Nuclear Expert: Hydrogen explosion suspected as cause of WIPP plutonium release — Meeting: Are more lids going to blow? Seeing how top of drum blew off has me concerned it isn’t ‘low level’ — Former DOE Expert: US will inevitably shift to storing radioactive waste on surface after this (VIDEO)

Published: June 17th, 2014 at 4:02 pm ET
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Gerard Martinez, Waste Management Committee, Northern New Mexico Citizens’ Advisory Board, May 21, 2014 (at 31:30 in): Are we waiting for more lids to blow? I know that we were told before it’s ‘low level’… But seeing the blow on that lid has me concerned that this isn’t really a type of ‘low level’ […] we really, really need to know. And then we’re going to have to go back into that inventory, of course and find out what else is in there, what’s caused this, what other materials are in those drums that’s caused this? If it’s unknown, we have another set of problems on our hands. Then we start to lose the public trust as to why we’ve done this to begin with. […] It seems like it’s getting bigger. >> Watch the Advisory Board meeting here

Robert Alvarez, coordinated Dept. of Energy’s nuclear material strategic planning in 1990s
, June 16, 2014: “When you think about Los Alamos as being the pre-eminent institution in terms of knowledge of explosives, that something like this would slip through their fingers really indicates several levels of breakdown, from the federal government to the contractors managing the labs […] I think that we’re really looking at an inexorable reality of having to shift toward safe surface storage containment. Probably (the waste at sites around the country) is going to have to stay where it is in containers that can hold up for a long period of time while we sort this out. I’m afraid that’s the reality.”

Chris Harris, former licensed Senior Reactor Operator and engineer, June 12, 2014 (at 20:00 in): This report says there was a potential for a plutonium flash – which is a criticality event. I haven’t done the analysis on that myself […] I was just talking it over today with one of my colleagues, who’s very esteemed in waste handling and waste processing — we’ll call him Barney for now. He said, “Is that what they did? They put organic material [in the drums with plutonium salts] — that’s a hydrogen explosion.”

Full interview with harris here

Published: June 17th, 2014 at 4:02 pm ET
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