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)

  • Nick

    WIPP was supposed to sequester nuclear waste ("low level") from defense related endeavors for 1,000s of years.

    I suggested this before….you downwinders might need to rethink your location(s).

    The ONE truth you can count on is you will be LIED to about what actually happened.

    • bf9 bf9

      No, this was not low level waste. Not with those kinds of numbers. I would agree if I were still in Arizona I'd start planning to leave, and usually that's upwind most of the time.

      • Of course it isn't low-level waste.
        It is Defense-waste. Low-level Defense-waste is an oxymoron (like so much in, "nuclear", and in our military.)

        But, yes; the WIPP was supposed to seal and contain all of this- for how long? Certainly it was supposed to be down there and stay down there for more then fifteen years?
        I will definitely stay inside when it rains, now, particularly when the winds are coming from west. All of the Southwest was reporting very high rad-levels for months following the accident at the WIPP, and I include Central Texas and (even) East Texas, too.

    • We Not They Finally

      Well, not just "downwinders" at all. We were in Albuquerque, 275 miles N-NW, not in any wind path, but the two of us got hit simultaneously with same freaky symptom two weeks later on the same day, before what had happened was even known. The downwinders obviously way worse, but it seems very dicey how and where radioactivity spreads. It's all "relative safety." So anyone in those southwestern states should consider relocation, but for many or most, easier said than done.

  • It went from:

    370 Billion Bq of Plutonium equivalent may have escaped from WIPP drum during “thermal runaway” & multiple fires.


    Up to 592 Trillion Bq of Plutonium equivalent involved in disaster at US nuclear dump.


    • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

      they were only off by 160000% Not bad for the nuke industry

      • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

        of course hundreds of barrels leaked, based on the leak being 140 to 5000 x what was in one barrel, meaning the photos have all been obfuscation. But at least they did show one barrel with the lid cracked, which is pretty good for the nuke industry

        • califnative califnative

          SimplyInfo has a Flicker Photo Album on WIPP

          What's that saying "a pictures is worth thousand words"

          • Good WIPP pics (first I've seen like this.)
            The place reminds me of my ex-husband's storage lockers.
            Upon opening the garage-style door, one could tell he had a plan in mind. His intention was always good. Him implementation of this plan was always a bit of a mess.

        • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

          wolfram Alpha says 592 trillion Bq of plutonium is 863 metric tons. Something isnt apparent about the numbers. Plutonium equivalent?

          This equation itself seems a little wonky; MAR [Material at Risk] x DR [Damage Ratio] x ARF [Airborne Release Fraction] x RF [Respirable Fraction]. Why not just say how much fallout there was and then give us the respirable fraction estimate?

          • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

            2 curies of plutonium is 74,000,000,000 Bq. Thats 74 giga Bq. So they estimate the initial release was 2 to 10 curies which is then 74,000,000,000 to 370,000,000,000 Bq.

            I dont understand how it translates to 592 trillion equivalent. Something to do with the risk vs the actual quantity, and it would seem at first glance the equivalent curie would be less than actual material involved.


            The EPA standard allows no more than 2 Bq per liter. So thats enough to contaminate, say, 37 billion chickens.

            plutonium isotopes vary widely in radioactivity per gram. 1 curie of plutonium 240 weighs 4.4 grams, 1 curie of plutonium 244 weighs 54,000 grams. Thus the release represents either grams or tons of plutonium depending on the isotope

    • The homework on 592 Trillion Bq of Plutonium:

      1 Bq is 1 aperiodic event per second.

      A radiation pressure of 592 Trillion every second of the release burn time. (Some tell it was a 30 second burn.) And the canister remaining horrible after the flash burn forever basically.

      This is certainly NOT low level waste. The health damage their lies do is exampled in this detailed breakdown, at the time honestly presented materials; based on those lies.

      Informative PU info:

      • Onto; Potter's right. Living in Texas, I heard repeatedly that this was Americium.. To know it was plutonium and that they just lied about it? Not surprising, but maddening, for sure.

        I have subbed potterblog for a while but I guess yt unchecked the box asking them to send me uploads. (grr.) I missed a LOT So thank you for posting, here.

        • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

          Is Americium more poisonous than plutonium or does it just sound more…American?

          • From Wiki:
            Although most americium isotopes predominantly emit alpha particles which can be blocked by thin layers of common materials, many of the daughter products emit gamma-rays and neutrons which have a long penetration depth.[106]

            If consumed, americium is excreted within a few days and only 0.05% is absorbed in the blood. From there, roughly 45% of it goes to the liver and 45% to the bones, and the remaining 10% is excreted. The uptake to the liver depends on the individual and increases with age. In the bones, americium is first deposited over cortical and trabecular surfaces and slowly redistributes over the bone with time. The biological half-life of 241Am is 50 years in the bones and 20 years in the liver, whereas in the gonads (testicles and ovaries) it remains permanently; in all these organs, americium promotes formation of cancer cells as a result of its radioactivity.

    • unincredulous unincredulous

      Did they not get the memo? They were supposed to boil us slowly.

  • SadieDog

    Meanwhile, where is all of the current waste going? Nowhere. It's just piling up across the country.

      • SD, your link indicated in the context, that the casks are made for 100 years of service. Somehow this does not constitute "permanent storage". Why do they make such expensive casks that last only 100 years? Because it is conceivable that they do not wish to actually DISPOSE of it. They would have buried in in a convection zone somewhere if they had wanted it truly gone, and not bothered to cask it. They no doubt plan to extract Plutonium from the used fuel after that 100 year seasoning time.

        So sure why not let it sit where it is. They view it as a potential and viable PU source in the future.

        • SadieDog

          Onto,I hadn't thought of that. Could be.

        • Cooter

          Onto, the casks are only good as the cask structural components are made of. In this case the casks contain concrete, which has an engineered life-span of 100 years. Concrete continues to become harder and harder over time as the concrete reverts back into the elements of which it is made. This being sand, gravel, cement and water.

          Will the cask may look structurally sound after 100 years, probably so, but the concrete has 0 structural strength. From the day concrete is placed it continues to become harder and harder as the hydration process continues.

          The Romans created a cement/mortar that is waterproof and has lasted to this very day, but today's scientists can't reverse engineer how they made it.

          I find it astounding that our elite "engineers/scientists" can't reproduce concrete from 4 of earth's elements but tell us in the same breath that they have harnessed the atom.

        • combomelt combomelt

          indeed, they are going to send ALL the waste up the space elevator TPTB are going to invent sometime in the future. Oh glorious days here basking in the glows of so many brilliant inventors inventing all the uninventable yet supremely necessary tools needed to stop and then mitigate the ongoing, earthwide destruction from fuku. Technology that needs to be invented. ready, set, start inventin'.

          meanwhile, back at the ranch….

        • We Not They Finally

          ONto, I seriously doubt any 100-year claim for casks. And LOTS of 20-year casks are long since dumped into oceans, then with sea water corrosion, and no one even goes back to check. Not that anyone would do anything about it.

          The best doc around is still "The Dark Side of Humanity: Secret Nuclear Waste."

    • SadieDog

      ""These were sites that were evaluated in the 1970s and 1980s to be homes for nuclear power plants for about 40 years," Ms. Barczak said. "They were never intended to store what is basically the most toxic waste known to man."

      Spent fuel rods from the reactors are stored in water pools and dry casks at the plants as the federal government continues a decades-long effort to build a permanent nuclear waste storage facility."

  • 😐

    "I don’t feel like that answers my question, which is of course is your job, right?"
    – Questioner

    WIPP has been in the doublespeak Nuclear Manual mode since February 2014.

    I watched many of the early town hall meetings. Most of what was said or promised has not been met. As usual, over a year later figures are revised.

    IMO – No way one little drum could do this much damage. They still don't know anything or they are not telling the truth. Perhaps a little of both.

    • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

      from the video above;
      "what did the HEPA filter radiation measurements show you when determining the quantity of radiation released?"
      "uh, we havent measured them…we dont need to change out the HEPA filters because they are working just fine" OK, they are just following filter change regulations…go work boys.

      Why do so many psychos seem to have that accent…that fat boy growd up twang? Gitcher finger outcher nose slackjaw, werown TV

  • Cisco Cisco

    Too effing late for those poor souls in Carlsbad! SSDD

    • AirSepTech AirSepTech

      That is a sad fact. I followed the wind for days after 2/14. No wonder Andrews, Tx. is ok with an above ground dump, its already been dumped on. What is the effective downwind area, any of these azzholes got an answer?

      And much as I don't like oilwells, 1000's of them will be serviced, by dudes and dudettes, getting the deathdart surprise.

      They said it was a fire, then maybe some escaped the drum, then the filters caught it, but not all of it, then they find some, then it is worse than they thought, but it is ok, then they are stumped, then they can't move ahead like they said, they changed management 3 times, then it is worse yet, and now it is 100-5000 times worse? Than what? A blatant, fucking, lie?

      It goes on and on and on and,,,,mind numbing bullshit. F#@k

  • bowling

    they are max dosed. probably 30 msv a day for last year. already miscarriages birth defects. follow obituaries cancer rates are skyrocketing. that atomic lysenkoism and nuclear whiskey does some strange shit to ya.

  • OT but relevant…

    Update on atmospheric conditions:

    Barium in the air has been a world wide mess as indicated on many webcams. The volcano in Japan is spewing VAST amounts of ash high into the air. This is likely mixing with FUKU dust and the Chernobyl Cesium about to change into Barium. It is badly scattering UV-B radiation, and causing many issues with long range visibility.

    Skyscope for May 3rd 2015:

    Image of UV light scatter over the Mojave:

    Image captured in the diminished light:

  • Sol Man

    Nukers are folks whose lives have no meaningful purpose, save for planning the death of every living entity on our shared green earth.

  • ISPC

    It shows on the faces of the people.

  • Homolumina Homolumina

    Awareness is multiplying with each soul signing up here, I hope enenews creates momentum. Six more sign ups and we have a community of 25.000 people. My love to the community here

    • from a distance from a distance

      FYI, Enenews already hit 25,000 Facebook likes in March 2015. I took a screen-shot of it.

      Then overnight Facebook erased almost 700 Enenews Facebook likes under some odd criteria they implemented.

      • FBook was set-up and is run by the CIA. Likewise, just about all the English language internet is now controlled by the security services, including all your favourite 'alternate media' sites.

        It's all just one big con, and it's why Fukushima continues to kill us all unabated.

        • bowling


          THIS  guy grew up in a nuclear crudhole similar to WIPP downwind from 3 santa susana meltdowns. Died in 8 weeks after diagnosed with esophageal cancer.  His wife married Bruce Jenner and had a really bloody stupid tv show. He defended OJ. all the really ignorant, brain damaged ,dumn, stupid, pin
          Americans tuned into the media brain washing extravaganza of OJ ,The kardashians, and even Bruce Jenner transgenderism

          • We Not They Finally

            Wouldn't throw transgenderism into that. Saw the Jenner interview. He's for real, and a role model for deeply suffering people. Even out of the circus of life, we have to fish out authenticity wherever we can find it.

    • bowling

      i understand homolumina. What u mean is that if alpha men went through an earth ritual of compassion and ethics and caring about the planet we.would not have wienie nerd psychopathic nukists with misplaced aggression

    • Dogleg Dogleg

      It is really great to see so many members and the group still growing rapidly. I don't post very often but to visit the site daily. I have learned much from the collections of great minds and passionate people here. When I first joined the group back in March/April 2011 I didn't know the difference between Iodine 131 and a banana. Now I feel like I have had a four-year college course on nuclear Sciences.

  • byron byron

    400 divided by 2.84=140 drums worth at a minimum? Is that what the figures mean? And an upper bounds of 16000 divided by 2.84= 5633 drums worth as a maximum? Is that what those numbers mean?
    So at least 140 drums exploded and burned, probably several hundred?

  • davidh7426 davidh7426

    This may well be a silly suggestion…

    But is anybody keeping an eye out for possible changes in decomposition.

    My reason for asking is that if decomposition slows down, then so will the return of possible nutrients to the soil, and so lessen the fertility of the ground in question. Not really something you want in farmland.

    Plus just as in Chernobyl, all that leaf litter and dead wood just laying there is an open invitation more forest fires. Which oddly enough from the news reports I've seen seem to be happening a lot more now, both earlier and stronger, especially in America.

    • I know I've been seeing it. The locust tree across the road and maple next door still have almost all of last year's leaves hanging on and my compost (totally OG gardener here) is just sitting …s l o w. I tried all the usual things to help it along but…it's something I've never experienced before.

      Plastics degrading too, a bit fastest where the increased sun UVs hit the most but in shaded places too.

    • davidh7426 davidh7426

      If the new-age materials, metals, plastics etc continue to degrade at a faster rate, then we may be back to building aircraft and ships out of wood and cloth again. I suspect that this more than the loss of electricity or oil may be what brings civilisation down.

      So much of what we have depends on those modern materials. For example, plastics for electrical insulation. Can you imagine the number of building fires that will be caused by the lack of insulation.

      • davidh7426 davidh7426

        At least all that 'plastic c**p' floating around the Pacific will degrade faster, being surrounded by tritium as it is.

        Small blessing I suppose.

  • bowling

    good point david. It seems like plastics degrade a lot easier now but that is to be expected with radiation. I have not noticed it but i am sure it is very noticable in japan. Maybe in several places in the us. There are certainly many places where things will not grow anymore. Once the probiotics in our body cannot survive we are dead. no more vitamin k and several other nutrients. That is one reason autoimmune diseases and allergies are on a steep rise.

  • rogerthat

    but, but, but …
    James Conca in Forbes Magazine:

    It was a small release of radiation that will not harm anyone or have any environmental consequence. Maybe it was the Earth’s way of saying, “Happy Valentine’s Day. …

    …a million times less than any EPA action levels …

    … a minor radiological release …

    … a puff …

    … 40 times lower than ordinary background …

  • Jebus Jebus

    I have a question.

    What happens when these two hook up chemically?

    Tritium is an isotope of hydrogen, which allows it to readily bind to hydroxyl radicals, forming tritiated water (HTO), and to carbon atoms.

    Tritiated water contains the radioactive hydrogen isotope tritium; as a low energy beta emitter with a half-life of about 12 years, it is not dangerous externally (its beta particles are unable to penetrate the skin), but it is a radiation hazard when inhaled, ingested via food or water, or absorbed through the skin.

    The carbonate ion is the simplest oxocarbon anion. It consists of one carbon atom surrounded by three oxygen atoms, in a trigonal planar arrangement, with D3h molecular symmetry. It has a molecular mass of 60.01 g/mol and carries a negative two formal charge.

    • bowling

      you get carbonated tritiated water. i dunno maybe the carbon gets converyed to C14. Beta particles can go thrpugh clothes an skin Jebus just not very far. They can go.through a sheet of aluminum this sb20 russiangeiger tubes.

  • Shaker1

    I lived in NM (Albuquerque) and just love the landscapes, the storms that could be seen coming miles away, walls of sand and dust that precede short but energetic bursts of rain…

    Honestly, I think the worst is the fact that it's almost always windy. One had to be careful dusting nice furniture as that 'dust' is really dirt and will scratch. That dust is everywhere, sticks to slightly moistened skin, is on moistened lips, gets into the clothes hung outside, is in every little corner and crevice, it's breathed and eaten and drank. I've been through stretches of 5 years with little rain that one could easily bury their fingers in the fine dust on the ground. They're in another dry spell, and with the Pacific the way it is, who knows for how long or how deep the dryness will get.

    Can you say 'avenues of exposure'?

    • We Not They Finally

      If you are still in Albuquerque, it would be a great time to move! We virtually fled in panic from that place and will never look back.

    • DebbyS-AbqNM DebbyS-AbqNM

      I noticed this year that our windy spring didn't start until April. Usually it starts in February and runs until it gets hot and we need natural air conditioning. January was windy this year, then things calmed down. We got a late snow — 9"! — but it had nearly all melted away by a few days later. We've also had a nice wet spring and brief but intense showers out of the southwest every afternoon this week; one is coming up now. We're still dusty 🙂 The humidity has been rather high (a sweltering 23% when it's not raining). Plants seem to be doing fine. I'm seeing fewer big bugs (that's sure to change soon if it continues wet until Monsoon, when it will be wetter), but the Kingbirds and other flycatchers who arrive from the south to eat the bugs seem happy and are nesting. More Cooper's hawks are spreading out over the city to eat pigeons and doves. A hawk family has claimed our local growers market park; I hope they don't try to chase humans away–too many of us on Saturdays! The city will protect the hawks though, good! A robin has a nest across the street from me. Lesser goldfinchs finally discovered my sock of niger thistle. I am watching for signs of trouble, but so far, cross fingers, we're doing okay. I expect Better Call Saul to begin filming again soon, and the city wants to build an ice rink and a water park (the fools; no water for either really…).

  • rogerthat

    The U.S. Department of Energy apparently can’t pay people enough to move to Carlsbad. …

    • rogerthat

      … Franco told the safety board that he has gotten four rejections for a “Grade 14″ job – a pay level that in Carlsbad tops out at nearly $130,000 per year, according to WIPP spokesman Tim Runyon.

      “That’s huge,” Franco said. …

  • Oh sure. Fukushima lite. Subterfuge and technical nuances the average joe neither understands or understands the implications. The whole nuclear industry lives for today and leaves the mess for future generations. First nuke power plant developed in the forties for the war effort. Now 75 years later still no safe solution or permanent solution to the waste. My Canada just signed a uranium deal with India and there was no voice of disagreement heard. Still touting nuclear as green technology.
    Japan, America or Canada. Doesn't matter where you live you will be lied to. Especially by nuke industry. Save some money for pain killers. Peace

  • bowling

    never was a safe aolution mark. never will be. it is atomic lysenkoism

  • combomelt combomelt

    Minimize, lie, lie, lie, lie then finally after years, obfuscate with this simple info for the public. lolol……….


    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

  • mairs mairs

    Didn't they say early on that some of these drums are still stored at LANL? (Los Alamos)

  • mairs mairs

    I flew over Fukushima at 40,000ft. On the way home I flew from Tokyo to Denver. I watched the tailwind all the way. East from Japan the jet stream toward the West Coast of North America was 114 miles an hour.

  • rogerthat

    May 4, 2015
    Test run signals start of nuclear waste shipments to Nevada

    WASHINGTON – After 18 months of delay to address the worries of state officials, the Department of Energy said Monday night it will ship potent uranium waste from a federal laboratory in Tennessee for disposal in Nevada.

    Officials did not give a time-line for when the shipments will begin from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to the Area 5 landfill at the Nevada National Security Site, 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

    It’s unlikely the Department of Energy office that transports nuclear weapons and special nuclear material will make the shipping schedule public.

    Representatives of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Gov. Brian Sandoval have for 18 months discussed DOE plans to dispose of 403 canisters of potent uranium-233 mixed with uranium-235, atom-splitting material containing byproducts that can be used to make a bomb.

    Experts in nuclear nonproliferation expressed concern that the waste would remain potentially dangerous for hundreds or thousands of years.

    The DOE program to ship the radioactive waste as part of environmental cleanup of an aging warehouse at Oak Ridge was put on hold in 2013 after Sandoval objected. Besides environmental and security concerns associated with such hazardous material, Nevada officials …

    • rogerthat

      raised questions about how exotic forms of radioactive waste were being characterized for disposal.

      The Oak Ridge waste was classified as “low level” but would be as much as 1,500 times more radioactive than contaminated debris usually buried at the Area 5 landfill. The heavily shielded waste canisters must be handled by remote-control cranes.

      An empty 20-foot cask in a shipping container carried by a modified tractor-trailer departed Oak Ridge on Monday and is expected to arrive at the Nevada site on Wednesday. The dry run will give NNSS contractor National Securities Technology (NSTec) practice in lifting the cask by crane, removing its lid and then removing and placing the waste-filled inner sleeve in the landfill.

      The test shipment also allows DOE to go through the exercise of obtaining overweight shipping permits from Nevada and other states along the route. The truck, trailer and cask total about 90,000 pounds.

      Attorneys for the state researched the issue but Sandoval has conceded that Nevada lacks authority to block waste burial at the Nevada Nuclear Security Site if the material is properly classified.

      At the same time, Moniz expressed reluctance to strong-arm Nevada, saying the state has long supported nuclear programs at what used to be called the Nevada Test Site.

      Moniz and Sandoval made progress toward breaking the impasse when they signed a memorandum of understanding last December giving the state a larger consultation role over waste disposal…

      • rogerthat

        at the site.

        In a statement late Monday, Sandoval’s chief counsel Michon Martin said Nevada obtained “many significant accommodations related to the security, transportation disposal and public outreach related to this effort.”

        Besides insisting that the shipments be handled by the Office of Secure Transportation, the state also obtained a promise that DOE will bury the uranium material in specially configured trenches deeper than the usual 40 feet for radioactive waste.

        In the end, Martin said, the state’s experts determined the materials “meet the criteria for disposal at the NNSS.”

        DOE officials did not comment when asked how they concluded the time is right to move forward.

        Aides to Moniz said in a written statement that in the wake of “productive discussions” with Nevada, “The Department of Energy is moving forward with the shipments of the Consolidated Edison Solidification Program materials from the Oak Ridge site to the Nevada National Security Site.

        Known by its acronym CEUSP, the once-liquid waste from a 1960s reprocessing plant in Upstate New York was solidified and baked in steel canisters at the Oak Ridge lab, where it has been stored in a Manhattan Project-era building since the mid-1980s.

        DOE officials said the ceramic mixture, in individual canisters 2 feet long and 4 inches wide, was embedded with neutron-absorbing metals and salts to reduce the risk of an accidental nuclear reaction.

  • razzz razzz

    Not much of a dilemma for the US government. Keep moving radioactivity around America's countryside like a hot potato. There is really nowhere to store it so just spread it out, by force.

    "I don’t feel like that answers my question, which is of course is your job, right?"…Interesting comeback that is a double edged sword. Either meant to imply that the official's job is to answer questions or his job is to purposely not answer questions by obfuscation. What is really trying to be avoided is admitting any liability.

    I always said plutonium doesn't travel alone unless they discarded and packed pieces of pure bomb pits inside those drums. Still only about 90% pure.

    Americium (all manmade):
    "…Once in the body, americium-241 tends to concentrate in the bone, liver, and muscle. It can stay in the body for decades and continue to expose the surrounding tissues to radiation, and increase your risk of developing cancer…"

    Look at half life first. Longer life then a slower acting radioactive poison. Shorter life, more dangerous. Then look at the decay chain products which can be much worse than the parents because decaying daughter products might equal very short half lives that are even more radioactive.

    Some Canadian video I watched mentioned that one Becquerel was considered (any) one radioactive atom. Don't know if I misunderstood that. Never heard it explained that way before.

  • Nick

    "Plutonium is more dangerous when inhaled than when ingested."

    " Disposal of plutonium waste from nuclear power plants and dismantled nuclear weapons built during the Cold War is a nuclear-proliferation and environmental concern."

    Plutonium also sits near the juncture where the actinide series transitions from main d-block element chemistry to rare earth like behavior as a result of the actinide contraction. Because of its defense and commercial importance, plutonium is one of the most intensely investigated of elements."

  • Nick

    Despite the fact that Plutonium is one of the most intensively investigated elements the disposal of remains an environmental concern, especially to downwinders from WIPP!

    Inhaled Plutonium.

    Stays inside ya for ever, ticking away at cellular processes AND substituting itself for iron in hemoglobin molecules.

    That dry cough? Your fatigue? Just not being happy enough, try smiling!

  • rogerthat

    Editorial: Hanford has been ‘an unlimited spigot’

    May 5, 2015
    Throwing money at Hanford has not worked

    If a massive amount of money is available for spending, at a minimum there will be waste, perhaps fraud and maybe theft. The larger the amount of money, the bigger the magnet. We’ve seen that in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The same thing happens in the private sector. And it seems to be happening domestically at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

    The Richland-based journalist Anna King told an Astoria audience last Thursday that 14,000 Department of Energy employees are working on Hanford’s cleanup. And work is stalled, perhaps hopelessly, at the multistory vitrification plant.

    Also last week, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden decried the lack of progress in the Hanford cleanup. “Obama has no plan,” said Wyden. “It has been an unlimited spigot. It is astounding the amount of money that’s been laid out.”

    Hanford was an enormously important, but secret installation of World War II. Its B Reactor made radioactive material that became the ingredient for the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, leading to Japan’s unconditional surrender.

    When things are done in secret, there is little skepticism and no cross-examination. …

    • rogerthat

      From the start, Hanford officials failed to recognize they were creating a mess that would haunt our region for eons.

      Sen. Wyden raises the prospect that national willingness to clean up Hanford might wane. “I’m not sure the rest of the country will go along with this much longer,” he said.

      Mismanagement is the polite word for what’s going on at Hanford. While Hanford is no longer off limits to the public, the vestige of secrecy lingers. Anna King described a situation that is long on massive reports and short on candor.

      She is also correct that Hanford is “the legacy that we were handed.” We must contain the damage that is sitting there, perilously close to the Columbia River.

  • Nick

    "In its Phase II Report, the Accident Investigation Board concludes that the Feb. 14, 2014 radiological release at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant was caused by an exothermic reaction involving the mixture of organic materials and nitrate salts in one drum that was processed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in December 2013."

    Organic carbon-based cat-litter used instead of clay-based.

    Gun cotton (if glove also involved!)

    WIPP 2/14/14 was NO accident, it was plain simple stupidity.

    Stupidity is spending obscene sums on weapons and then another zillion or so dollars trying to scrub up the messes created in the process of making WMDs.

    Smart species eh?

  • Nick

    "What little has come to light about the past several years of secret negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership has indicated that the process has been led by corporate lawyers and trade lobbyists from the pharmaceutical, agribusiness and chemical giants and other players with insider interests.

    The deal has all the hallmarks of the nation’s other big international trade agreements. Like NAFTA, CAFTA, the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North American and others, the powerful economic drivers of the deal are coordinated by and confined to the ownership level and to top managers, and discussion of its impacts – and even its promises – are downplayed in the media to keep the issue of the radar for workers ‘adjusting’ to the new rules of the game amid a challenging and even desperate market.

    The People will be the last to know, and the least to benefit."

    WIPPee for TPP!

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    A fine example of a true democracy in action and be sure to voluntarily leave your tax payments at the door on the way out of this room..thank you!

  • We Not They Finally

    What a fantastic way to get blown away by the whim of fate…When WHIIP exploded it was almost the beginning of the end.It takes time to realize the insanity of nuclear waste storage. No one is safe.When greed abounds what to do?There is the problem in a nutshell.Frankly we are aghast my wife and me how insane it gets..We are living at a time when the planets survival is a huge question.Of course if the ocean is lost than we all are lost.So if you feel like grieving it may be more than appropriate.

    • Shaker1

      "Frankly we are aghast my wife and me how insane it gets.."

      WNTF, personally, I'm (and I'm sure others) are sure that the insanity is only limited by technology. LOL

      I do hope that you and your wife are making the best of it within it all.

      • We Not They Finally

        Other half reporting in. We do A LOT holistically to detox, fortify with supplements, eat healthy foods, and the like. Worth it for anyone to do.

  • Nick

    "Instead, the lab and its various contractors took shortcuts in treating the acidic nuclear waste, adding neutralizer and a wheat-based organic kitty litter to absorb excess liquid. The combination turned the waste into a potential bomb that one lab chemist later characterized as akin to plastic explosives, according to a six-month investigation by The New Mexican."

  • Nick

    "A senior DOE official confirmed Thursday that the settlement will be funded by money not paid to the site contractors at LANL and WIPP in fiscal 2014 after their performance fees were severely docked in the aftermath of the radiation leak.
    Los Alamos Nuclear Security LLC took a $57 million hit last year, and WIPP contractor Nuclear Waste Partnership lost $7.6 million. Both earned less than 10 percent of the performance incentives available to them annually.
    “Most of the funds for these projects will come from the fee that was unearned by the contractors involved,” the DOE official said during a call with reporters."

    No…the funds will come from you and me, the US taxpayers.

    Talk about money making money for itself!

    DOE a deer a female Duh.

    • jec jec

      NOT enough to pay for all the health damage and contamination…DOE needs to fire some contractors, and stand down WIPP. By stating a dollar amount, sounds like DOE already has the dollar figures down they will pay to citizens–regardless of the damage. Suit against contractors will be the next step, the ones who packages the high level radiation materials into drums and then hid the radiation levels, and the ones ACCEPTING the drums, likely with knowledge they were 'fixed.' Criminal charges would be good..because LOW LEVEL waste is all that was approved for WIPP. The TRILLIONS of BQ in one drum..since that is the story, negated the 'low level' radiation amount in the official listing. One a nuclear bomb not low level…Just Saying

  • Checkmate

    I have a really dumb question- Does anyone on here think with the drought occurring in Calif. (our bread basket) that the big Calif. farms supplying fresh produce to the US, may secretly be using Japanese imported fresh produce to be shipped from their establishment and claim it is directly from their farms???
    Just asking and thinking ahead as the drought is becoming more extreme…

    • We Not They Finally

      No such thing as a dumb question — they all need to be asked. However, the California drought can best be checked out at with Dane Wigington, who speaks of California as a "sacrifice zone." Which has a lot to do with chemtrails as well and control of the weather. All that high tech and they cannot so much as seed clouds for rain? SERIOUSLY?

      My cynic brain sees them destroying California farmers, and Monsanto then rushing in "to the rescue" along with their patent on aluminum[from the chemtrails]-resistant seeds.

      Just because there is radiation does not mean that a lot of OTHER bad things are not being done. California is pretty much transparently deliberate. But no, I doubt that they are doing that to market Japanese produce….

    • SadieDog

      "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."

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar PraisingTruth

        "…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….

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

        • We Not They Finally

          All of the above is true. It's just outlandish that it keeps taking so much verbage to convince morons of every aspect of common sense.

  • Nick

    (ot..but relevant)

    Now that several Fast Food chains are reducing a slew of artificial ingredients and GMOs in their menus it is time for consumers to start looking MUCH more closely at radioactive contamination of the food supply…the next "organic revolution" so to speak.

    At any rate, it's a start.

    Then, after ya scrutinize yer food and drink, turn to the biosphere and start realizing how awfully contaminated it all is.

    I maintain that "organic food" grown in California has levels of Fukushima in it. And "organic food" grown in New Mexico has WIPPettes in it.

    • pinksailmatt pinksailmatt

      Nick…you are right about organic food being forever more contaminated by Fuku.


      Janice L. Fields is a former president of McDonald’s USA, and is currently on the Board of Directors of Monsanto.

      The evil web of corporate influence.

      • pinksailmatt pinksailmatt

        C. Steven McMillan is a retired chairman of the board and CEO of Sara Lee Corporation.

        He is also on Monsanto's Board of Directors.

        And speaking of Monsanto…they were the corporation that was put in charge of making the Polonium triggers for the first A-Bombs under the Manhattan Project.

    • We Not They Finally

      Nick, there is NEVER any radiation-free guarantee with organic foods. Though given some inevitable choice (as it sometimes is,) it's still better than GMO foods which are also radiation-contaminated.

      As for Monsanto, one of MANY mega-corporations that you don't think of as nuclear, but they have their fingers in many pies. One of their early projects, before they were re-named Monsanto, was Agent Orange.

      Also check out Raytheon — military contractors, but also with HAARP patents, for a start. Then that they model weather patterns for The Weather Channel. Lots of self-protective loops like that out there.

  • Checkmate

    Thanks Nick for your thoughts, but I would think that anything from Japan would be extraordinary more contaminated than anything from Calif. (Not saying we aren't sucking up everything…but why rush it with food or drink, which we may possibly somewhat control).

    • AirSepTech AirSepTech

      I don't know what to think, so I have tried to understand what is available. I am open to any explanation, opinion, etc.

      Areas less than 50mi from FDNPP no doubt received some particle fallout. Yet, many show less than 200nSV/hr. Much less farther out.
      I believe it is beta, but I do not know that for a fact.

      Many of the newer G counters will provide cpm/microSV/hr together.
      So many in the US see at least 25cpm/.11-.2microSv/hr
      Multiply microSv x1000 for nSv
      And many sites in the USA are higher. Crop production areas.

      So what am I missing/wrong/to thick headed to understand?
      Are the Japanese numbers correct?

      • razzz razzz

        Radioactive fallout can be so random and spotty with washouts via rainfall then windblown radioactive contaminated dust recycling to another location or collecting in certain areas makes tracking radiation difficult. The Northern American continent received a good radioactive dosing at first then the West Coast then spotty all the way to Florida and the Carolinas but Japan is ground zero and can't avoid the radioactive releases continuing on a daily basis. It is a crime against humanity.

  • Nick

    There IS some "good" news re the radioactive toxic loading of our precious biosphere.

    I expect these profits to go through the roof, just like the WIPPuff.

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    When is enough..really enough? It appears when the entire planet is dead..then it will be enough. 🙁

    Humans have no idea what they are doing..

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    "“It actually was measured” in city many miles away"
    And the winds blows..

    "Up to 592 Trillion Bq of Plutonium"
    And not a single area or living creature affected?

    'They' say not a single atom of nuclear material has ever killed anyone.
    Odd, when is it never releases by a single atom.

  • Nick

    "…. Whatever a person's first impression of it may be, someone unfamiliar with the symbol probably wouldn't guess that it means "Danger! These rocks shoot death rays!"

    The U.S. Department of Energy has been grappling with that problem recently, as they designed the warning markers to use at Yucca Mountain and at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) nuclear waste storage facilities. There's no telling who might be around to exhume our radioactive sins in future centuries, but the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandates that warnings be erected which will warn away potential intruders for the next 10,000 years, whomever those intruders may be."

    Radioactive sins indeed!

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    All you have to do is ask..and you and all others will be forgiven for your sins. 🙂

  • pinksailmatt pinksailmatt

    "we NEED to identify it as ONE drum"

    There you go!

    Needs trump reality in pro-nukers every time.

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