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 (VIDEO)

Published: May 5th, 2015 at 3:33 pm ET


DOE Town Hall in Los Alamos on WIPP Leak Findings (mp3), Apr 23, 2015 (emphasis added):

  • 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.

Savannah River National Laboratory WIPP Source Term Attribution Analysis (pdf), Aug 2014:


  • 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.”

See also: Gov’t: Radioactive release “orders of magnitude” worse than predicted at US nuke dump — 370 Billion Bq of Plutonium equivalent may have escaped from WIPP drum — For amount that high, “significant number” of breached drums expected (VIDEO)

Full Los Alamos town hall here | Carlsbad town hall here

Published: May 5th, 2015 at 3:33 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. Gov’t: Radioactive release “orders of magnitude” worse than predicted at US nuclear dump — 370 Billion Bq of Plutonium equivalent may have escaped from WIPP drum during “thermal runaway” & multiple fires — For amount to be that high, a “significant number” of breached drums is expected (VIDEO) May 1, 2015
  2. Gov’t Report: Nuclear waste was up to 1,600°F during WIPP plutonium release — Concern that heat ‘chemically or physically changed’ contents of other drums — Increased hazard of spontaneous reaction… may have already occurred — Over 50 drums at risk (VIDEO) July 13, 2014
  3. ‘Green burst’ and ‘criticality event’ under investigation by gov’t in connection with plutonium release at U.S. nuclear site #WIPP — Official: Underground fire may have initiated reaction in ruptured radioactive waste drum — Concern over possible arson/sabotage? (VIDEO) July 24, 2014
  4. Expert: ‘Cracked’ nuclear container “blew top off” at WIPP — Hundreds more drums at dump risk ‘energetic reaction’ and radiation release — Insider: Get forklift and remove them before another accident — Official: No ‘imminent’ public threat ‘at this time’ (VIDEO) May 19, 2014
  5. 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

183 comments to 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 (VIDEO)

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      2 Nick:

      (I prefer to write "2" rather than @ people.) Good morning.

      Whoa! Leslie Corrice is a real tool. Hmmn, Tritium is normal in water and it's good for you!

      Maybe Leslie Should try a few WIPPIE POPPS.

      What a scary website, Nick. The worst of the worst.

      I'd love to write to the guy and send him a couple hundred studies disproving his "mother nature is a nuke" hypothesis.

      And he says we're all psychotic. Well, isn't that special.

      • andagi andagi

        Dear Ho Taters,
        Sorry OT, can't post accurately on Non-Nuc. 'according to political donation records at, over the course of his five election campaigns, Fraser received more than $215,000 from donors associated with the oil and gas industry, out of a total treasure chest of $3.97 million.'
        'Why is Texas changing its mind about wind power?'

        Not enough expletive characters on my keyboard ever!!!

        Aloha :-{

        • andagi andagi

          “Fundamentally, the big coal and oil and gas people are now being threatened by renewable energy because it's cheaper than they are,” said Tom "Smitty" Smith, Texas state director for Public Citizen, the consumer advocacy group based in Washington, D.C.

          Folks, keep reading, posting and sharing wonderful ENENews – generating change worldwide 24-7 🙂

          Aloha all and
          Happy Mother's Day!
          Best wishes always.

    • Sol Man

      Nuclear energy IS safe,

      93,000,000 miles away!

  • Nick

    "These politically connected DOE contractors, responsible for tens of billions of dollars in failed projects and mishandling of the most deadly materials science has created, have been protected by the biggest names in both the Republican and Democratic parties at an enormous cost to the US taxpayers, public health and the environment."

    It becomes sort of a bizarre reality about the entire nuclear technological cycle; make big bucks generating the stuff and then even MORE moulah to "clean-it" up or attempt to sequester it for millennium.


    Talk about a cash cow.

    Why on earth would we WANT to slow down this gravy train???

    • BanReactorsForever BanReactorsForever

      You nailed it. Couldn't have said it better myself.

      Great story about Dr ProNuclearEverything James Conca.
      I believe we must gather and broadcast health statistics, fallout data and to end nuclear. Conca is either a horrible "scientist" who is incapable of comprehending the severity of INTERNALIZED radioactive contamination or he is merely a common criminal who is peddling fraud science in order to steer contract monies towards his interests at WIPP and elsewhere. Conca hasn't heard a pro nuclear plan he doesn't adore. He defines Shill. Nuclear is being revealed as the true danger it really is. Rats like Conca will cling to the reactor ship till the last I predict. These nuker guys have made their careers by playing with rad waste and publicly arguing how "safe" these atomic experiments are. I get it, reactors are cool. They literally transform one atom into a whole new element. Neat. Oh yeah, that MANMADE magical ELEment happens to be the main ingredient for thermonuclear weapons. The primary reaction created by a reactor is Death. Life near reactors, especially melted exploded reactors, is in danger FOREVER! Plutonium is a bitch Y'all. Putting all the crazy high lvl Pu in WIPP is already a cluster and Conca wants to continue… Zero shame or responsibility. Criminal even I say. Nuclear really is insane when you think about what it creates. What it…

  • Nick

    "NM site called model for nuclear waste disposal"

    "What the WIPP process affirmatively demonstrates is that with adequate patience, flexibility, and political and public support, success is possible," wrote the president's nuclear waste commission in its recent draft report."

    This is how success is defined?? (i know the article was written B4 2/14/14…still??)

  • Nick

    In a sense, WIPP is a classic example of human hubris, yet you don't hear much MSM debate lately about "the accident."

    No, don't ya know it's CARBON, one of the most abundant elements in the Universe, that needs to be sequestered.

    Climmmaattteee CChh Chhh Change the face is strange!

    GMI has truly taken hold of us all when we give nukes a pass whilst screaming about Co2 etc.

  • Nick

    The Accident Investigation Board concluded that:
    The radiation leak at WIPP was preventable.
    LANL improperly packed combustible materials in waste drums sent to WIPP.
    A mix of organic cat litter and nitrate salts caused the hot reaction that burst one drum.
    DOE headquarters and field offices failed in oversight of LANL.
    LANL managers didn’t listen to worker concerns.
    The Feb. 5 underground fire had no direct impact on the radiation release."

    Organic cat litter……CARBON-based ……Whooops.

    • Sol Man

      Interestingly, a bag of DE-based (mineral) absorbent, packaged in 2004, did have a very specific warning about not using that product with any fluorine compounds, as the product would generate dangerous heat in such a circumstance.

      But, a trip to the pet store where maybe 4-6 different brands of organic (corn, wheat, wood, rice) absorbent were available- not one showed any type of warning about the product usage on the label. Go to the pet store and check this out your self.

      So, the DE based stuff had the warning on the bag, but the organic product did not!

  • General User General User

    Greetings, nearly off topic, but

    NETC.COM © 2014
    Station ID 5:310 Pittsburgh, PA, US
    CPM: current 395
    (CPM of Gamma in energy range 600-800keV)

    THE entire eastern half of the US is HOT
    colors of alarm on netc!

    323 CPM
    Station ID 5:534 Champaign, IL, US

    400 CPM
    Station ID 5:113 Portland, ME, US

    316 CPM
    Station ID 5:429 Augusta, GA, US

    As a reminder, or for newer readers. These counts are timed averages of exposure. Think geiger counter on a hepa filter with the air flow adjusted to normal human respiration.

    Regular commercial geiger counter reads:
    26 CPM
    Station ID 1:EBE9D457 Tucker, GA, US

    Peace All

  • General User General User

    210 CPM
    Station ID 4:310 Pittsburgh, PA, US
    (CPM of Beta particles)


    Digging in the Permian ain't easy. You know, Jurassic, Triassic extinction period rock is pretty tough. What, about 200 million years between them? And all that salty ancient silt, mudstone, bogs..
    Apache oil refers to it as "old rock". Has to be drilled sideways at a point. Guess the whole 'bury our toxic corrosive irradiated waste' wasn't such a great idea.

    Neither was Fukushima. Cue same US geoscientists and build a shitload of nuclear reactors on a seismically-challenged tsunami-prone typhoon-alley riverbed. How's that working out?

    And let's not forget the real genius of the Gulf of Mexico. Ultra-Deep drilling the most shallow part of an ancient seabed, next to one of the deepest trenches, near the mouth of the Thermohyline Current. How did pan out?

    Looks like Mother Earth is not responding well to new technology.

  • Dogleg Dogleg

    Plutonium Joe (formerly known as Joe mama) is a decades long friend and fellow member of the international brotherhood of electrical workers. A short time back Joe took a job working at the whip facility. Joe is one of the few people who have not questioned my sanity sometime in the last four years and is always open to any new information I have regarding Fukushima or the nuclear industry in general. When Joe first took the job at whip I warned him about the exploding drums and plutonium releases and that I thought they were covering up a lot of damaging information and radiation levels. New hires at whip have a three day orientation Where they discuss safety and other whip facility regulations. During the orientation management try to downplay or just plain not address the situation with the exploding drums, but our well-informed friend, Plutonium Joe, was not letting them get a way with it! He told me during orientation he had several questions they caught them offguard and they would take a unscheduled smoke break so the instructor could go address management. When class would resume they always had some lame excuse or would just move on without addressing the situation any further, as if it had never been brought up in the first place. He said the instructors were unaware that they were preparing to restart the exhaust fans and that there was a potential second release of plutonium. I spoke with Joe via telephone last night regarding the new revelations about the …

  • Dogleg Dogleg

    Radiation levels being orders of magnitude hire then originally admitted. We were both in agreement that it is criminal negligent to mislead or hold information from these workers thus putting them at a greater danger on the job. Joe only worked there for a few weeks then quit. He said morale amongst workers is very low and most are angry and suspect because management is so inapt. All this week Joe is in orientation at his new job. Maintenance electrician at loss Alamo's national lab. I worry for his health and safety. Just wanted to share this with the group.

  • rogerthat

    May 5, 2015
    Vegas mayor will lie down on highway to block nuke shipments

    Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman says she may risk life and limb to stop the transport of uranium waste through her city. …

    • rogerthat

      … ''I’ve heard they don’t even tell the governor when they’re coming through,” Lee added. “I just don’t support it. North Las Vegas and the rest of the region is not a septic tank for everyone else’s trash.”

  • rogerthat

    LAS VEGAS — Nuclear waste will soon have a home in Nevada, and there's nothing the state can do about it. …

  • rogerthat
    Editorial: Hanford nuclear cleanup must be federal priority
    By Editorial Board Tuesday, May 5, 2015

  • rogerthat

    Navas & Archibald: Utah has already paid its price for America’s nuclear programs

    By Mary Ellen Navas and Bob Archibald
    For the Deseret News
    Wednesday, May 6 2015

    Utah’s history includes a sad chapter in which our citizens were asked to sacrifice for America’s national security. Some are still paying the price of the fallout from nuclear weapons testing in Nevada.

    Now, again, we are being asked to bear a burden — this time because the federal government can’t, or won’t, handle a massive nuclear waste problem it created. The Department of Energy (DOE) needs to dispose of a whopping 700,000 metric tons of depleted uranium (DU). Utah is a top contender to get the bid — if state officials, later this year, grant EnergySolutions the right to bring that long-lived waste here.

    DU is the byproduct of enriching uranium ore for nuclear weapons and nuclear reactor fuel. DU is significantly different from the Class A waste EnergySolutions currently stores at its West Desert facility. That “A” waste loses nearly its entire hazard potential after a century or two. DU actually gets more dangerous over the hundreds of thousands of years — peaking at 2.1 million years.

    EnergySolutions paid a contractor to study whether its site can remain safe for DU disposal during those mind-bogglingly long-term frames. …

    • rogerthat

      The contractor’s report unsurprisingly concludes that it is safe, largely because it ignores or minimizes scenarios about human activities or climate change that would suggest otherwise.

      They assume future humans won’t ever dig, build homes or do much of anything near Clive, Tooele County. Ever.

      The company stands to profit handsomely from taking the waste off the feds’ hands. It will rake in $15 million to $20 million per year, according to a spokesman. So anyone can see why it makes financial sense for them, especially given the decline of work at its facility otherwise.

      But Gov. Gary Herbert’s administration’s job isn’t to put profits first — or to solve a sticky problem the feds don’t know how to deal with.

      It must consider what is best for the citizens of Utah, which is why it must reject this bid to dump enormous quantities of long-lived nuclear waste in a shallow pit in the West Desert, a known historical flood plain.

      Geologists assure us that the EnergySolutions site will ultimately be flooded and destroyed. Radioactive waste will be widely distributed throughout the environment. It is simply a matter of when, not if.

      Herbert and his radiation control officials have so far shown deep skepticism about EnergySolutions’ DU bid.

      They will require, for example, that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission promise that the agency won’t reclassify the waste, because Utah law forbids anything hotter. …

  • rogerthat

    May 5 – LANL Whistleblower Says Lack of Accountability to Blame for Accidents

    This weekend an electrical accident in Los Alamos national lab's neutron science center injured eight lab employees. One remains in critical condition at UNM hospital. According to one former lab employee, Chuck Montano, such accidents and the lack of information that follows the accidents are due to a general lack of accountability throughout the laboratory. Montano just completed a book analyzing this lack of accountability and what he says is a system that regularly denies workers’ rights and protections. Listen Here

  • mt1000

    plan to burn rad waste in Nevada this spring

    AND – they want to mix chemical waste with rad waste as if they won't interact(!)

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    WE humans are trashing the entire planet..won't be long now..tipping point has been reached. 🙁

    Nobody cares..except us.

  • Jebus Jebus

    It's good to get our minds off of the Fukushima blues for a bit…

    Leveling the philosophical plutonium playing/killing, fields.

    We will make all this mundane. You will accept it willingly. Happily. Joyfully…

    After all, you have no choice. Do you?

    It's the law of averages. Do we need more backround on this?

    Statistics, that you can't prove.

    The result, always…

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    The fields are fallow in California ever since that Fukushima Radioactive Blow Torch blew through..

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Bonamassa has a great deal to hear and it's all pretty good..says he! 🙂 Glad you both enjoyed it!

  • General User General User

    Reply to May 6, 2015 at 1:15 pm
    Time for a coffee spit-out….

    Looking in the fine print of this link, I found the key words…
    ""So, when we eat a potassium-rich food, such as bananas or broccoli, we are ingesting enough K-40 to potentially set off "THE ULTRA-SENSITIVE RADIATION MONITORS in most nuclear power facilities. Two bananas will definitely do it. (It happened to me)""

    There, he spilled the truth. From 93 million miles the radiation is safe because it requires ULTRA SENSITIVE equipment to even detect it.
    NOW concentrate it in to yellow cake{or PU}, and put it next to an ocean on earth; to the extent that even a Worthless CDV-715(Designed for HIGH radiation detection) can detect it. Think; Fukushima,
    THAT is SUNBURN, from 92 million, nine hundred ninety four thousand miles closer!

    The article continues to describe half lives. all true.
    From the time that Jesus was purportedly crucified, till now, only a very small part of a first half life has passed. SO the deadly (sorry, the article never used the phrase 'deadly') radiation is as powerful now, as it was over 2000 years ago, with only 22,000 years to go- OF the FIRST half life.

    OMG, another rant, so soon, must be GMI..

    Peace All

  • rogerthat

    May 6, 2015
    Heller calls for audit of VA claims-handling

    WASHINGTON – Sen. Dean Heller and other senators who monitor the Department of Veterans Affairs called Wednesday for a series of reviews as the VA claims improvement in handling benefit applications but also is being buffeted by new allegations of mismanagement.

    A bill introduced by the Nevada Republican and eight others would require the Government Accountability Office to conduct an independent audit of all 56 regional benefits offices within the sprawling department to determine whether claims are being handled consistently and to assess how each office is being managed.

    The broad bill also calls on the VA to establish training programs for service center managers and to assess how regional offices interact with veterans groups and congressional constituent caseworkers. It also would require the VA inspector general to assess how regional offices set timelines and deadlines for disability claims.

    The legislation comes in the wake of mismanagement allegations at VA offices in Philadelphia and in Oakland, Calif., among others. The Reno regional office has been without a full director for almost a year, although the VA has cited improvement in claims-handling at that site.

    A year ago, a VA audit counted 100,000 veterans who faced long waits for health care …

  • rogerthat

    Panel backs plan for nuclear waste disposal near Lake Huron
    May. 6, 2015

    TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A Canadian advisory panel Wednesday endorsed a fiercely debated plan to bury waste from nuclear power plants less than a mile from Lake Huron, saying it had concluded the project would pose no danger to the environment.

    The Joint Review Panel made its recommendation in a report to Canada's environment minister, Leona Aglukkaq, who is expected to render a decision within 120 days.

    Publicly owned Ontario Power Generation wants to bury 7.1 million cubic feet of low- and intermediate-level waste from nuclear plants about 2,230 feet below the earth's surface at the Bruce Power generating station near Kincardine, Ontario. The panel said the project would be the first of its kind in North America.

    The waste would not include highly radioactive spent fuel. Instead, it would consist of "low-level" waste such as ashes from incinerated mop heads, paper towels and floor sweepings, and "intermediate waste" — discarded parts from the reactor core.

    Company officials say the material has been stored above ground since the 1960s and needs a permanent resting place. It would be entombed in stable rock formations more than 450 million years old and wouldn't contaminate the lake, they say. …

    • rogerthat

      Opponents say nothing is guaranteed when some of the material would stay radioactive up to 100,000 years.

      "The Panel fully agrees that Lake Huron and the other Great Lakes are precious resources that demand society's highest level of protection and regard," the panel said in its 457-page report.

      But it said an exhaustive review had found the project "is not likely to cause significant adverse effects on the water quality or aquatic ecosystems," provided the company meets a lengthy list of conditions that include developing spill response plans.

      The proposal has drawn criticism on both sides of the border, including from some members of Congress and Michigan state legislators. Beverly Fernandez, leader of a group called Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump, said 154 cities, towns and counties oppose it.

      "This is an intergenerational, nonpartisan issue that affects millions of Canadians and Americans," Fernandez said. "The last place to bury and abandon radioactive nuclear waste is beside the largest supply of fresh water on the planet." …

  • rogerthat

    Ha ha ha. Israel can have them, Saudi Arabia can have them – but Iran can't:

    • DebbyS-AbqNM DebbyS-AbqNM

      Kirk: Spock, why is that planet so… shiny?
      Spock: Sensors say it is covered by vast swaths of radioactive glass.
      Kirk: Oh, no, another failed civilization.
      Spock: Indeed, Captain.

  • rogerthat

    Mill ponds » Tribe, environmental groups appeal to state, but mill operator disputes claims.

    A few years ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed formulas for predicting the amount of radon emitted by radium-laden uranium mill ponds.

    When Ute Mountain Ute tribal officials plugged data from the nearby White Mesa Uranium Mill into one EPA formula, the numbers were alarming.

    Predicted emissions for radon-222 were up to 50 times the cap set to protect the environment — and downwind communities in San Juan County — from the odorless cancer-causing gas.

    Tribal leaders went to the EPA for answers. But EPA air-quality regulators have yet to step in.

    So the tribe and environmental groups took their case to the state Wednesday.

    In a presentation to the Utah Air Quality Board, Uranium Watch program director Sarah Fields blasted what she considers the federal agency's indifference to community concerns.

    "You must take action now. There needs to be a discussion and further investigation," Fields told the board.

    The tribe and environmental groups, she said, want the state to intervene.

    Mill owner Energy Fuels Resources maintains the mill's radon emissions, which are the subject of constant monitoring, are "de minimus" and within acceptable limits. …

    • rogerthat

      "The calculations used by the activist groups and the tribe are wrong. And frankly, their results are preposterous," said Curtis Moore, the company's spokesman. "They are applying an EPA formula incorrectly, with incorrect inputs."

      The White Mesa mill's five ponds total 145 acres in area and sit only three miles from the White Mesa tribal community.

      A radioactive metal, radium in trace amounts appears in the waste stream from uranium milling and decays into radon gas.

      The Clean Air Act has set the emission limit for the radioactive gas at 20 pico Curies per square meter per second. Breaching that limit could threaten people's health within a 50-mile radius.

      Environmentalists agree their radon emission numbers seem preposterous, but they are what the federal formula predicts would come off the ponds, given the intense concentration of radium they hold.

      "If we are right, this is a public health emergency," said Anne Mariah Tapp, energy program director for Grand Canyon Trust, which has teamed with Uranium Watch on the issue. "At a minimum, they need to be proving us wrong."

      At Wednesday's meeting, Utah Division of Air Quality director Bryce Bird noted that the EPA is revising rules for radon emissions.

      "Our concern would be: What is the exposure? And what can be done to reduce that?" Bird said.

      "There is coordination between two federal agencies and two state agencies," he added. "The only thing we can do is use the existing regulations…

      • rogerthat

        and wait and see what EPA does."

        EPA officials could not comment on the groups' calculations and whether they applied the formulas correctly.

  • rogerthat

    Connor Gibson
    Researcher for Greenpeace's Investigations team

    Exelon's Nuclear Oops: Washington D.C. Resists Pepco Merger

    D.C. residents: Click here to call Mayor Muriel Bowser and tell her to prioritize her constituents over the expansion of Exelon's monopoly. Exelon all but promises it will raise your electricity bills if it merges with Pepco, and will likely limit your authority to choose renewable energy options! For the dirty details, read on.


    Anyone who closely follows the world of political influence and hears the term "free markets" has come to understand that the phrase is not the sacred, concrete concept that its proponents make it out to be.

    Here in Washington, D.C., you tend to hear "free markets" used as a talking point by lobbyists who are protecting their clients from the natural competition that newer, more innovative industries pose to established industries. Rather than unrestricted competition for all, this beltway definition of "free markets" means "free for the company paying me, but not for anyone else."

    The utility industry illustrates this perfectly, especially here and now in Washington, D.C. Exelon, a Chicago-based utility holding company valued at over $28 billion, seeks to become …

    • rogerthat

      the nation's largest utility company by giving our smaller, regional utility, Pepco, an offer it can't refuse.

      Right now, the fight is focused on D.C., Delaware and Maryland; it will need to decide to reject or approve the proposed merger. Exelon's ultimate goal: Force Pepco's customers, including the people of Washington, D.C., to subsidize Exelon's expensive nuclear power plants in other states. D.C. residents have until May 26 to submit comments to the Public Service Commission.

      The situation is juicy enough to make veteran reporters drool. Exelon's proposed merger is unpopular with:
      D.C. residents, who don't want their electricity bills increased by D.C. regulators overpowered by a bully conglomerate like Exelon that dumps millions into politics,
      The Tea Party, whose activists don't like anti-competitive monopolies that block homeowners from being able to make the choice of installing solar panels and selling excess electricity into the grid,
      And me, the Greenpeace guy who wants civilization to protect itself from climate change and nuclear plant accidents, who also doesn't want to be forced to pay an intruding utility company for its failing businesses. …

      – great yarn, thorough, detailed, lots of references, read in full and file away

  • rogerthat

    DOE Needs to Evaluate Alternatives to Recently Proposed Projects and Address Technical and Management Challenges
    GAO-15-354: Published: May 7, 2015. Publicly Released: May 7, 2015.


    What GAO Found …

  • rogerthat

    Op-Ed MAY 6, 2015
    FPL’s nuclear-power plan regressive, harmful


    Florida Power & Light argues that its new nuclear project is environmentally friendly, that it will benefit us economically, and that its future plans at Turkey Point are safe.

    Unfortunately, none of these claims are accurate.

    FPL is currently seeking approval from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission for two new nuclear reactors at Turkey Point and miles of 10-story transmission lines in residential Miami-Dade County and downtown Miami.

    FPL’s project would reduce the availability of fresh water for our communities, it would commit South Florida to antiquated and expensive nuclear technology from last century, and it would render our electric system vulnerable to storm surges from rising seas. FPL ignores these difficult facts.

    Nuclear plants consume vast amounts of water to keep reactors cool. FPL currently accounts for less than 1 percent of the water used in Miami-Dade County, but a nuclear expansion would raise that to 10 percent of water usage.

    In two decades, the demands on our limited water supply are already projected to skyrocket.

    FPL emphasizes that the primary cooling system will use reclaimed wastewater. But it ignores …

    • rogerthat

      the inconvenient fact that its backup cooling system will also draw over 7 billion gallons of water a year from Biscayne Bay and the Biscayne Aquifer, our only source of drinking water, threatening the coastal Everglades, Biscayne National Park, and South Dade well fields.

      Given the anticipated demands on our shrinking water supply, FPL’s water grab is an irresponsible use of resources.

      When the Turkey Point expansion was first proposed, the projected cost was about $7 billion. The latest projections are $20 billion. Nuclear expansion might make sense for FPL’s shareholders but it doesn’t for us.

      FPL’s project commits us to expensive nuclear power for the next 60 years without fairly evaluating more cost-effective energy that does not require local storage of radioactive waste.

      The cheapest, cleanest and safest way to meet our energy needs is through energy conservation and efficiency. Conservation is one-fifth the cost of nuclear generation, yet FPL opposes conservation standards and presses for nuclear, the most expensive and risky investment available.

      Given the falling prices of solar power and new batteries, we question the wisdom of committing customers to $20 billion worth of last century’s technology, while closing the door on cheaper, safer and more environmentally responsible options.

      Florida law allows FPL to charge its customers for the licensing and construction costs for this project. In the past three years, FPL has charged us $209 million…

      • rogerthat

        Even if FPL never completes the new reactors, it keeps our money.

        These charges include new transmission lines in Everglades National Park and the heart of Miami-Dade’s dense commercial and residential neighborhoods.

        Massive 105-foot tall towers along Dixie Highway would cut through Pinecrest, South Miami, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, and then Brickell, on their way into downtown Miami, carving tens of millions annually from the county’s tax base and killing thousands of jobs in the process.

        The proposed transmission lines will not be built to Florida hurricane safety standards. If a tower buckles during a storm, it could destroy the Metrorail and surrounding homes.

        The original decision to build nuclear reactors at Turkey Point, on a hurricane-swept coastline vulnerable to storm surge, was made a half a century before we understood climate change and sea-level rise.

        FPL’s new reactors would operate until 2080, during which, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recommends that power plants account for three feet to 6.6 feet of sea-level rise.

        FPL’s application accounts for only one foot of sea-level rise for that period, clearly unrealistic given the five inches of sea-level rise measured locally in the past five years.

        Even one foot of sea-level rise will inundate the area surrounding Turkey Point and turn the power plant into a remote island. A difference of two feet of sea-level rise will dramatically affect the height of…

        • rogerthat

          future storm surges.

          FPL’s assertion that new reactors will be safe from a storm surge because they are 26-feet above “sea level,” overlooks the facts that FPL’s “sea level” standard is 27 years old; and the project does not properly account for realistic storm surge projections.

          FPL ignores these facts to double down on a dangerous position based on yesterday’s science.

          Join us by expressing your objection to FPL’s project as proposed.

          Contact the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission at This federal agency has the most authority over FPL’s project and is required by law to account for public comments submitted before May 22.


          Read more here:

  • rogerthat

    Job Title:General Engineer (Confinement Ventilation Safety Systems Oversight)
    Department:Department Of Energy
    Agency:Department of Energy
    Job Announcement Number:15-CBFO-037-DE
    SALARY RANGE: $83,468.00 to $128,223.00 / Per Year
    OPEN PERIOD: Thursday, May 7, 2015 to Wednesday, May 20, 2015
    SERIES & GRADE: GS-0801-13/14
    POSITION INFORMATION: Full Time – Competitive Service – Permanent
    DUTY LOCATIONS: 1 vacancy in the following location:
    Carlsbad, NM View Map

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