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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Related Posts

  1. 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 May 21, 2014
  2. Video: WIPP nuclear site may close for several years — Explosion in multiple drums suspected — “Very much a cause for concern” — Top official gives ‘fiery speech’ calling for public to be told what has happened — DOE refuses to name source of nuclear waste May 9, 2014
  3. AP: Ticking time bombs of nuclear waste at multiple U.S. sites? Lab checking for smoking drums — CNN: “Imminent threat from radiation” — Gundersen: Serious public health effects if one blows; “Very, very volatile… like nitroglycerin” (VIDEO) May 23, 2014
  4. Officials: Leakage seen on “many” nuclear waste drums in WIPP underground — We think the seals have degraded — Public “should be concerned” about another explosion — 1,000s of radioactive drums now seen as too risky to move (VIDEO) June 13, 2014
  5. Experts: Gov’t may never stabilize hundreds of explosive drums of radioactive waste stored at WIPP — Nuclear dump now at risk of closing permanently — Ruined for good by kitty litter? (AUDIO) May 23, 2014

54 comments to 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)

  • nedlifromvermont

    O Goody … the Kitty Litter problem has gone public … just the thing to get Americans to get off their TV and Game Shows … and wake up to the PONZI SCHEME that is the civilian nuclear reactor program …

    our government is in its thrall!!!!

    peace …


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  • Daisy207

    There go the property values in New Mexico and everything downwind. Add in Fukushima and all the wonderful nuclear facilities along the west coast – OMG – we are all down wind.


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  • devark devark

    here we go again *whistles*


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  • State Environment Department Secretary Ryan Flynn issued a formal order.

    "…Flynn Tuesday gave the U.S. Department of Energy and the contractor that runs the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico until Friday to detail plans for permanently sealing the rooms…" – from CBS/AP article

    If they don't meet the deadline, then what happens?

    I saw Mr. Flynn speak at a WIPP meeting. IMO – He spoke with clarity and concern for the citizens of New Mexico.


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  • JP JP

    Thank goodness they are being monitored for change in temperature because that will certainly give them plenty of time to go in and remove the waste as they are heating up… That won't be happening.

    Where they will put them if they ever did actually get around to removing them. Probably close to a large population center given their infinite wisdom.


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  • Jebus

    Nice drama…

    You can't put out the fires of Fukushima, with kitty litter.

    You can't fix a reactor with duct tape.

    You can't fix stupid, not even with duct tape and kitty litter…

    Nuclear Power is stupid.


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  • mairs mairs

    So only two of the drums were in WIPP. The remaining 55 are at Los Alamos and in Texas. Great.


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  • jackassrig

    Zerohedge.com is reporting a fire occurred last night at FUKU. Watching the film gives me a sinking feeling.


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  • Cooter cooterboy

    WIPP doesn't know what and where they have stored and for good reason, because they don't have the documents anymore.

    When FUKU blew the most immediate thing to happen was for the NRC or the NSA to burn the plants confidential papers. This happens when the truth cannot be told. Now that WIPP can't find how many barrels and where they are is of no surprise. They couldn't burn them because all inventory was transferred to a company back East called TFE. This transfer happened right in the middle of this accident. Coincidence I don't think so. Conspiracy is a better word.

    http://www.grouptfe.com/index.php

    Now that TFE has the documents they will never be disclosed and the whereabouts of the drums will never be known. I bet they just go missing, just like the rights of citizens who have a right to know.

    Peace,


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  • davidh7426 davidh7426

    Don't know how relevant or accurate this is…

    Fukushima SPF 4 had Fire & Explosion Last Night – VIDEO of it

    http://flyingcuttlefish.wordpress.com/2014/05/20/spf4-fire/


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Repost:

    "In addition to 369 containers at the dump, environment officials said 57 more are still at Los Alamos and more than 100 are in storage in West Texas."

    500 WIPP barrels of questionable nuclear waste packed with kitty litter

    http://www.koat.com/news/500-wipp-barrels-of-questionable-nuclear-waste-packed-with-kitty-litter/26085874#ixzz32JAowWyx


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  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    NUCLEAR IS NOT MEANT TO BE . . .

    And the whole world knows it.


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  • The relevance of kitty litter is this: This so called low level radioactive waste is prohibited from containing any liquids that require to be sopped up by kitty litter. So somebody started cutting corners and including liquids, which then required kitty litter, because some cowboy nuclear physicists just can't resist tempting fate.

    I still don't think they know what happened. They don't know whether it was a chemical reaction, or a criticality.


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  • GQR2

    hmm 100 degree temps outdoors. This doesn't portend to end well. It just doesn't. nope. Now it makes the National News again,can the WIPPlashers dance fast enough to ease everyone's mind. They are burning the Midnight Nuke Waste tonight coming up with a new plan. The Texas plan is an epic fail,but they knew didn't they??? What was in those drums…Complete Incompetence hard to call them Negligent when they are so attentive now, however THEY HAVE BEEN UTTERLY NEGLIGENT all along.

    Well they count on people not paying attention. But it could blow sky high. Would they even tell their neighbors? Let's hope so,but their track record is not great.


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  • tbg

    What I want to know is who OK'd the change in absorbent and what was Their plan to deal with fermentation? Everything nuclear goes through multiple regulatory steps so I don't think they were just in costco and saw a sale on bulk green kitty litter and figured fuggit, that change went through multiple legal and regulatory steps, I wonder where those documents are?


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    • TooExpensiveToMatter

      IMHO, the whole "kitty litter" story is just that, a story 9and a pretty pathetic one at that).

      It's actually more than just a little absurd to think they are packing large (100+ gallon) drums with "kitty litter".

      I'm not sure how many boxes of kitty litter (for each drum) that would be (and won't waste time trying to figure it out), but let's just say "lots and lots" and leave it at that.

      LANL certainly doesn't need to get their diatomaceous earth and or bentonite clay from kitty litter suppliers. There are literally mountains of the stuff in the Western US. of course, any organic matter has to be filtered out but LANL certainly has the facilities for such a task. They have been working with radioactive material for 70 years now and its a government DOE lab, which also means as you say, it takes a lot of testing and reams of paperwork to change the way they do something.

      This whole kitty litter story stinks worse than my own cat's litter box (Important note: I use "Fresh Step"[R] litter, but it still stinks and would be more aptly named "Fresh Tracks" because that's what the cat leaves on the floor every time he leaves the box)

      Someone clearly dreamed up the Kitty Litter Tale (soon to be read along with Canterbury Tales in high schools across the US and made into a major motion picture) because they thought it was something the public would buy: "all we need to do is go back to the old kitty litter and everything will be fine…again."


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  • Ontological Ontological

    No one thinks anymore that has become clear.


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  • A new picture (20140519) has been posted at

    http://www.wipp.energy.gov/wipprecovery/photo_video.html

    "Damage can be seen to the slip sheet on top of the waste container and there are remnants of a magnesium oxide bag also visible."

    I don't understand this picture's relevance. Anyone have a clue?


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  • fukuele

    The nuclear power industry is dirty from the extraction, use, and disposal processes. The omission of facts occurring in the corporate media has hidden the dangers of nuclear power. The more radioactive the pollution, the less we hear about it.

    Fukushima and the New Mexico–among many, only a few of which are even reported–incident are exposing the fact nuclear power is hopelessly dirty and dangerous.

    If the public receives enough proof about the dangers of nuclear power, then it will certainly conclude other sources of energy must be used.

    If the battle can't be won by the forces favoring nuclear power, it won't be fought, at least not by choice and not in the corporate media. The challenge for the activist is therefore to educate people about the dangers of nuclear power and mobilize against a dangerous new pattern of neglecting ongoing nuclear accidents.


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  • sistahawk

    ..gave me fits of hahahahas..,notice, what is mentioned here are the so called LEGAL DUMPS…and none of these nuts know what they contain…proberly shrederd the papers if they had any at all.. what's about all the illegal dump these nobles burried round the planet?


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  • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

    They do know. The more they tell you what they do not know about the more you know there is something they desperately do not want you to know.

    It may be more like, they may not have followed proper protocol..& more likley trying to slip one (more than one) past the public. So many things, like storing liquid that should never have been at WIPP…even folowing the money & how much was added to WIPP in such a short time, who profited from that? on & on…& were they testing other things there? then who was making the money off of that??? if they do not know they know why they do not know.

    When everyone turns a blind eye to such disregard for safety of the public…it was never intended to be safe.


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  • lam335 lam335

    If the whole point of the WIPP site was to isolate this stuff from the environment for thousands of years, then WHY would you bother choosing to pack it with "organic" material? It was *never* supposed to make its way back into the environment, so what value is there in going "organic" with the "kitty litter"?

    My suspicion is that there was some sort of political cronyism involved in the decision to purchase the organic stuff, instead of the other variety. Someone with the right connections probably profited from the switch. Anyone know how to research this question? Or FOIA it?

    Just speculating … But it is the Waste ISOLATION Pilot Plant, so WHY would there be a need to go "organic"???


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  • sistahawk

    .. did enyone read the book from ROBERTO SAVIANO called GOMORRAH…he explained it quiet well…just use any hole or dig one..engage some jungsters who have no future ,no job..happy to get any work…and here they go and do as told…then cover it up…and forget about it.. (it was done in the US the same way ,then they covered up the hole ..to built a kindergarden on top, and wonder the children got ill..)Mr. SAVIANO has to live hidden underground ,so he does not get shot by the man of honour..credits to the man ,he did good work in research..and MAIDENHEAVEN the word SAVETY we can drop from our textbook..sad but true


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    • orsobubu orsobubu

      I'm from same disgraced country as Saviano's. The biggest error in his analysis is thinking that the state can fight the mafia criminal phenomenon. Criminality is intrinsecally ingrained inside the state structures, because the state himself is the political superstructure managed by bourgeoisie in order to protect and defend itself in the class struggle against workers. And, since the process of capital production and accumulation is based on the wage mechanism of worked hours exploitation, the state itself is the warranter of a stealing process. So, money, or converted capital, is the result of a criminal process, guaranteed by state structure, and every mafia organization obviously thrives in a similar environment, up to the point that when the state become so overwhelming, the corruption is institutionalized into legal lobbying organizations. In Italy, during the past century, the collusion between capitalism, state, economic crisis and criminality exited in the fascist regime, and every effort to eradicate mafia was vain because the corruption touched the highest levels of the state machine, and also american troops counted on its support during Italy's liberation
      (Newark, Tim (2007). Mafia Allies. The True Story of America’s Secret Alliance with the Mob in World War II)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cesare_Mori


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  • Funny someone should mention kitty litter. The kitty litter may have natural zeolite powder in it (http://naturalzeolitepowder.com) and hence it can help absorb some of the radiation from spreading. I know they used it around the fukushima wells that malfunctioned. There is a commercial grade clinoptilotite that is used to absorb natural toxins around animal facilities. It is really just zeolit. Let's hope someday they'll have some safer way to produce our needed energy.


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    • HoTaters HoTaters

      holistic, the kitty litter which has the problem has had corn and wheat starch put into it, in place of the clays in the previous kitty litter.

      There was an article here a couple of days ago discussing the problem with the kitty litter (which supposedly got switched). The new and not improved kitty litter is thought to have the potential to cause the barrels of nuke waste to explode, or to fail to suppress any potential explosions. (I'm not sure I'm articulating this correctly, please see the article.)


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    • TooExpensiveToMatter

      The new improved "green" (organic) kitty litter apparently lacked the silica minerals (zeolites, bentonite clays) that were present in the original kitty litter, which tend to absorb and stabilize nitrate salt solution* (which the waste was)

      *also urea (cat pee), though I doubt there was any cat pee in those waste containers, though i could be wrong, if they were using recycled kitty litter.

      My guess is whoever did the kitty litter swap had no idea why the original kitty litter was being used and figured, "Hell, kitty litter is kitty litter, right?"

      But as we kitty litter connoisseurs know, not all kitty litter is the same in its ability to absorb and chemically stabilize noxious material.


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  • HoTaters HoTaters

    Potential imminent threat? Is that a threat, a non-threat, a potential threat, or just doublespeak?


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  • Sol Man

    How in the world does anyone talk about safety when the end products' use is meant to incinerate countless millions of people?

    This insanity has been foisted upon us all.


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  • Nick

    Maybe the kitty litter switch was delayed terrorism?

    Kinda makes ya wonder…..

    But then it doesn't matter, we still shot ourselves in the foot with nuclear shit.

    This stuff is forever.

    Great idea guys! Not.


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  • Sol Man

    The taxes pay for products to incinerate the "other side, and those others pay, for the nuclear inventory to incinerate us, but then if we would be the victim of one of our false flags we have paid to incinerate ourselves.

    It is a diabolical, royally, satanic plan with the world's banking and royal elite being the benefactors given to the world by compliant (paid) politicians. Nuclear war is very bad for the future. And,Fukushima, Hanford, WIPP and the hundreds or thousands of other dump sites forces us to understand that anything nuclear is inimical to life.


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    • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

      sol, what a great word and one not heard very often.. :)
      inimical |iˈnimikəl|
      adjective
      tending to obstruct or harm: actions inimical to our interests.
      • unfriendly; hostile: an inimical alien power.


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      • Sol Man

        obewan., I have always loved words for the magic that they impart. Great wordsmiths that come to mind are Shakespear ,Edgar Allen Poe, Joseph Conrad, and others that I can't recall right now.

        Inimical Nuclear
        (bumpersticker)


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  • fishwharf

    ChasAha and others raise a crucial issue. No matter how sincere and concerned for the safety of people near WIPP New Mexico State Environment Department Secretary Ryan Flynn is, if TPTB brush him off, what's he going to do? A lawsuit would take years to work its way through the system, and at the end of that road is the totally corrupted Supreme Court — if it even makes it that far.


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    • its publicity, we need to TIPP public opinion.

      WIPP can be the tipping point.

      An extreme point of view would be to hope that one of those dirty bombs blows up above ground.

      The nuclear cartel is strong, and desperate. They control the media to a great extent, GE et al. They partly control the Military. They bought much of the government.

      What does it take to TIPP it?


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  • razzz razzz

    The system put in place for WIPP to function is working perfectly.


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  • Nick

    So, can we stop being suspicious of our fellow citizens?

    Are we really supposed to keep looking for terrorists lurking and trying to plant dirty bombs?

    WIPP kinda makes a mockery of our vast expenditures on Homeland Security.

    Someone MADE these dirty bombs.

    What a bunch of morons.

    But then again, playing with nuclear fires burns us ALL in the butt eventually.


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  • TooExpensiveToMatter

    "hazardous nitrate salt bearing waste containers [of kitty litter] at LANL may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to health or the environment.”

    If they run out of kitty litter at the local Walmart, LANL can always substitute ammonium nitrate fertilizer. Even save a few bucks in the process.

    It really does the heart good to know that this is the same lab tasked with making sure the nookyalur dewices are safe.


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  • gmark3d

    It is obvious that only the in-informed anti-nuke wackos read this site. Anyone that has ever worked in the nuclear industry knows that it is one of the safest in the world. Compare the deaths from nuclear accidents to coal mining accidents over the last 5 years and tell me which industry you would rather work in. Incidents like the one at WIPP, are a cause for concern but it is no reason to spew "end of the world" headlines across every paper and news broadcast.


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