“Truly an operational nightmare” at WIPP — Radiation level doubles at location far from leak; Carlsbad monitor jumps around 40% — Residents plead for more info, concerns over safety (MAP)

Published: March 9th, 2014 at 2:28 pm ET


KRQE, Mar. 6, 2014: Many left Thursday night’s meeting with the Department of Energy uneasy. They pleaded for more information about the underground radiation leak last month that seeped outside, but many remain frustrated and concerned for their safety. The DOE tried to reassure people they are safe even though the underground storage areas remained sealed off.

U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce, Mar. 8, 2014: I Will Ask Tough Questions About Radiation Leak — “I will hold their feet to the fire. In my meetings with Secretary Moniz, and in my conversations with top officials at the Department of Energy, I have strongly voiced New Mexicans’ concerns about the lack of information about WIPP.”

Carlsbad Current-Argus, Mar. 9, 2014 — Robert B. Hayes, MIT Physics Dept. Lab for Nuclear Science: Fear has historically been one of the greatest dangers when it comes to any upset condition at a nuclear facility. The only deaths recorded from the very large radioactivity release from Fukushima were due to unnecessary evacuations […] Full disclosure, I was at the WIPP site for two weeks after the event […] The event is truly an operational nightmare […] goal is recovery into a condition where they can […] eventually try to serve this great nation once again […]

Carlsbad Current-Argus, Mar. 9, 2014: Tests showed traces of the element americium. Once in the body, americium tends to concentrate in the bone, liver and muscles. It can stay in the body for decades and continue to expose surrounding tissues to radiation, increasing a person’s chance of developing cancer.

WIPP Environmental Sampling Results (pdf), Mar. 8, 2014 — Amount of alpha and beta activity that has been detected:

  • Location 1: 2/26 @ 1.9 dpm
  • Location 2: 2/26 @ 2.5 dpm
  • Location 3: 2/26 @ 2.2 dpm
  • Location 4: 2/26 @ 2.6 dpm
  • Location 5: 2/26 @ 1.1 dpm
  • Location 6: 2/26 @ 2.2 dpm (2/18/2014 1.6 dpm)
  • Location 7: 2/26 @ 2.7 dpm (2/18/2014 1.3 dpm)

Watch KRQE’s broadcast here

Published: March 9th, 2014 at 2:28 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. TV: Officials now confirm contamination from WIPP reached Carlsbad, New Mexico’s 10th most populated city — Container of radioactive waste may have “blew up” (VIDEO) March 10, 2014
  2. US Gov’t: Never faced challenge like this, but “not giving up hope” at WIPP; Salt from contaminated mine to be sold as feed to dairy farms — TV: “Residents flat out concerned for their safety”; “I want to believe them… but I don’t” — Reuters: ‘Falling slabs’ may have breached waste drums (VIDEO) March 7, 2014
  3. Reuters: Investigation suggests another drum with plutonium ruptured at US nuclear site — TV: “There are new concerns at WIPP that there could be another radiation leak” (VIDEO) September 19, 2014
  4. Paper: WIPP workers “not permitted to speak” — “Their jobs won’t ever be the same… will face new paradigm” — Concerns plutonium contaminated surrounding salt — Preparing for radiation levels so high, only robots can be used (VIDEO) April 22, 2014
  5. ‘Container fire’ at WIPP may have resulted from ‘spontaneous combustion’ — Expert: “Could’ve crapped up a whole lot of real estate down there” — U.S. radioactive waste disposal system crippled? — Potential radiological consequences for public, City of Carlsbad “affected greater than any other section” March 8, 2014

311 comments to “Truly an operational nightmare” at WIPP — Radiation level doubles at location far from leak; Carlsbad monitor jumps around 40% — Residents plead for more info, concerns over safety (MAP)

  • I'm taking bets when they will change their strategy over to the one from the Simpsons movie. Prepare to see Carlsbad disappear from media, maps and navigation systems. Unfortunately we won't see the protective dome to keep radiation from spreading further. On the other hand: there is enough trouble with the underground domes already… 🙁

  • Apart from that (just like everybody else here) that the nigthmare is restricted to operational matters. I had wrongfully assumed it would by a nightmare because of the radioactive releases (puffs or whatever the correct terminus technicus is; I forgot to take my Nukespeak dictionnary with me – sorry about that)

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    Great table of rad releases from WIPP facility since the incident:
    Many thanks Bobby1. Great info! You rock!

  • 4Warnd 4Warnd

    Really shocking stuff (data tables) in that link. The anecdotes reported about smoking drums transported to WIPP on trucks are ghastly.

    And, then, this:

    "There are 100 oil wells within a mile of WIPP. Pumping oil out of the ground could cause subsidence, which could lead to a roof collapse, and the subsequent breaking of drums. Plutonium is dangerous for 240,000 years. But making a quick buck is more important."

    Our history, as a species, may be written as a study of the intersection of stupidity and unintended (unforeseen) consequences.

    thanks for that post BBY1

  • Of course, and no one died, no one will die from FUKU either, or Chernobyl, or Santa Susana, or TMI, or 1000 other nuclear accidents, or the 2,400 open air nuclear bomb tests.

    Gee, aren't we having just SOOOOO much fun?

    And nuclear is clean, green, safe, and too cheap to meter..

    Keep repeating until you believe. Then you can join the cult.


  • it all went bye bye, to where all radiation goes after an accident..

    Never never never land..

    Never will hurt anyone

    Never will kill anyone

    Never will see it, hear it, smell it, or taste it.

    Never ever say a negative word about ANYTHING radioactive.

    Never, never, never.

    From sacred book of nuclear lies, chapter alpha 4:45-56


  • Catch 22 – Nuclear High Technology Plus Safety Assurance Offers Only A False Promise And An Empty Guarantee; via @AGreenRoad

  • frannbro frannbro

    The purpose of storing waste in the salt is it slowly flows and is supposed to incase and contain the waste. The tunnels down there have to be "Shaved" to keep them open until they are ready to let the salt seal them in. If something that has been left to let the salt incase them is getting out it would be a nightmare to try and dig through the salt to retrieve.

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