ABC, Feb 28, 2014: New concerns now about a story we brought you yesterday [...] Investigators now admit that the problem is serious […] a container of radioactive waste leaked underground at the WIPP [...] they admit it’s too soon to tell how dangerous it could be for those exposed. […]
NPR, Feb. 28, 2014 (emphasis added): CAPTION: A piece of salt is believed to have fallen from a cavern ceiling and crushed drums of waste [...] the most likely scenario is that a huge chunk of salt fell from the ceiling and ruptured a drum or multiple drums of waste.
AP, Feb. 28, 2014: Government officials, politicians, the contractors [...] emphasize that all the safety systems designed to react to worst-case scenarios like a ceiling collapse worked.
NPR’s Geoff Brumfiel, Feb. 28, 2014: [...] Nobody knows exactly what happened. That’s one of the strange things about this [...] the speculation I’ve been hearing is that a chunk of salt, probably, fell off the ceiling and struck a drum or drums and ruptured it. [...] Oh, I think it’s very unlikely there is risk to the public. [...] they are following these workers quite closely to see how this radioactivity clears their system [...] clearly something’s gone wrong. Unfortunately, nobody can go underground to find out what’s happened.
New York Times, Feb. 28, 2014: The workers inhaled plutonium and americium, which if lodged in the body bombards internal organs with subatomic particles for the rest of the person’s lifetime.
Wall St. Journal, Feb. 28, 2014: Plutonium and americium particles can lodge into bones or muscle tissue, affecting cellular structures and DNA, experts say. “When it gets into your body it can do a lot of damage,” said Edwin Lyman, a senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, D.C. “Even very small amounts are a potential concern.” [...] “Absolutely people are concerned,” said Tony Hernandez, a commissioner in Eddy County [...]
Al Jazeera America, Feb. 28, 2014: Arnie Gundersen [...] said the DOE’s tight lips might be a sign that the leak is bigger than originally thought. “There are signs they’re playing keep-away with data,” he said. “We need to know what they measured for. They’re only giving us half the numbers” Gundersen said officials are likely conducting a slew of tests that they are not disclosing to the public. He said the fact that radiation is being detected 3,000 feet away from the site suggests the leak is large.
CEMRC Ambient Air Sampling Results (pdf), Feb. 27, 2014: 11.8 Miles SE of WIPP Exhaust Shaft — Am241 *Sample Being Reanalyzed
Published: February 28th, 2014 at 6:14 pm ET
- WIPP officials admit new release of Plutonium and Americium — More expected in future — Nearly double levels seen after February leak — 61 DPM on March 11 vs. 36 DPM in February March 19, 2014
- Gundersen: WIPP whistleblowers say mine collapsed directly on highly radioactive waste — ‘Many’ canisters may have failed — Unfiltered plutonium and americium escaped for equivalent of 30 minutes — Residential areas exposed (VIDEO) March 6, 2014
- WIPP Expert: Nuclear waste is getting out above ground — Plutonium / Americium found in “every single worker” on site when leak began — New Mexico officials ‘totally unsatisfied’ with lack of info from Feds — “We don’t know how far away it’s gone” — Continuing threat for long time to come (AUDIO) March 5, 2014
- WIPP Expert: “Very likely” multiple nuclear waste drums exploded, risk of more occurring; It was clearly something major… signs of fire at container holding over 500 billion Bq of Plutonium and Americium — Nuclear Engineer: “This is a huge dirty bomb” (VIDEO) June 24, 2014
- Radiation levels spike 7,000% at US nuclear site — Coming from Plutonium, Uranium, Americium, or other alpha emitters — AP: Workers shelter in buildings — Official: Contaminated sample is so safe “it could have been… put in someone’s lunch bucket” (VIDEO) November 11, 2014