“Patented explosives” reported inside plutonium waste drums at US nuclear facility — TV: So volatile, experts comparing it to ‘bomb’ — Official: I’m appalled we weren’t told about real and present danger — Over 5,000 drums a threat — Invisible reactions may have already occurred (VIDEO)

Published: November 17th, 2014 at 2:36 pm ET


Sante Fe New Mexican, Nov. 15, 2014 (emphasis added): The combination [of neutralizer and wheat-based organic litter] 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. [Los Alamos National Lab] then shipped [the waste] to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant… Feb. 14… the drum’s lid cracked open… Temperatures in the underground chamber soared to 1,600 degrees, threatening dozens of nearby drums… Documents and internal emails show… officials downplayed the dangers… and withheld critical information.

Patented Explosives

  • LANL chemist Steve Clemmons [found] the drum’s contents match the makeup of patented plastic, water-gel and slurry explosives… “All of the required components included in the patent claims would be present,” Clemmons wrote… “I am appalled that LANL didn’t provide us this information!” [wrote DOE official Dana Bryson]… On May 27, when they learned of the memo about patented explosives… WIPP abandoned plans for the next day to sample the area where the breach occurred, fearing it was too dangerous. “In a phone call with LANL, they indicated that there is a possibility that any sampling of the kitty litter/drum contents could cause another event,” [wrote] David Freeman, Nuclear Waste Partnership’s chief nuclear engineer… “We have a formal letter on LANL letterhead implying there is a real and present danger in the WIPP underground,” Bryson wrote.

Up to 55 more drums of waste ‘destabilized ‘

  • The intense underground flare may have destabilized up to 55 more drums of waste [near the one that ruptured], calling into question whether they, too, had become poised to burst. “[The high heat event] may have dried out some of the unreacted oxidizer-organic mixtures increasing their potential for spontaneous reaction,” the report said. “The dehydration of the fuel-oxidizer mixtures… is recognized as a condition known to increase the potential for reaction.”

Over 5,000 more waste drums a threat

  • LANL began treating waste with assorted varieties of organic kitty litter as early as Sept. 2012, spawning thousands of drums of waste that hold the same organic threat… [It] may have been mixed in up to 5,565 containers of waste at LANL.

LANL (pg. 21 of pdf): [The team] evaluated the effect of a heat generating event on the adjacent waste containers [that] could have chemically or physically changed the waste and introduced a reaction hazard. Unreacted drums of nitrate salt waste stream… continue to pose a potential reaction hazardReactions may have occurred within some of these drums at levels insufficient to lead to detectable visible evidence.

KOB, Nov. 16, 2014: Nuclear waste so volatile, it’s been called a potential bomb by experts… Greg Mello, former nuclear waste inspector for LANL: “The drum in question was basically kind of a time bomb.”… [A WIPP] assessment… estimates over 5,000 drums of waste may contain the volatile organic kitty litter that caused the one drum to split open.

Watch the broadcast here

Published: November 17th, 2014 at 2:36 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. Concern over “full plutonium flash” at WIPP nuclear site triggering disaster that spreads to multiple waste drums — Plutonium-239 is main radioactive isotope in container that exploded — Anonymous Employee: The warnings were ignored… “They put us in danger” June 9, 2014
  4. 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
  5. 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

215 comments to “Patented explosives” reported inside plutonium waste drums at US nuclear facility — TV: So volatile, experts comparing it to ‘bomb’ — Official: I’m appalled we weren’t told about real and present danger — Over 5,000 drums a threat — Invisible reactions may have already occurred (VIDEO)

  • How Easy Is it to Build a Dirty Bomb? Dirty Bombs Are All Around Us – WIPP, TMI, Fukushima

  • Bill Duff

    LANL has caused a 500 Million Dollar expense

  • Bill Duff

    LANL certified the packing was InOrganic but it was Organic.

  • Bill Duff

    Criminal Fraud & Gross Negligence are legal terms that come to mind.

  • irhologram


    From Greenroad: PattieB February 28, 2014 PU generates heat, and gasses result, also fire.. so every damned thing.. paints, plastics, clothing and textiles, wire coatings, and if gets hot enough, metals.. certainly also have sodium vapor, add iodine, and it just goes on and on,.. many carry the radioactive contents when burned or heated to gas / smoke state.!Who knows what is sitting in there…? The paint will likely be a lead-based type.. so add that.. possible asbestos.. zinc from ceiling bolts if hit raw plutonium or did they use hot-dipped galvanized bolts in the ceiling..? It gets crazy,,,,,

    "Who knows what else is sitting there?" Well, from my link about experimentation at WIPP above, Xenon, for one thing.

  • irhologram

    The Department of Energy’s Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO) has restarted a program that will place the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant’s science lab – located at the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center – at the center of a joint effort between DOE and EPA.
    The program, called the National Analytical Management Progr am (NAMP), will simplify funding and research exchange between participating DOE analytical labs and research laboratories affiliated with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Emergency Response Laboratory Network (ERLN). The ERLN is a national network of laboratories that addresses chemical, radiological and limited biological threats during environmental responses and significant national incidents.
    Agencies within the EPA’s lab network can now work with participating DOE labs under a single established funding agreement through CBFO. The program officially restarted on September 24, 2010.
    The NAMP has not been funded since the 1990s when it was at Idaho National Laboratory. Recently, however, a move was made by WIPP’s management and operating contractor, URS Washington TRU Solutions, to join analytical labs from all over the DOE complex with the ERLN.

  • irhologram

    http://wipp.energy.gov/science/repository/RepositoryNew.html Link for above.

    I'm curious about the WIPP lab's ability to capture xenon gases that escaped fro the WIPP lab during the initial explosion…back into bottles remotely.

    1) How did Xenon gas escape into the lab when the lab area was reported not to have been affected by the Feb. explosion?

    2) Is remote gathering of gasses into bottles like putting the genie back in the bottle with your hands tied behind your back?

  • curenado

    I am a couple hundred miles and other side of the mountains from wipp. None the less, we are looking for a new place.
    But, the report said wipp would not last 30 years before it was built. Makes it look intentional, but why? Why would th hey foul their own nest? Except $$$$ which they sure got a lot of. Prostitutes

    • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

      The WIPP site was half way through its useful life because the creep of salt would render it impossible to work there. The entire idea is based on the plastic character of the salt, almost like rock,which theoretically would seal any leaks.

      But these deep repositories are an unimaginable pressure situation, with the force of an automobile on every square inch. Add in the equation that salt dissolves in water, and there are strata…its not homogenous. The walls will closing in like a nightmare, creating huge caverns of super high pressure gas unless its vented. The walls will spald and tons of salt rock may fall in, creating vertical shear planes. Liquids and gasses will do what they always do under extreme pressure; force their way out. The barrels of waste are expected to reach a red hot temperature…this is when everything is working to plan. Dantes inferno

      Once a pristine mineral resource, now a dead zone, threatening the country and world essentially for all time to come.

      Mankind, who is sort of smart and sort of stupid and generally corrupt and self-centered, experienced an overpopulation explosion and then poisoned the earth. A tragic story for a lonely outpost of life in the vast empty reaches of space.

  • Gabe Gabe

    you are simply a disgusting psychopath like MBP pig and kentckyman.
    NO integrity.
    Sell your soul to the highest bidder.
    Behave like a common street walker. Full of deception and disease.
    do you work for the USgov or the nuke murderers?
    You are ALL pathetic

  • Gabe Gabe

    above comment meant for VOXDIE

  • Nick

    No troll deserves attention. If they choose to inject their vile jibes, it is to deflect from the topic at hand.

    I lament the withdrawal of those who have been trashed by troll trash.

    I await the VoD to hurl specific insults my way.

    I won't descend into hurling dung or worse back at such a self professed mouth-piece of a fictitious deity.

    But trust me, my wrath will be wrapped in the truths I too have come to know!

  • rogerthat


    Documentary on anti-nuclear activism Nov. 21 in Falmouth via the Wicked Local Falmouth
    Cinema Politica Cape Cod will present “Radioactivists,” a documentary on anti-nuclear activism in Japan, at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 21 in the Falmouth Public Library’s Hermann Meeting Room.

    Following the screening, Karen Valle of the Cape Cod Bay Watch will give a presentation on the similarities between Fukushima and the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth.

    Members of the Cape Downwinders, a local group dedicated to raising awareness about dangers posed by Pilgrim to Cape Cod residents, will discuss their work and answer questions from the audience.

    […]Valle, campaign manager for Cape Cod Bay Watch, will give a presentation following the film about current and potential environmental damage from the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant. Diane Turco of Harwich and Janet Azarovitz of Falmouth will discuss the actions the Cape Downwinders have taken in order to raise awareness about the lack of an evacuation plan for Cape Cod residents in the event of a disaster in Plymouth.
    In October, Turco and three other Cape Cod grandmothers were given a 30-day suspended sentence in Plymouth District Court for attempting to plant flowers on Pilgrim property during a Mother’s Day protest.

    Read more…

  • rogerthat


    Monday, November 17, 2014
    Some Typos DO Matter

    A few weeks ago, in a fit of despair, I wrote a blog post decrying grammar Nazis everywhere. Maybe typos don’t matter, I said.

    Maybe some typos, however, do matter.

    Consider this (emphasis mine):

    But LANL has never publicly acknowledged the reason why it switched from clay-based litter to the organic variety believed to be the fuel that fed the intense heat. In internal emails, nuclear waste specialists pondered several theories about the reason for the change in kitty litters before settling on an almost comically simplistic conclusion that has never been publicly discussed: A typographical error in a revision to a LANL policy manual for repackaging waste led to a wholesale shift from clay litter to the wheat-based variety.

    The revision, approved by LANL, took effect Aug. 1, 2012, mere days after the governor’s celebratory visit to Los Alamos, and explicitly directed waste packagers at the lab to “ENSURE an organic absorbent (kitty litter) is added to the waste” when packaging drums of nitrate salt.

    “Does it seem strange that the procedure was revised to specifically require organic kitty litter to process nitrate salt drums?” Freeman, Nuclear Waste Partnership’s chief nuclear engineer at WIPP, asked a colleague in a May 28 email.

    Freeman went on to echo some of the possible reasons for the change bandied about in earlier emails, such as the off-putting dust or …

    • rogerthat

      … perfumed scents characteristic of clay litter. But his colleague, Mark Pearcy, a member of the team that reviews waste to ensure it is acceptable to be stored at WIPP, offered a surprising explanation.

      “General consensus is that the ‘organic’ designation was a typo that wasn’t caught,” he wrote, implying that the directions should have called for inorganic litter.

      Officials at LANL declined to comment about whether a typographical error led to the switch to organic kitty litter…

  • rogerthat


    November 18

    The chief of the Canadian Nuclear Association open to having waste either above or below ground.

    The chief of the Canadian Nuclear Association says he’s “agnostic” about whether nuclear waste should be stored above or below ground.

    John Barrett said in an interview that he’d like to have more discussion about the best place for Canada’s growing stockpile of radioactive waste.

    Barrett’s words, following a speech Monday, come as two projects are already seeking to store waste from nuclear generators deep underground.

    That waste is currently stored in containers on the surface at Canadian nuclear plants.

    Barrett said there’s no consensus either among the public or in the industry itself about the best place to store nuclear waste, some of which remains dangerously radioactive for hundreds of millions of years.

    “The question really becomes: Do you need to put this together in one or two places, and do they need to be above or below ground?” he said.

    “Which is the safest? Well, we’re already saying it’s safe,” he said. “I guess it’s a question of what addresses best the public’s concern.”

    Some people want such waste kept within sight on the surface, while others want it buried, he said. “Frankly, …

    • rogerthat

      … I don’t even know where I stand on it. I’m more interested in the absolute safety of the treatment now, as we speak, and of that I am confident and assured.”

      Public opinion has evolved over the years, he said. “Finding a real consensus is a bit of a moving target.”

      Asked what the industry’s consensus is, he said, “I think that’s what we want to look at a bit more. An integrated waste strategy is to try to focus that more.”

      Barrett said that speaking for himself, the best form of waste storage remains an open question.
      “I’m okay with it the way it is now, because I’m assured of its safety,” he said.

      “If it helps for people’s acceptance to see it safely stored underground, personally I’m open — maybe agnostic is the word — because I think the safety’s been taken care of.”

      Two proposed nuclear waste projects are both firmly committed to underground storage.

      Ontario Power Generation wants to put all of its low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste in caverns carved out of a limestone formation 680 metres below the surface at the Bruce nuclear plant near Kincardine, Ont.

      A federal panel is considering the plan and will likely report next year.

      Some groups and individuals who appeared before the panel questioned whether it’s possible to guarantee that an underground site will remain secure for many thousands of years.

      At the same time, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization is looking for …

  • rogerthat

    … an underground site for storage of high-level waste — spent fuel. It is considering sites in Ontario and Saskatchewan.

    The underground storage question became sharper early this year when an underground facility in New Mexico known as WIPP, which stores waste from the U.S. nuclear weapons program, leaked radiation to the surface. It remains closed.

    Source: thestar.com

  • rogerthat


    Nov 16

    Residents living just outside the exposure zones of nuclear plants in Ontario could be left holding their breath depending on how the wind blows in the event of a disaster, critics say.

    Following a recent update to regulations, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission now require potassium iodine pills, known as KI pills, to be distributed to all homes, businesses and institutions within 10 kilometres of nuclear generating station in Ontario by the end of next year.

    The pills are used to protect the thyroid from radioactivity which could become airborne during a nuclear radiological emergency.

    But that could be disastrous for millions of residents outside the primary zones of Ontario nuclear plants, said Shawn-Patrick Stensil, a nuclear analyst for Greenpeace.

    “There are inadequate emergency plans for people beyond the 10-kilometre line and the province needs to step up and review its plans for how far afield (a plume) could travel,” Stensil said, adding evacuation zones set by the province were established prior to the Chernobyl radioactive disaster.

    “There is a glut of complacency for emergency preparedness.”

    The extended death toll from the affects of Chernobyl in 1986 varies from 4,000 to hundreds of thousands depending on the health, environmental or power industry sources…

    • rogerthat

      … “Distribution (of KI pills) beyond 10 kilometres is doable,” Stensil said. “Not doing it is putting people at risk.”

      There are no national standards in Canada for the distribution of KI pills or setting primary zones.

      At the Point Lepraeu nuclear power plant in New Brunswick the pills are distributed in a 20-kilometre emergency planning zone.

      Having public access to KI pills is an acknowledgement a nuclear accident could happen in Ontario, said Dr. David Jackson, a nuclear engineering professor at McMaster University.

      “The industry doesn’t want to alarm people,” Jackson said. “Ten kilometres could turn out to be OK, but 20 is better.”

      If the province continues to rely on nuclear power, people living in the shadows of the plants should be included in emergency plans within a 50-kilometre radius, said Theresa McClenaghan with the Canadian Environmental Law Association.

      “Disasters don’t happen in circles around a plant and evacuations never happen smoothly or fast enough,” McClenaghan said.

      In a disaster, people outside a 10-kilometre zone will also evacuate and if emergency plans don’t include them there will be chaos, she warned.

      Emergency Management Ontario says reviews have shown the primary zone radius is a sound decision.

      “The 10-kilometre radius was determined by safety experts, based on the best available science and the enhanced safety measures present at all Ontario nuclear facilities,” said EMO spokesman Andrew Morrison. …

  • rogerthat


    Dozens treated after California waste plant fire
    Nov 18

    SANTA PAULA, Calif. (AP) — A mysterious chemical mixture burst into flames at a Ventura County waste facility on Tuesday, sending dozens to hospitals for decontamination and emptying homes and businesses for a mile around the plant before the danger eased, authorities said.

    A vacuum truck exploded into flames about 3:45 a.m. at the Santa Clara Waste Water Co., spreading about 1,200 gallons of a mysterious waste chemical mixture that contained sulfuric acid and a highly combustible organic peroxide, fire officials said.

    "As the liquid began to dry out, the (fire engine) companies on scene noticed that it was very unstable and reactive," Ventura County fire Capt. Mike Lindbery said. "And as they stepped on it, or tried to move their engine, it would spontaneously ignite under the tires of the engine or their boots."

    No burn injuries were reported, but two drivers on a vacuum truck, three firefighters, hospital medical staff and a few nearby residents were washed down or treated for complaints such as breathing problems, red eyes and skin rashes, said Lori Ross, a spokeswoman for the Ventura County Fire Department.

    Fire Engineer Rick Macklin said 37 people were taken to hospitals, including one from the initial blast who had non-life-threatening trauma injuries…

  • tinfoilhatbrian tinfoilhatbrian

    Speaking of disaster areas it was brought to my attention that St. Charles Illinois had a reading on the netc of about 7000. I looked and it was also about 7100 today. Any ideas? It is directly east of the Byron shit spewing nuclear plant and there is a strong west wind. I have family there and I am in Chicago. Maybe they are changing fuel rods? I know a couple years ago there was big news about a release of gas then a week later they showed some idiots testing soil and water like they would find anything! Just wondering. The testing station has a sensor outside at that location so it's likely not a person nearby who just had chemo. Thanks

  • rogerthat


    National Geographic

    In 1980, Congress created the Superfund to support the cleanup of the country's most hazardous waste sites. Explore the hundreds of remaining locations—and how close they are to your home—with this interactive graphic.

    3 Billion Gallons of Fracking Wastewater Was Pumped Into Clean California Aquifers

  • rogerthat


    pproves Fukushima waste disposal bill
    Nuclear & Energy Nov. 19, 2014 – Updated 18:16 UTC+11

    Japan's Diet has enacted a law on transferring radioactive soil and other stored waste out of Fukushima Prefecture for final disposal within 30 years.

    The government plans to have the waste from decontamination work stored at intermediate facilities to be built in Futaba and Okuma towns, near the disabled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant…

    The revised law obliges the government to ensure that the waste is safely stored and moved to a final disposal site outside the prefecture within 30 years. The revision came in response to a demand from the communities that are to host the temporary facilities.

    It also calls on the government to develop final disposal methods by studying new technologies that might lower the concentration of radioactive substances in soil and allow reuse of the waste…

    The government hopes to begin transporting the waste to the facilities in January. But it's not clear whether the plan can be put into action, as negotiations with landowners over acquiring their property to build the facilities is progressing slowly.

  • Bill Duff

    Barack Obama has dropped the USA onto – the marked down rack -. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/11/18/germany-is-the-worlds-favorite-country-survey-says/19221047/ Germany knocked the United States from its longtime perch at the top of the ratings, which measure "twenty-three different attributes that make up the six overall dimensions on which national image is based."

  • ftlt

    Just think if they had this all down in the Yucca Mountain site with all the rest of the wastes now trapped down there with them and ready to blow up..

    Nuclear stupidity and shortsightedness boggles the mind.

    We're screwed

  • I completely understand the concern of the use of wheat based packing around the already sealed drums of radioactive waste. Should a drum happen to break open, it could interact with the organic litter and there is a chance of explosion. BUT, the litter is NOT in the mixture, not in the toxic slurry. It is outside their supposedly robust containers. That was why it was not considered a big deal to use it. It SHOULD be safe. So, once again i yawn at the story about kitty litter because it is a distraction from the real story – someone did something wrong and containers leaked or this stuff, as we know here, WILL inevitably leak. What IS NOT being reported is that once this stuff leaks, it CAN explode with or without kitty litter. This is Hanford slurry in a jar. So, why push a story that apparently shows corruption, bad management, and poor planning regarding nuclear waste at a dump site it was not suppose to be stored in? Because this story shouts LIMITS. There is a limit to how far the bad planning, corruption and management went. But, that is not true. The entire nuclear industry and the this dumpsite as one of many have millions of containers of nuclear waste just waiting to leak, many which may explode. A ruse by any other name…

  • firetorah firetorah

    Oh man, we are so boned.

  • Nick

    Even Fox News is reporting on this:


    I thought Dumb and Dumber To(o) was a new movie. Turns out it is the nuclear cabal.

  • Bill Duff

    LANL added C-4 to Plutonium

    U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Inspector General, Office of Audits and Inspections, MANAGEMENT ALERT, Remediation of Selected Transuranic Waste Drums at Los Alamos National Laboratory – Potential Impact on the Shutdown of the Department's Waste Isolation Plant, http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/10/f18/DOE-IG-0922.pdf

    Notably, Los Alamos National Security, LLC and its subcontractor, Energy Solutions, added potentially incompatible materials to waste stored in drums during the waste remediation process at LANL's Waste Characterization, Reduction and Repackaging Facility (WCRRF). Specifically:

    • Organic absorbent material (organic kitty litter) was added to the waste stored in the drums, materials that may result in a chemical reaction; and

    • Liquid acid neutralizers were also added to the drums, substances that were potentially incompatible with the stored waste.

  • Bill Duff

    the mixture of the waste and remediation materials were inherently hazardous.

    From Inspector General's Report: Changes to the Waste Remediation Process

    LANL undertook revisions to its existing waste procedures without following Department direction or providing appropriate subject matter expert (SME) review. In particular, the process LANL used to modify its procedures failed to identify the hazards associated with the addition of potentially incompatible materials to the waste remediation process. Had LANL followed Department direction and provided appropriate SME reviews, it likely would have determined that the changes to its procedures would result in the introduction of potentially incompatible materials to the waste stream. Notably, because of this failure, LANL did not discover that the mixture of the waste and remediation materials it planned to add to TRU waste drums were known to be inherently hazardous.

  • Bill Duff

    common references warn against mixing oxidizers with organic materials,

    From IG Report: "Disposing of oxidizers by mixing them with organic solvents is generally recognized as inherently hazardous; and that common references warn against mixing oxidizers with organic or combustible materials." LANL also did not detect that the word "organic" had reportedly been inadvertently added to the WCRRF Waste Characterization Operations Procedure, an oversight that lead to the addition of potentially incompatible "organic" kitty litter to waste drums. LANL officials also approved the use of a neutralizer that was potentially incompatible without reviewing the chemical compatibility.

  • offensive WIPP "comedy" at HuffPo, with a nuke meme bonus: http://femalefaust.blogspot.com/2014/11/wipp-huffpo-comedy-oped-so-stupid-its.html, refers to this article.

    says cat urine effects are worse than radiation.

    i decided to illustrate.

    had to, i was so mad.


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