a wonderful PR team on their side spinning lovely tales of Kitty Litter for you to digest.
More questions: If there is in fact kitty litter in the drums, how much kitty litter is there and how much poses a problem? We’ve read that the kitty litter brand was changed somewhat recently? How recently? How old are the drums that blew? When were these drums brought down into the mine? If they know where these drums came from (LANL), they must know when these particular drums arrived and therefore which load kitty litter was dumped into the mix.
KITTY LITTER: Composition: Non-biodegradable sodium bentonite clay. Harmful if ingested. Sodium bentonite clay contains high levels of sodium ions which have a higher hydration sphere than calcium ions. Sodium bentonite therefore absorbs moisture much better than its calcium counterpart and when wet swells approximately 15 times its original volume. This variety is used due to the “cheapness of strip-mining the clay”. Silica gel, a porous form of silicon dioxide made synthetically from a compound called sodium silicate. Works as drying agent in by trapping cat urine in their small pores while allowing the excess water to evaporate.
WIPP still sticking to the Kitty Litter report from Los Alamos waste. It would be best if they said nuclear waste is never safe and WIPP or any storage space is never safe because plutonium is never safe and neither is nuclear power. To say that there is one cause and call that cause kitty litter or anything other than that nuclear waste is never safe, is an attempt to create a myth. Remember that.
According to the brilliant ones who used to run WIPP, it ran exactly as it should have w/ the new kitty litter mixture. Here’s what the experts say…
Created: 05/13/2014 11:05 PM
By: Ryan Luby, KOB Eyewitness News 4
It seems years of safety testing and major precautionary steps at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, or WIPP, failed to account for the thing that may have caused a radiation leak – kitty litter.
Dr. Jim Conca, a longtime nuclear expert who monitored WIPP for years, said kitty litter is routinely mixed with nuclear waste to stabilize it for shipment.
“Just regular cat litter,” he said.
He believes the nuclear container or containers that leaked were packed with an organic type of litter, which has a different chemical composition.
Conca believes the company that shipped waste from the Los Alamos National Lab, or LANL, switched from regular litter to organic litter in the last year or two.
The company, EnergySolutions, has not returned calls or e-mails by KOB Eyewitness News 4 or other media outlets.
Conca said he reached his conclusion based on photographs released by the Department of Energy that reveal the leaky nuclear waste drums. He said evidence of burn marks around the edge of a drum indicate it burst under pressure. He admitted his theory could be wrong, but said there’s little evidence to disprove it.
“Until we actually get that drum, the one that blew the top off, we really won’t know exactly what happened and why,” Conca said.
It’s unclear how long it will take crews at WIPP to safely extract the drum or drums, but Conca said it could take as long as a few weeks or another month.
He defended WIPP and said it’s now unfairly receiving too much bad press in light of his theory.
“Everyone loses sight that WIPP performed brilliantly; it performed exactly as it was supposed to. And although it’s a mess, and we got to clean it up, and everyone’s all upset, there’s no environmental concern, there’s no health concern, there’s no safety concern — WIPP really did well,” Conca said.
He said the radiation that leaked will not be detrimental to those who were exposed.
Conca also explained that the leak would not have been an issue if the drums were stored in a room that had already reached capacity and had been sealed off. He said WIPP is the final resting place for nuclear waste and that scientists know the drums will leak eventually. He said it’s not a concern since WIPP is located roughly a half-mile below a nearly impenetrable layer of salt.
“It doesn’t matter that the drums are intact after the room is closed. The drums are assumed to corrode and break and everything else … That’s what it’s supposed to do,” he said.
Is Hanford responsible for the explosion at WIPP? What was in the drums that exploded? Was it really TRU waste or was it Highly Radioactive Waste? WIPP had put in a request years ago to upgrade their license so that they could load in HRW. But the license was only good for TRU waste. Did Hanford decide on the sly to send over a little bit of this and a little bit of that? We know now that the folks in charge at WIPP do not even want to talk about the fact that they get waste from Hanford. Why?
New Mexico Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn said the theory of a chemical reaction is based on limited knowledge, and he urged officials during the meeting not to withhold any information. Flynn said he’s concerned the public will lose faith if federal officials change their story every couple of weeks about what might have happened.
“We need to know what happened. We absolutely need to know,” he said. “But we need to make decisions based on facts.”
RadCast believes that it is possible that while they are saying decisions must be based on facts, that even that is a set up for putting out lies about what happened. The game is exactly like this: They say we will bring you facts. You say to your friends, they don’t know yet but they will bring us facts. The meme is set. Then they lie. You buy the lie. This is the game of nuclear lies. It’s what has to happen; nuclear accidents cause death and to admit that would mean that the industry would be failing. There is no room for that.
“If we find a problem with this waste stream, it’s a chemistry problem,” Blankenhorn said. The Los Alamos lab has “some of the best scientists in the world. It would be up to them to develop a path forward to give us treated, safe waste.”
Los Alamos is under a tight deadline to get the plutonium-contaminated waste off its northern New Mexico campus before wildfire season peaks. The state of New Mexico pressured the lab to hasten the cleanup after a massive wildfire in 2011 lapped at the edges of lab property.
Notice that they do not talk about Hanford. This is about Hanford. Hanford is the largest nuke dump in the northern hemisphere and the pressure to clean it up is pretty big. They get 2.5 Billion Dollars a year to do the clean up. But when you see how little has been cleaned, you must wonder what they’ve done with the money. Because the contractors get bonus money and pay for each piece of cleanup that occurs to the date it was supposed to occur by, the pressure is even greater to do things illegally like putting some of that HRW in drums to an organization who wants it even though the licensing has not been ok’d and put forward.
Dr. Walt Tamosaitis, a good friend to RadCast, came out as a whistle blower years ago to let the world know that the waste from the tanks to the Pre-Treatment Plant could not happen due to the fact that there was no way to know how to mix the chemical sludge on it’s way from the tanks to the PTP. If the waste is not mixed properly or at all, a hydrogen explosion could occur. Because Hanford allowed a free-for-all dumping event over decades, no one knows what chemicals were mixed in to the radioactive waste in the tanks. Glues, Paints, Corrosives, everything you can think of, was mixed in without a single record of when or what the ingredients were.
Flash forward to WIPP Feb 14. Drums exploded in the WIPP Corridor # 7. All roads seem to lead directly back to Hanford.
RC: Today’s theory is that drums from Los Alamos caused the reaction in the mines….let’s hold off on agreement until the next theory surfaces.
Officials now say they are looking at the possibility that a chemical reaction may have occurred, rupturing the drums inside panel seven.
Because other waste from Los Alamos may now present a hazard, all shipments from Los Alamos to a site in Texas have been stopped.
Records of what was placed in the waste containers are being studied as are other possible causes.
Teams hope to identify which drums ruptured in the days ahead.
The WIPP plant near Carlsbad has been closed since the leak in mid February.
Workers find damage to underground radioactive storage bags at WIPP—More of the same. This article re-iterates the same talking points as the 5/1/14 update. And they are still saying there is no radiation coming from the vents. RadCast is still saying that they are not revealing what they know. We know they will say more as time goes by. Remember this post.
Damage to Magnesium Oxide Bags which are in place to protect us for 10,000 years against any leak from WIPP. They must have meant 30 years.
WIPP is saying that there are no detectable air samples of radiation. Considering that just last week the team who went below to check for the issues could not go very far due to deadly amounts of radiation, RadCast is not sure how it is possible that there are no detectable radiation and currently is waiting for the next shoe to drop. Standby. Here is the latest report from the “officials”.
Note from RadCast: Sharing with you someone else’s writings on the WIPP Fiasco…from our friends at Pissin on the Roses
This exact catastrophic situation had started to occur during the Valentine’s day nuclear fire at the WIPP facility; when by the GRACE OF GOD, elevated wind speeds spun up and reduced the airborne Americium cloud’s radioactive density. This act of Divine Providence served to lessen the Americium’s ionization interaction with WIPP’s electrical substation to the point where the electrical arc flashes were noted but power loss reportedly did not occur.Based on DOE’s Accident Investigation Report we have documented in detail the nature of WIPP’s initial UNDETECTED Plutonium / Americium release and how it caused the reported “GREEN BURST” at the WIPP’s electrical substation.
WIPP’s System of System (SOS) design flaw is as follows:
1) WIPP’s electrical substation is located directly next to the mine’s ventilation exhaust (see map below)
2) In event of nuclear fire, Ionizing Plutonium and Americium are discharged directly into the electrical substation
3) WIPP underground Continuous Air Monitor(s) are not placed to detect radiation in the 6+ foot cavernous air space floating above the underground worker’s heads (more detail in the video)
4) As happened on Valentine’s day, Item 3 resulted in at least an hour long period of UNDETECTED Plutonium and Americium being discharged into WIPP’s electrical substation, resulting in arc flashing.
5) Americium is known for its ability to ionize air and cause electrical discharges (it is used in smoke detectors for exactly this purpose)
6) Americium and Plutonium discharging into the electrical substation will (and did) cause arc flashing, and the result is likely to cause the substation to lose power
7) Power loss at WIPP equates to uncontrolled ventilation of the mine and an inability to evacuate workers
8) Uncontrolled ventilation during a fire means loss of containment, as demonstrated by the February 5th underground fire at WIPP
1) Difficult salt related environmental conditions at WIPP make it nearly impossible to operate real time underground radioactive air monitoring without a high level of perceived false radioactive alarms. It is exactly this condition which caused site employees to disregard the veracity of the radiation alarm until 11 hours after it sounded (when secondary manual readings confirmed the release).
2) WIPP’s plan to further increase underground ventilation rates makes real time underground detection even more difficult, and increases the chances of undetected stagnation pooling of radioactive materials at the electrical substation during no wind conditions.
The MidWest nearly became uninhabitable on Valentine’s Day, had wind speeds not picked up at the plant the facility would have lost power. It is possible the nuclear fire would have become naturally ventilated and uncontrolled, much like what happened on February 5th when an underground vehicle caught fire.
In that same light, had the February 5th underground vehicle fire occurred in a nuclear waste storage area, the resulting burning nuclear materials would have released enough Americium to cause the electrical substation to shut down. That loss of power would have made it impossible to evacuate and or ventilate the underground. Thatloss of control would have resulted in the entire Midwest being contaminated in enough Plutonium and Americium that even the DOE would have a hard time covering it up.
As it stands now, the Department of Energy has not publicly recognized any of these deadly design deficiencies; its unclear if they are acting out of incompetence or some twisted greater good concept rationalizing the risk away for National Security reasons. But one thing is for sure, if DOE does not relocate and / or further risk mitigate WIPP’s substation the entire Midwest remains at risk.
4/29 Thank you Potrblog..GREEN BURST The Electrical Substation on location acted as a giant Geiger Counter.
4/29 Where did we put that radioactive waste? I forget…Remember that the DOE is supposed on top of this stuff. The DOE was responsible to know how WIPP was working and planned to work. They should have known this. Perhaps they did at the time and thought nothing of it. There is no such thing as forethought when dealing with nukes, as our entire nuclear industry has shown us time and time again!
By Bob Bronwin, Editor at Large of the media site, Next Gov
Operators at an underground nuclear waste repository in New Mexico must rely on their own memories to locate plutonium-contaminated waste stored there because computers at the facility were not upgraded to track the materials, the Department of Energy concluded in a 302-page reportreleased April 24.
The report details results of an investigation into a radiation leak in February at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, which contaminated 21 workers at the facility. WIPP occupies a 16-square-mile site 26 miles southeast of Carlsbad, N.M., where waste is stored in underground salt caverns 2,150 feet below ground.
The Energy investigation, directed by James Hutton, acting deputy assistant secretary for safety, security and quality programs, also discovered that WIPP, which opened in 1999, has never installed a video surveillance system to monitor the waste stored in the caverns. In addition, a spot check found 12 of 40 phones in the mine were inoperable, frustrating basic communications with underground workers.
WIPP currently stores 3.2 million cubic feet of waste generated by Energy and the Defense Department during the development and manufacture of nuclear weapons. The radioactive materials are stored across 120 acres in areas called panels, each of which contains seven rooms the size of a football field.
The WIPP computerized Central Monitoring System has not been updated to “reflect the current underground configuration of Panel 8 and adjacent bulkhead locations,” the report said.
This means “facility operators are forced to rely on memory regarding the actual configuration of the facility. Therefore, the operator may not be able to react and appropriately respond to all abnormal conditions or events,” the report noted.
With no underground video cameras, the above-ground central monitoring room operator could not determine if a breach of a waste container had occurred during the February leak.
Hutton recommended WIPP upgrade the Central Monitoring System to reflect the current status of stored waste and install an underground camera system.
The department’s Carlsbad Field Office and its contractor, Nuclear Waste Partners, are slowly exploring the caverns to determine the cause of the radiation leak. Department officials haven’t provided an estimate for how long the operation may take.
RadCast’s take on this: The DOE is in charge of oversight. We have seen and ONLY seen in the history of the DOE that they do not know what they are doing, they do not know how to do what they are supposed to do, they do not do what they are in charge of doing, and above all else, they are USELESS. We have learned from our time spent at the Hanford Advisory Board meetings and public hearings regarding Waste Management, that the DOE is run by what might as well be horse trainers like our old friend Brownie.
This is a problem that will not go away. I am not talking about nuclear waste; I am referring specifically to the DOE’s incompetence at dealing with waste issues, with the safety culture at waste sites and degrading nuke plants and the list could go on.
Until we deal openly and honestly with why we have nuclear waste and why we are still living in a pro-nuclear world which makes that waste and concurrently, the catastrophic disasters which accompany nuclear power plants, we are truly doomed to see more catastrophe’s from nukes and waste sites.
This April 2, 2014, image provided by the U.S. Department of Energy shows workers underground inside the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant facility in Carlsbad, N.M., for the first time since the Feb. 14 radiological release. The operators of this federal government’s troubled nuclear waste dump are bracing for a scathing report Wednesday, April 23, 2014, on their response to a radiation release that contaminated 21 workers and shuttered the southeastern New Mexico facility two months ago. (AP Photo/U.S. Department of Energy)
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Poor management, an eroding safety culture, ineffective maintenance and a lack of proper oversight are being blamed for a radiation release that contaminated 21 workers and shuttered the federal government’s nuclear waste dump two months ago in southeastern New Mexico.
The series of shortcomings are identified in a report to be released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Accident Investigation Board and are similar to those found in a probe of truck fire in the half-mile-deep mine just nine days before the Feb. 14 radiation release from the Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP) near Carlsbad.
Board chairman Ted Wyka previewed the findings at a community meeting Wednesday, identifying the root cause as a “degradation of key safety management and safety culture.”
With the source of the leak still unknown, the Department of Energy’s investigation focused on the response to the emergency and to the safety and maintenance programs in place. Shortcomings were found at almost every step, from a more than 10-hour response to the initial emergency alarm to a bypass in the filtration system that allowed the radiation to escape above ground.
“The bottom line is they failed to believe initial indications of the release,” Wyka said.
The report also found that much of the operation failed to meet standards for a nuclear facility; a lack of proper safety training and emergency planning; lagging maintenance; and a lack of strategy for things like the placement of air monitors. Problems with oversight by the Department of Energy also were cited.
Bob McQuinn, who took over as head of the contractor that runs the plant shortly after the release, acknowledged mistakes by Nuclear Waste Partnership. He also detailed a series of changes in management, training and operations to “assure that every hazard that is posed by WIPP is examined” and proper safeguards are put in place to make the operation “a world-class nuclear operation.”
Crews are still working to identify the source of the leak, which sent low levels of radiation into the air around the plant, but officials believe it occurred in the area where toxic waste was last being handled. Officials Wednesday night said there were people working in that area at the time of the fire, but did not say what they were doing.
Waste at the plant is stored in panels, which are a series of rooms cut out of underground salt beds. Five of those panels are full and have already been sealed. Panel 6 is full but has not yet been sealed. Panel 7 is the current active storage area, where contamination was found last week.
A team made it back into Panel 7 on Wednesday, but did not find any evidence of a roof collapse or damaged waste containers.
The dump is the federal government’s only permanent repository for waste from decades of building nuclear bombs.
That crews found contamination underground should NOT be a surprise to anyone. We knew that an event had taken place and released large measurements of Plutonium and Americium into the air via the ventilation system.
Widespread contamination in Panel 7. This is where they were loading new drums of TRU waste before the event occurred on Feb 14, 2014.
Respiratory equipment was out of power so they had to turn back. Perhaps they should have powered up by solar energy…
Constant flow of radiation leaking from WIPP. Folks, when a drum ( or more than one drum) gets ripped open and it’s very radioactive materials are exposed to air, the damage will continue until the drums have been stored in something enclosed.
Since we know NO ONE has been down into the mines since Feb 14,2014, the drum(s) are still open, exposed contents in the air are going up the vents and creating an extremely dangerous zone in the area around WIPP and beyond due to air circulation and wind currents. You do not need scientists to tell you this.
This is a 24/7 problem and is much more vast than the local upon which WIPP sits. Radiological contamination, and that is what we are seeing, is deadly. Do not expect changes quickly or the truth to be told efficiently and as it happens. It will not be. It has not been.
We know of 21 workers and now the number is up to 40 at least 1/2 of whom are waiting for results to see how contaminated they are.
For more info on this, tune in to past interviews on Nuclear Hot Seat with Libbe Ha Levy interviewing Don Hancock, Director of the Nuclear Waste Safety Program.
REDUNDANT?? Since when are taking precautions to prevent nuclear explosions REDUNDANT??? Look what happened! We get the WIPP explosion. Hmmm, Homer how did that happen???
We now need to question the aspects of the the permits that govern how WIPP operates.
In 1999 when WIPP began operating, they were required to check each drum for headspace gas—flammable or corrosive chemical build up between the drum contents and the lid which threatened rupture or explosion.
Due to so-called REDUNDANCIES, State Regulaters relaxed protection rules in 2006 and again in 2013. REDUNDENCY. PROTECTION against nuclear explosion IS NOT REDUNDANT!!
Much of WIPP Waste comes from Hanford. Hanford does NOT know what the contents are of each million-gallon tank. But the waste they send to WIPP is not from those tanks. DOES HANFORD REALLY ONLY SEND TRU WASTE TO WIPP or is there HIGH LEVEL WASTE in the drums as well? WHO IS CHECKING? This is one question that also should be asked since Hanford has NO OVERSIGHT.
There should be TRIPLE REDUNDANCY…checking for how the drums are loaded and transported would be a positive step! Checking to make sure only TRU waste is inside the drums would be a positive step as well. And making sure that each and every drum upon entering a storage facility has the utmost in stringent regulations for checking HEADSPACE GAS and the state of the drum itself.
4/2 From RT: Video on WIPP
More workers at the Carlsbad, New Mexico nuclear waste facility have been exposed to radiation, according to the Department of Energy. The facility has been out of operation since February when a rise in radiation was detected, and the total number of workers to have been exposed now stands at 21. The department is preparing to begin sending in a team of experts to begin an investigation of the leak. RT’s Ameera David has the latest details on this serious situation.
4/1 This is no joke. The # is now 21 . From our good friend John explaining the latest in people hurt by WIPP and the lies the gov’t tells. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/28/us-usa-radiation-newmexico-idUSBREA2R04I20140328
These 2 sentences do not correspond…Energy Department spokesman Bradley Bugger: That brings to 21 the number of workers who inhaled or ingested particles emitted from the decay of radioisotopes like plutonium while working above ground on February 14 or the following day.
The amount of radiation the workers took into their bodies is very low and they are not expected to experience ill health effects, Bugger said.
huh? no “ill effects” from ingesting “radioisotopes like Plutonium” ? must say, Mr Bugger, you’re either a lousy liar or blind idiot…
Then there’s Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board Chairman Peter Winokur: for six days after the fire, no underground air monitors were operational…
…meaning that if the system failed when the leak occurred Feb. 14, “or if the release event had occurred three days earlier, the release of radioactive material from the aboveground mine exhaust would have been orders of magnitude larger.”
huh? WIPP is the “system” that failed, Mr Winokur, and it’s not likely a one day event, even if that’s what you or your funky “monitors” want us to think…
don’t have to be a scientist to know: this one is bigger than the military industrial disaster that gave birth to it…
(ty enenews, once again for clues to see
& Cheryl for the graphic
When WIPP will reopen for business is unclear. Will it shut permanently? Or as they say, at least a year? This certainly counters the statements made that all is safe, doesn’t it?! Remember, as of today, it is not a working site due to radiation and those levels of radiation could not possibly be low, as the DOE tells us. If that was the case, WIPP and the good folks of Carlsbad would want to get back to work ASAP.
And the questions now are of course what to do with the waste at Hanford designated for WIPP? And the other waste sites who send their waste to WIPP. THE ISSUE IS NOT WHERE TO SEND THE WASTE!!! THE ISSUE IS WHEN WILL STOP MAKING THE WASTE!!!!
3/30 Revised WIPP Radiation Release Map via Bobby 1′s Blog
From Bobby 1′s Blog: The previous WIPP contamination map for tritium was based on a one-hour release. I re-ran the HYSPLIT model for the full 15.5 hours, and I got a significantly different result for the airborne contamination. Most of the eastern part of the country was affected. This map does not include a source term, so the different colors simply reflect amounts of radioactive concentrations relative to each other. Yellow is worst, dark blue second worst, then green, and light blue.
3/26 From Robert Alvarez—The WIPP problem, and what it means for defense nuclear waste disposal
3/25 WIPP Gets A Bad Review DNFSB says operations were not up to par for a hazard category 2 defense nuclear facility. Both Feds and Contractors were UNPREPARED for the Emergency Response.
Event 1:Truck Fire: No emergency notifications during truck fire to appropriate officials and WIPP switched on reduced-flow ventilation before all workers had evacuated, filling escape routes with smoke.
Event Two: Radiation Leak: “Shelter in place instructions were not given until 10 hours after the first indication of a problem, and over four hours after a release had been confirmed by local readings,” the DNFSB said. Results were human radioactive contamination.
3/22 The Plan to go Inside !! This plan is just that. A plan. We will wait before making comment if this will work or not. The levels of radiation are clearly much higher and much more dangerous than the DOE is letting us know or they would have gone done a while ago to see what exactly is going on . It is because they know how dangerously high the levels are that they are using time and major precautions before going down. There was also no mention of a decontamination plan either. On the dates which the event occurred, the people were contaminated and went in to the world contaminating perhaps contaminating others including their families in the process.
3/19 TRITIUM from WIPP (Bobby 1′s Blog)
3/17 2nd Spike of Plutonium at WIPP…we are also seeing readings from Amarillo, TX of averages over 106 counts per minute tonight.
3/11 Third Anniversary of Fukushima Triple Meltdown. And WIPP is at least 40% worse than they have said, they say now. Folks, this is very very bad.
3/9 And the results are in….Air Sampling Station A (pre HEPA) 1,365 Bq/m3 Americium and 672 Bq/m3 Plutonium.
What’s leaking from the nuclear Waste Isolation Pilot Program? from Arnie Gunderson
3/4/ WIPP now Parking Lot Waste Dump…
2/28 RadCast is not buying the statement from Enews that it is “millions of times the level of background”. We are waiting for real numbers. Millions of times the level of background would have killed everyone in the area. If we see people dying in the immediate future, we will change our stance.
2/28 ALERT ALERT ALERT
CEMRC Ambient Air Sampling Results (pdf), Feb. 27, 2014:
109 Yards NW of WIPP Exhaust Shaft — Sample time Feb. 11-18
- Pu239+240: 0.115 Bq per sample [39 times the highest activity ever detected since testing began in 1997, which was 0.004 Bq per sample]
- Pu238: 0.004 Bq per sample [Never detected since testing began in 1997]
- Am241: 1.3 Bq per sample [2600 times the highest activity ever detected since testing began in 1997, which was 0.0005 Bq per sample]
There are so many inaccurate statements in this article that it took me a while to decide whether I should put it here. I decided to add it not for it’s intelligent reporting, but for the NYT’s apparent collusion either with WIPP’s management, which I would have doubted pre-Snowden days though not now, or just a show of the decline of real reporting from the Times.
2/27 Zach Ponce, (one of the main reporters for the Carlsbad Argus Paper) and I (Mimi German) talked for well over an hour last night about questions which should be asked of the WIPP plant, the DOE, the EPA, etc. Some of those were: Will you be helping the people with medical bills from the civilian population as they find they have radiation exposure/contamination? Who is going to be held accountable for the lack of well being in the community at large due to the leak? What is the current status in dosage as seen from the monitors?
2/27 Daily Kos As of this morning the comments on the article from Daily Kos were very intelligent and also worth reading. More so than the article, I thought. Human intelligence at work piecing together the Insane.
2/26 Lab Tests Show POSITIVE Results for RADIATION!!!!
2/26 Start the sign up for free body scans. They nuke you. They test you. It’s all a sick experiment in CRAZY. Lab Sees Rise in Requests for Scans
2/26 The latest from WIPP.
2/26 From our good friend, Libbe HaLevy and Nuclear Hotseat. Interview w/ Don Hancock about WIPP
2/25 Town Hall Mtg Carlsbad 2/24 VIDEO
2/24 Possibilities from WIPP…http://nukeprofessional.blogspot.fr/2014/02/wipp-plutonium-leak-to-kill-at-least.html The amount in air is at least 810 TIMES BACKGROUND
2/24 They tell us this but NOT the unit of the measurement of the number! CPM?CPS?Bq? ????????
Official: “4,400,000 disintegrations of alpha radiation” including Plutonium detected at leaking U.S. nuclear site; “Highest recorded level” — Santa Fe Briefing: “Serious incident involving radiation at the WIPP site” — Gov’t “reaching out to employees who are worried” about exposure
From Majia’s Blog:Dr. Yablokov concluded “When you hear ‘no immediate danger’ then you should run away as far and as fast as you can.”
Majia Here: Dr. Yablokov’s greatest concern was for plutonium. All alpha emitters are very bad for our health when ingested/inhaled, including Uranium, Polonium, Astatine, etc.
Alpha particles are comprised of two protons and two neutrons. They are emitted from unstable elements such as polonium, uranium, and plutonium, among others.
This is plutonium we are talking about.
2/23 This link is all about WIPP from WORLD WIDE SCIENCE
2/22 An Alert Unlike Any Other…LA Times
Here is the HYSPLIT plutonium dispersion map for the Feb. 14 WIPP radiation release, for the first 24 hours. It came in somewhat north of the trajectory map, not sure why. From Bobby1′s Blog
2/22 SW Research and Information Center(SRIC)….What we know with some confidence. AND What we do not know (among many other things) AND from our friend Shane R–The unit of measurement used to describe the Pu139/140 is becquerels/M^3. Since the two have a fairly long half-life the are not as actively decaying or transmutating into daughter particles. Therefore the amount released has to be pretty massive to register that 0.046 Bq/M^3. The more accurate measurement would have been to total amount of curries released outside of the vent. Add in the other radioisotopes released as well.
People who live in areas of southeastern New Mexico, northwest Texas, and western Oklahoma should all be concerned.
2/22 From May 2011: WIPP http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/em/Stroble_NTSF_2011.pdf, http://www.srs.gov/recovery/100th-recovery-act-tru-shipment-leaves-srs-for-permanent-disposition, From 2012:United States begins shipments of plutonium from Savannah River to WIPP
2/22″There’s plutonium and americium in our environment from prior detonations of nuclear weapons and from some satellites that have fallen out of orbit and lost their payload, so there’s naturally occurring americium and plutonium in the environment that falls out and lands in the soil,” Hardy said. —–(RadCast: Incredibly incoherent spin. If this was in the filter all along, they would have known that. But it wasn’t. It is new plutonium and americium. This is not “naturally occurring” and there is no such thing as “naturally occurring plutonium and americium. It is man-made. Either they are full of crap and think we are stupid, or they don’t know better in which case, we have proof that our nukes and nuke waste is in the hands of completely incompetent people)
2/21 WIPP to remain shuttered…http://www.currentargus.com/carlsbad-news/ci_25198553/wipp-remain-shuttered-investigation-ramps-up
2/21 Transuranic means a higher atomic number than uranium, no matter how diluted.
2/21 Feb 5th the fire that broke out.. truck fire, it says…
inference has been to separate this incident with the current one.. lots of coverage here http://www.currentargus.com/carlsbad-news/ci_25066853/breaking-emergency-reported-at-waste-isolation-pilot-plant
“The waste is buried in underground panels, each 13 feet high, 33 feet wide and 300 feet long. In 2013, WIPP got approval needed to begin operations in a new segment called Panel 7. The site is approved for the mining of up to eight panels. Any additional panels will require federal approval.”
2/21 This is what should be read! http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/site/index.php?pageid=event_update&edis_id=ED-20140216-42716-USA
“This environmental monitoring program is not a real time process; there are no real time sensors that could provide the kind of sensitivity these devices provide. Under normal circumstances, analysis of filters from the monitoring systems takes about a week. When there is an event, there are certain parts of the process that can be somewhat accelerated, but the minimum time between a release and a sample result that provides any information related to that release will always be several days.”
2/21 Ceiling Collapse….
2/21 And then there’s this…not sure what to think about this one!http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/site/?pageid=event_update_read&edis_id=ED-20140216-42716-USA&uid=14701
2/21 “I expect that information will be shared with the state in real time. And I will demand that the federal officials share information with the public in real time,” said Ryan Flynn, secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department. (Still waiting for real time communication—RadCast.)
2/21 From our friend Zach Ponce:http://www.currentargus.com/carlsbad-news/ci_25195270/wipp-radiation-release-not-harmful-amount
2/21….may be several weeks before teams are allowed in the ancient salt formation to determine the source of the leak…
2/21″Radiation is simply not supposed to be released outside this facility. It’s not supposed to be released inside the underground. Any type of release is unacceptable and disconcerting,” he said.—-Secretary of New Mexico Environment Department Ryan Flynn
2/21 ”Even though it’s well below levels established by the EPA to ensure protection of public health, it’s a very serious thing,” he said at a news conference Thursday afternoon. “WIPP is not intended to be in this kind of condition.”–REMEMBER, there is certainly no such thing as a safe low level of Plutonium released in the air!
For updates on WIPP please check in with Bobby One’s Blog, Pissin on the Roses.
Plutonium and Americium have been detected down wind of the WIPP plant. This means that Americans in the area inhaled radioactive particles and are now in a waiting period to see just how sick they might become. More details inside Bobby’s blog.