CBS News: “Potential ‘imminent’ threat from New Mexico nuclear waste” — Official: Risk of “substantial endangerment” to public health — 57 barrels of nuclear waste could rupture, came from multiple gov’t labs — ‘Unclear’ how many are now at WIPP — Being monitored for rise in temperature (VIDEO)

Published: May 20th, 2014 at 7:46 pm ET
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CBS/Associated Press, May 20, 2014 (Emphasis Added): Potential “imminent” threat from New Mexico nuclear waste, officials say — Los Alamos National Laboratory packed 57 barrels of nuclear waste with a type of kitty litter believed to have caused a radiation leak at the federal government’s troubled nuclear waste dump, posing a potentially “imminent” and “substantial” threat to public health and the environment, New Mexico officials said Monday. [...] two of those containers are known to be at WIPP. It doesn’t say where the rest of the barrels are [...] The lab has taken a series of precautionary measures, the statement said, including packing the drums into special containers and moving them under a dome with a fire protection system. The lab is also monitoring the drums for any rise in temperature.

New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) Secretary Ryan Flynn, May 20, 2014: “Based on the evidence presented to NMED, the current handling, storage, treatment and transportation of the hazardous nitrate salt bearing waste containers at LANL may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to health or the environment.”

KUNM, May 19, 2014: Flynn on Monday gave the lab two days to submit a plan for fixing the problem, saying the barrels may “present an imminent and substantial threat” to public health and the environment.

Xinhua, May 19, 2014: Troubled U.S. nuke lab has new woes: officials — A nuclear laboratory in the U.S. state of New Mexico packed dozens of waste containers with a type of kitty litter believed to have caused a radiation leak at another nuclear facility, posing a potentially “imminent” and “substantial” threat to public health and environment, officials said Monday.

Carlsbad Current Argus, May 20, 2014 (Emphasis Added): State officials announced this week that the DOE was analyzing 57 drums of waste containing a mixture of kitty litter and nitrate salts suspected of causing a reaction that led to the radiation leak. The 57 barrels of waste originated from Los Alamos and Savannah River National Laboratory in South Carolina. The drums in question are scattered across the state at Los Alamos, WIPP and Waste Control Specialists, a private nuclear waste disposal facility in Andrews County, Texas, straddling the Texas-New Mexico border. The number of drums stored at each site is unclear [...]

Watch KRQE’s broadcast here

**UPDATE: Officials now admit over 500 barrels of nuclear waste at risk of bursting open -- AP: 368 already at WIPP dump -- "New Mexico sees 'imminent' danger" -- State orders WIPP to prevent "health or environmental threat"; Must 'permanently seal' underground storage areas

Published: May 20th, 2014 at 7:46 pm ET
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