“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
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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
By

311 comments

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