Carlsbad Current Argus, Mar. 19, 2014: [Last week's radiation release] incident is believed to have been caused from a buildup of radioactive particles that eventually escaped the duct much like smoke from a chimney, and officials anticipate more residual releases until the original source of last month’s radiation leak can be fixed. “Small amounts (of radioactive particles) are escaping everyday and we’re going to see those spikes every once in a while,” said Donavan Mager, spokesman for the Nuclear Waste Partnership. “It’s so small that it’s going to disperse quickly. Everything is working the way we expect it to and as it was designed, otherwise you wouldn’t see any (particles escaping) if the leak was contained.” [...] WIPP officials said Wednesday they plan to test the mine’s HEPA filters to ensure they’re working as expected. [...] DOE and NWP officials will provide another public update at the weekly Carlsbad town hall meeting on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in the city council chambers on 101 N. Halagueno Street. DOE Carlsbad Field Office Manager Jose Franco and newly-appointed NWP president Bob McQuinn were not made available for comment on the situation.
Nuclear Hotseat with Libbe HaLevy, Mar. 18, 2014 — Don Hancock, The Southwest Research and Information Center (at 38:45 in): There are normally 3 ducts that the air comes out on the surface, and all of those are supposed to be closed when the ventilation system goes into filtration mode (i.e. Rather than venting the underground air into the environment, the underground air first goes through this filtration process with the HEPA filters). DOE always maintained from the beginning that everything was working fine. It wasn’t until about 3 weeks later that they said, ‘Well we sent a worker in to put foam in the dampers of those 3 ducts that vent to the outside because they were almost totally closed, but not totally closed, and so there was leakage coming out of them.’ So again there was some radioactivity coming out beyond what might have passed through the filters themselves. DOE now says that those have been sealed off, and so the ventilation and air all has to go through the filters.
Published: March 20th, 2014 at 1:31 pm ET
- TV: Over 30 times more radiation got by WIPP filters than gov’t claims? Radiation also released from ‘unfiltered’ vents — Foam used to plug openings is degrading — Filters too radioactive for lab techs to check — No ‘immediate’ danger to public — Rumors of dump getting shut down (VIDEO) March 12, 2014
- Wall St. Journal: Report reveals WIPP containment system leaked radiation — ‘Unfiltered’ plutonium released into environment for 20 days after accident — Something like this “wasn’t supposed to happen for 10,000 years” (VIDEO) April 24, 2014
- Expert: No one in world has ever dealt with something like WIPP disaster — Continuous release of radioactive material ’24/7′ to environment — Nobody knows when leaking will end — It’s a ‘major failure’ for so many people to be exposed — Gov’t yet to say if dump will open again (AUDIO) April 6, 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
- “Radiation leaks could still be occurring” at WIPP — Locals worried since “no one knows anything” — Workers to use “military-like tactics… ready to risk everything” — “Event has changed WIPP” — “Life as we knew it is going to be different” March 23, 2014