Plutonium release at U.S. nuclear facility: “We don’t know what happened… don’t know whether it could happen again” — “Big problem is…how much is continuing to be released?” — Officials “know very little about extent of problem or how to solve it”

Published: February 20th, 2014 at 3:07 pm ET


KUNM (NPR affiliate), Feb. 20, 2014: Highest Ever Radiation Levels Detected In Air Above Nuclear Waste Facility […] Russell Hardy, director of the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center, said Wednesday a monitor near the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico has detected trace amounts of the radioactive isotopes americium and plutonium. He says the levels are the highest ever detected at or around the site […]

Albuquerque Journal, Feb. 20, 2014: […] “It’s still below what EPA considers actionable levels, but it’s important to know that some material did get out of the facility,” Hardy said. […] Plutonium and americium are cancer-causing when inhaled or consumed, Hardy said. […] WIPP said Wednesday that it is developing a plan to safely re-enter the underground facility. Radiological professionals from other Energy Department locations and national laboratories are also assisting in the recovery, WIPP said. […] Hardy said CEMRC is in the process of testing 10 additional filters from an exhaust shaft at WIPP.

RT, Feb. 20, 2014: Spokeswoman Deb Gill said […] officials know very little about the extent of the problem or how to solve it.

John Heaton, chairman of the Carlsbad Nuclear Task Force: “Even though it’s very discouraging that there was a release, it’s strictly speculation about what caused that. You have to realize that all the containers are closed and sealed (underground in WIPP). Until they are able to go back down and examine the waste, we could find out it’s something even different than we think.”

Don Hancock, director of the Nuclear Waste Safety Program at the Southwest Research and Information Center in Albuquerque: “There is a lot more that needs to be known […] The big problem is, does anybody really know what happened in the underground and how much was released or is continuing to be released? And therefore how much is being captured by the filters and how much is getting into the environment?”

Russell Hardy, director of the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center: “We don’t know what happened inside that might have caused a release. We don’t know why it happened and we don’t know whether it could happen again.”

See also: [intlink id=”ap-plutonium-detected-in-air-away-from-troubled-u-s-nuclear-facility-levels-are-highest-ever-detected-around-site-appears-radiation-event-occurred-leading-to-a-release” type=”post”]Airborne plutonium detected outside troubled U.S. nuclear facility — Expert: ‘Radiation event’ appears to have occurred; “Levels are highest ever detected” around site[/intlink]

Published: February 20th, 2014 at 3:07 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. LA Times: Expert says ‘radiological process’ may have forced material out of container at US nuclear site, “Could be a mess”; Officials saying little about extent of problem — Levels remain too high to let in non-essential personnel — Air monitors not allowed to collect filters February 18, 2014
  2. U.S. nuclear plant shuts down after malfunction — Residents reported loud noise Saturday — “Workers were trying to solve problem” — “State will be issuing press release” July 1, 2013
  3. Video: Company that runs WIPP reveals plume of radiation spread to population center — Compares it to “licking your iPhone charger” — Mother: “They don’t want the people to perhaps know the extent of what went wrong” March 16, 2014
  4. TV: Radiation leak reported at US nuclear plant — “Alarming levels of radioactivity” — 65,000% above normal — Governor: “I am deeply concerned… Significant failure” — Officials worried about health of public — Extent and duration of release ‘unclear’ — Radiation experts being sent in (VIDEOS) February 7, 2016
  5. Alarm after ‘unusually high’ radiation levels at U.S. nuclear site — Gov’t: “We’ve never seen a level like we are seeing… I can’t tell you the amount” — Could be Plutonium — ‘Unclear’ how much radiation released — Unprecedented event (VIDEO) February 16, 2014

139 comments to Plutonium release at U.S. nuclear facility: “We don’t know what happened… don’t know whether it could happen again” — “Big problem is…how much is continuing to be released?” — Officials “know very little about extent of problem or how to solve it”

  • JP JP

    The gift that keeps on giving and giving and giving….

  • FallOut FallOut

    Maybe the fact Texas is getting crushed by this will draw needed attention.

    • bonsairebellion bonsairebellion

      Or to draw away the unwanted attention…

      As in how many more of these “accidents” will be needed to obfuscate the radiation we receive from Fukushima?

      I wonder if we can plot where the other new “releases” will be.

      • magikald magikald

        I thought when I heard this PU detection – is it REALLY from the waste facility or from Fuku?? After some of the data coming from TEPCO, especially the rediculously high stronium-90 release this week it wouldn't surprise me.

      • FallOut FallOut

        Yes the plutonium #'s in Texas will prove this out moving forward. Someone is already testing near the plant. They are updating on twitter this story will not be hidden.

        Fuku is 5,000 miles away, some people ignore this. Families in Texas will not ignore Plutonium plumes billowing across the border.

        How they gonna clean that up ? When ? So that answers the duration of Texas exposure.

    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      Texas is no less expendable than anywhere else. As these areas become uninhabitable, .gov will just shrink to a smaller perimeter. A very heavily defended perimeter.

      You didn't think they cared, did you?

  • Nick

    Puff ball explosion. Yup.

    Official: Although we have had an atmospheric release into the environment, at this time most of our employees still seem to have control of their sphincters.

    That is a a good sign. After further ANALysis, we will be able to determine the extent of this "event" at the WIPP.

    At this time we have suspended all shipments to the mine. Customers can ship waste directly to Fukushima.

  • Cisco Cisco

    But, no matter what happened…"There is no immediate danger to the public."

    We don't know sh#t, but we do know that…go figure. WTF!

  • newsblackoutUSA newsblackoutUSA

    Not much got out of the facility…
    However, if there is a problem we would be too:
    baffled and/or
    to do anything about it… Have a nice day!

  • Nick

    Ann Coulter: (sarc.)

    Plutonium? Don't worry, why did you know that radiation is actually a vital part of our vibrant and glowing society? We have been dealing with radiation for a very long time. The event at the WIPP actually makes me feel warm and cozy, knowing how hard the guys will work the next time to avoid such an accident in the future. yes, you can rest assured that nuclear energy will become even more safe and relevant soon.

  • earthsmith earthsmith

    We have graduated to " actionable levels "

    • rogerthat

      ''actionable levels'' and ''those deemed unsafe''.

      Hardy says the levels are the highest ever detected at or around the site but he adds that the levels are far below those deemed unsafe by the Environmental Protection Agency (37 becquerels compared to the 0.64 measured near the WIPP facility).

      "If you think in dollars and cents, you're allowed $37," Hardy explained, "and we've seen $0.64 of activity."

      Would anyone care to elaborate? Is 37 the EPA's magic number of becquerels, and if so, of what (plutonium?) and per what (square metre, cubic metre, kilogram, or per air filter, which is where the .64 was measured?)
      Also, i thought there was no safe level. But 36 is safe? Ha ha and here i always believed the magic number was 42.

  • magikald magikald

    I'm sick of "officials" not knowing anything. And the nonchalant attitude of "nothing to see here, its only plutonium" makes me want to puke.

    Incite the mass panic already and tell the truth!

    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      We will never know the truth. If you thought the Japanese Secrecy Law was bad, this is horrific:

      'The FCC Wades Into the Newsroom'

      The author is a Commissioner with the FCC. I hope he doesn't drive a new Mercedes, own a hot tub or a nail gun:

      If you thought the Third Reich in Germany was bad, wait until you see iReich 4.0, the US version.

      • magikald magikald

        Yes, I saw that they are going to start monitoring the news.

        I saw "The End of America" a few years ago. And everything that was said in that movie is happening. We are finally in that Nazi state that was talked about.

        • Time Is Short Time Is Short

          We can't post pictures, but this page has the best graphic I've ever seen regarding our impending future:

          Four years ago, even after Bush and Cheney, I never would have imagined how worse it would get.

          • orsobubu orsobubu

            Time is short, I usually like your post, not your choice of that image, this time. I cannot see at all how communism can be involved in US political course. Political economy, all over the world, is heading exactly in the opposite direction than communism. Imperialism is the name of the game: 1-monopolism, 2-finance more important than material economy 3-capital exporting 4-fight for market quotas 5-fight for geostrategical sphere influence. All of these categories, first scientifically described by Lenin, are consequences of the extreme phase of capitalism, which is fundamentally based on market, wage work exploitation, money, capital, banks. Communism, instead, as scientifically described by Marx, will be based on absence of market, wage work, exploitation, money, capital, banks, market. In this sense, communism never existed to date in all history of the world, and what you confuse for communism is in reality state capitalism, the same as old Soviet Union's one: a fascist regime, the opposite of communism: in fact, Stalin killed every communist, one by one. In this sense, US and major imperialist blocks have today a state capitalist economy, but this fact doesn't relate at all with communism, but with the failure of free market economy instead.

            • Time Is Short Time Is Short

              My interpretation of the sickle, as what the Soviet Union became, was not communism but rather totalitarianism. Certainly, Stalin killed everyone who represented any threat to his rule, which were primarily the original communists/Bolsheviks, such as Trotsky, Kirov, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bukharin and Rykov, and all their supporters.

              What is interesting is that Stalin was purging the Jews that brought the Bolsheviks to power in the first place. After they purged the new 'communist' Russia of Orthodox Jews, they themselves – who were non-Orthodox – were in turn purged. But that is a history Jews don't want studied.

              And all revolutions have to be financed. Where did the money come from to finance the Russian revolution in the first place?

              We are entering a new age of united global oppression, where the old symbols of political movements are coming to represent a new reality, which in fact very closely resembles the old reality, the 'reality' hidden from everyone.

              To understand what is going on, and who is behind it – regardless of any 'political' label – read 'Tragedy and Hope', by Prof. Carroll Quigley. This is the bible for understanding how things work, economically and politically. A sanitized .pdf version is available on the Net, but anyone here can fill in the blanks. The complete unsanitized version is available, but make sure it's the new reprint of the original edition, at 1,348 pages. Many editions availabe for sale are the sanitized version.

              • orsobubu orsobubu

                Thanx for your suggestion, Time Is Short. I didn't know the author, even if I know the conspiracy theories. One thing I can tell you, is that conspiracies DO really exist, but, luckily, they cannot avoid the social evolution of mankind. The explanation is simple and powerful. If conspiracies could have maintained the ruling classes in power forever, as they hoped in every stage of human history, we would never have had revolutions from ancient slave empires to middle-age kingdoms to bourgeoise's capitalism, with a steady march (still in progress) toward democracy. The "elites" regularly tries to conspire, and they have all the material possibilities to do that, but this counter-revolutionary method has always failed. This fact gives us hope for the future but, surely, the nuclear monster they have unleashed may represent a superior, physical menace that also a social revolution could not be able to defeat.

  • bf9 bf9

    When I picture these idiots trying to deal with all these "mishaps"…is it wrong of me to think of the Benny Hill theme song and a bunch of guys running in circles with respirators on while the place is aflame?

    Because it really does seem that ridiculous at this point.

  • jackassrig

    "Don't worry. Smile" Custer when he saw all those Indians

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    .. 🙂

  • bf9 bf9

    Also, as I live in the PHX area…the wind can certainly change to head my way. What were the name of the appropriate masks you can buy at the hardware store that filter out all particulates again? ??-100 masks? I've drawn a blank. Long day at work.

    • SykeWar(DELETED) SykeWar

      Ideally, you should get a mask with replaceable NBC filters. The Israelis are the only ones, I believe, make masks for children. It's gonna get worse before it gets worser.

    • American Phoenix57

      P100. . . Zogerke did a great breakdown on the different masks here.

      • bf9 bf9

        Exactly what I was looking for, thanks AP and Syke!

        • Wright South West Wright South West

          I think the N100's might be what you are after. There are 99.97% efficient. This is what I have.

          • zogerke zogerke

            wright south west you can also buy them in sets of 3 or 5s and they can be cheaper still than that each. make SURE you store them in a clean zip lock and if the outside gets contaminated DISPOSE and put on a new one and get a new storage bag. Plus NO BEARDS. Hear me fella's? NO BEARDS with these. DUN"T WORK wid de face hair. Spaces between hairs are Grand Canyon to a particle of poison.

            You got money? Explore the PAPR- powered air purifying respirator with full facepiece…you can keep you beard with a PAPR. All of these have to be fitted to you so they fit well- PAPRs at full order of magnitude more effective than negative pressure APR. Start at about $400- $600

            • zogerke zogerke

              what you are exposed to, and concentration, determines the respiratory protection you might need in any situation, of course…..which is why i have an escape set of filters on my half face APR…just in case..

      • zogerke zogerke

        Thanks AP57, didnt see till now… Still working.

      • AirSepTech AirSepTech

        This is good info, trust it.

        You can get some of this at an auto paint supply, welding supply, medical gas (Norco, Praxair, etc)

    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      You can't spend your life in a mask. Get used to it, enjoy what time we have left, love those you can and pray for those you can't.

      The final chapter has begun.

      • bf9 bf9

        True, however, if there is a sudden direct gust this way…I think I'd rather have the mask. I'm only 200 some odd miles away from this thing. Good to have reguardless as far as I'm concerned.

      • SykeWar(DELETED) SykeWar

        Realistically, you can have a day where the counts are astronomical, in the thousands.

      • AirSepTech AirSepTech

        There is no escape, that IS the fu@king problem.

        Live in a bubble, that's it. Like a fu@king space craft, self contained EVERTHING.

        The s#!t goes everywhere. Invisible Death Darts, dodge them.

      • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

        masks, a great idea…but Im having difficulty putting them on the deer, eagles, coyotes, what to say the seals and the tiny ones for the plankton.

        no, if masks are required for all of us animals, its safe to say the planet is ruined. Anyway you have to take them off sometime to eat the last of the horse and dog meat

        • newsblackoutUSA newsblackoutUSA

          exactly, the most innocent are the hardest to save.

        • bf9 bf9

          Listen guys, I smoked cigarettes for a time before 3/11/11 up until very recently…I'm all too aware I'm already likely toast just from that alone. The polonium, plutonium…I know. But when I have a cloud of 2,000cpm (which will happen with the very next dust storm no doubt) blow over my house, I'd prefer to have my mask. Alright? You're preaching to the choir. This is likely going to kill every complex organism on the Earth and the only one I feel vindication for is humanity. I hate our species and believe that we as a generalization deserve every ounce of it, those who do not take action for change are complicit. I truly believe that.

          But lighten the fuck up. We don't have long, might as well enjoy it right? Hell I'm not even going back to college just to enjoy my days. Cheers to you all.

          • AirSepTech AirSepTech

            +1 here man
            You ever come to the SPUD state let me know.
            Many friends in AZ.

          • bo bo

            bf9 – I don't think some people realize that you are only 21.
            So sorry this is about to come your way 🙁

            • bf9 bf9

              Don't worry about it bo! I feel honored to live in this time at the age I am, and am very glad to watch it all literally blow up in the face of this species/society I despise so much. Not too often ya get to see a planet go extinct, no? I get some kind of sick pleasure from it, actually. We've had it coming for centuries upon centuries. It's the other creatures of the Earth that my anger arises from.

              We are so far from what our potential could be but we're ultimately too damn stupid and lazy, lacking forethought. We deserve to go, I'm no exception! I have been mostly complicit and ignorant. And will do AST!

              • bo bo

                bf9 I share some of the same sentiment, I have said before many times but I've got too much curiosity and that's the one thing that keeps me going at this point, since I have very little hope left. I have not cared about life planning etc. Living day to day, and in a strange way this has been freeing for the soul, and I actually feel bad for friends trying to get promotions or getting a house or starting a family etc. They think I am stressed out by fukushima… but compared to them I actually live a kind of stress free life.

                But don't go quickly yet – please get a mask for if /when the plume comes rolling in. You need to live, to become witness to this!

                • newsblackoutUSA newsblackoutUSA


                • bf9 bf9

                  Oh be assured, I shall. I will be here until it's cancer or whatever the hell gets me. Even before Fuku I've been in the last stage of death so none of that emotional aspect phases me. All I need is a mask and my weapons. And maybe some rope and a traffic light if I happen to come across some complicit politicians if I'm in a good mood. If I'm in a bad mood…probably better to just throw them in prison and let them live and suffer with any guilt they may come around to for killing everyone and thing until it gets them too. 😉

                  I'm just here for the fireworks, the BBQ and the beer!

              • AirSepTech AirSepTech

                The wind is toward Tx right now.

                Follow the info above, you'll be ok.

                You can get that stuff in an hour tomorrow for less than $50

                I have 2 sons your age, never give up, you may be the one that's needed the most.

          • newsblackoutUSA newsblackoutUSA

            bf9…sorry you are having to deal with this…

            This site has a big variety of radiation protection items..

  • Cisco Cisco

    State of the art, state of the wallet, expensive technology paid for by us; and, you don't have any cameras or detection monitors in the affected area of the cavern? Ar you shi#tting me?

    There are always monitors to explain how safe releases are, but no monitors to ever record the true/accurate releases from any event's inception.

    I think I read the contractor here is in bankruptcy or recently emerged.

    Pathetic, another first class clusterfu#k!

    • jec jec

      EPA is responsible for this site. Yes, a contractor made a disaster..but EPA was the person/responsible agency in charge. Wonder if, like one other major program with flaws, anyone ever will get fired. HELLOO whose great plan was sealing plutonium fuel cells/rods into casks? And then stick them in a saltdome!! Anyone looking at the geology in the area for possible leakage to above ground? Anyone remember the Bayou Corne Saltdome more whoops…

      On cameras..they probably have my guess is they are busted..anyone interested should go get the contract and read what the contractor said they planned to do to supervise the site..CAMERAS probably figured in as part of cost savings for man power..big time. FOIA! FOIA!

    • AirSepTech AirSepTech

      They have the best money can buy—-you know it's true. I know it!

      They are full of S#!T. They know. Liars.

      • GQR2

        Seriously where are the robots,what are the cameras saying. Are we to believe there is just no way to know?
        i'm sorry that is totally unacceptable and sounds a lot like Tepco. Its very scary ,The radiation is bad enough but this incompetence makes me…

        So its been wrong wrong wrong to imagine this "one of kind National facility" is equipped to deal with a serious release. Who is working down there the Flintstones?

        Based on the way i read the articles,and i am just a bit concrete thinker sometimes,it's not unreasonable to have deep concern about it an even larger "event" Its just that Their blathering is not re assuring in the slightest.

        If they really don't know, the world of ___ we are in just got deeper, such deep shit. ((((newsers))))

        The ONLY thing working in their favor is the public's ignorance.

        Nothing regarding Nuclear is working for the public.

        i'm getting a GC very soon. A friend has base lines going back a few yrs.

        • rogerthat

          Well, there must be cameras and gas and radiation monitors and temperature gauges and the normal array of sensors, even Tepco has (had) them? Maybe they've stopped looking at them, or maybe they are looking like crazy but not telling?

          • AirSepTech AirSepTech

            Roger that, rogerthat

            They have got millllllions in analytical/recording. Someone posted a report from a congressional/scientific review of the bat cave, a 'few' pages.

            They are trying to figure out appropriate markers at ground level to last 10,000 years. Spending milllllllions on that.

            This is just real, or real sad, or real bad.

  • tpak tpak


    $6.5 BILLION for new NPP here in the US just announced by energy secretary…May our children forgive us

    Anyone here in DC want to go mount a protest outside the White House DOE or NRC in Rockville??

    We gotta do something. I can't just sit here and read this sh–. This is HORRIFIC!!!!

    • magikald magikald

      The small numbers of us who really give a crap wouldn't make a difference to go protest.

      The masses don't want to hear it/see it/deal with it. I see it on their faces when I try to spread the word. If they ignore it, its not happening.

    • Cisco Cisco

      We are truly living in a nightmare. It is incredulous the disastrous policy decisions that are ruling the day. It's as if these psychopaths are willfully destroying the biosphere. They are accelerating the decline and advancing the timeline of their premature sickness and death, too.

      Science and its applications cease to exist in their world. Reality is what they say it is, and the MSM will feed you their bullshit, on command.

    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      How long will it take to plan and permit? How long will it take to break ground? Years? A decade or more?

      A lot of things planned now will never be finished. In the meantime, it keeps the industry managers in bonuses (and, of course, the politicians they donate to).

      Don't worry, it's only your money. And they thank you:

      'One-Percent Jokes and Plutocrats in Drag: What I Saw When I Crashed a Wall Street Secret Society'

  • AirSepTech AirSepTech

    Either these morons are totally incompetent, or this is a false flag for us, the totally fucked over, sheep people tax payer, victims of some crap that can't possibly be quantified.

    I say cover it up and dig another one….screw it.
    We can borrow some more debt and get some jobs goin' too.
    Might even be safer for us unfortunate lumps.

    What a bunch of losers and liars.

  • lam335 lam335

    A commenter on the POTR blog site had posted this link to an old article from last spring a couple of days ago:

    Among other interesting/concerning things, it says:

    "WIPP was built to accept transuranic waste—things like clothing and tools contaminated during bomb-building—not what’s called high-level waste…

    But the US Department of Energy has been working hard to chip away at the rules for WIPP. And now, it’s doing so with New Mexico’s help.

    In March, at DOE’s request, the New Mexico Environment Department approved a change to WIPP’s permit. Now, when nuclear sites ready their waste for WIPP, they no longer have to test and analyze its chemical composition. DOE says the measure will cut costs and reduce radiation exposure for people packing and shipping the waste to New Mexico. But it also means workers at WIPP will know less about the waste they’re moving and storing, and less about how containers may react to one another when they’re stored in those salt caverns for the next few millennia.

    That’s not the only change that has me wondering about DOE’s commitment to protecting New Mexico workers.

    In November 2012, NMED announced that WIPP would start accepting “hot”—more radioactive—remote-handled waste packed in a new type of container…."

    • lam335 lam335

      This information that, due to changes in testing requirements, the WIPP people now "know less about the waste they are moving and storing" seems to fit in with the POTR blog people's theory that radiation interacting with and breaking down the other waste materials with which it was mixed is what led to the explosion.

      In case you missed that one, here's the link:

      • Time Is Short Time Is Short

        Well, it doesn't look like they'll be taking any more 'waste' for awhile. Unless they can unload and move the 'new containers' with robots that are radiation-hardened, which they don't even have in Japan.

        Oh, wait, all the homeless . . .

        • magikald magikald

          No, won't be the homeless. It will be anyone who hasn't enrolled or paid their fee for the "Affordable Healthcare".

        • American Phoenix57

          Brilliant! We round up all the homeless, hopeless, criminals and illegals and put them to work at nuclear storage and other incredibly deadly jobs. We give them all Radiation/Chemical/Biological Waste Management degrees and pay them 250K a year plus huge bonuses and ridiculous perks until they drop. Full benefits for life for their mutant families in perpetuity.

          Hey wait a minute. . those jobs are reserved for the government.

        • flatsville

          Re: Robots and this:

          >>>Unless they can unload and move the 'new containers' with robots that are radiation-hardened, which they don't even have in Japan.<<<

          The Japanese announced great strides in the area of sex robots after the Fuku accident. Good to know they have their priorities straight.

    • Shaker1

      "WIPP was built to accept transuranic waste—things like clothing and tools contaminated during bomb-building—not what’s called high-level waste…"

      As I said, I lived in NM at the time the discussion was ongoing about the site, and counted among my friends dedicated activists who stunned me quoting something similar to the above while shrugging their shoulders and saying, 'well, it's OK.' It's hard to ignore the fact that without constant maintenance, everything deteriorates, be it a physical item or a policy. The handwriting was on the wall long before the official opening of this place that the policy of necessity would deteriorate, rather admit there's a definite problem with the accumulation of nuclear materials and awaken some concern they'll just find somewhere to hide it, especially in economically depressed areas. This site has the problem with just about everything nuclear in that with even what might be considered a small 'accident' the danger precludes a true fix. The same applies to Hanford and its vitrification plants. The chance that even a minor accident will make the site unusable is always there. While that may be acceptable in the case of your car, or even your house, it was never in my mind acceptable with the thought that all that would go in there was more easily containable wastes. I don't care what kind of hierarchy you have running a place like this, but there are people at the bottom who they can never be sure will be sufficient to do the…

      • Shaker1

        "In March, at DOE’s request, the New Mexico Environment Department approved a change to WIPP’s permit."

        OH, sure. Like they had any say…

        The origins of WIPP go back to the early 1970s, when the Atomic Energy Commission moved the focus of its search for waste disposal to New Mexico in the wake of its failure in Lyons, Kansas. Originally conceived as a pilot facility for commercial and military high-level waste disposal, WIPP has since 1979 been slated for use as a disposal site for military transuranic wastes only.42 As a DOE project, WIPP is not subject to NRC licensing, but the DOE has agreed with New Mexico that it will be subject to EPA standards.43 At what point such compliance must be demonstrated, however, has become a point of contention, with the DOE wanting to begin loading waste for "experimental" demonstration purposes before showing compliance. Other federal agencies and independent scientists have questioned the need for this, and assert that compliance with final EPA standards should be shown before any wastes are loaded into WIPP.

        The initial WIPP site was abandoned in 1975 when the first WIPP borehole encountered brine and was moved to a different location a few miles away. The planned orientation of WIPP then had to be adjusted in 1981 when the new location was discovered to be within 500 vertical feet of a brine reservoir estimated to contain 700 million gallons of pressurized brine.

        • AirSepTech AirSepTech

          discovered to be within 500 vertical feet of a brine reservoir

          And good for 10,000 years plus ?

          My actual experience tells me this is not good. At all.

    • rogerthat

      for transuranic, read plutonium. transuranic means having an atomic number greater than 92, so anything heavier than uranium, such as plutonium or americium

  • jec jec

    Hot radioactive waste in a POPCORN bag? Just add heat!

  • jec jec

    Here is why EPA has their fingers in this disaster:

    Note all the "rah rah" and safety comments. Good on ya EPA (sacrasm).Wonder what the penalty is for accidents and disasters. Noted the comment PU is not dangerous unless inhaled or ingested. So getting on skin doesnt hurt a person..?? And define 'dangerous' its always a tremendously dangerous isotope!

    So, EPA..where is the inventory for the cask that had issues? There should be inventory for every item in casks, casks, cask locations and floor plans available to help determine where the two (or more) radioactive materials came from!

  • Sickputer

    Billion dollar question at WIPP 2014:

    "how much [radiation] being captured by the filters and how much is getting into the environment?”

    Trillion dollar question Japan 2011-2014:

    "how much is being captured by the filters and how much is getting into the environment?”

    • FallOut FallOut

      Billion dollar guess: " not much ", & bonus question " who's doing the cleanup & when ? "

      Trillion dollar guess: " that 3 baggies employed over the wreckage is not stopping shit "

    • SykeWar(DELETED) SykeWar

      When the nuke waste comes along, you must WIPP IT!
      Take it away OR-WELL…

      • American Phoenix57

        Oh great! Thanks for the earworm! . . . crack that whip. . .

      • SykeWar(DELETED) SykeWar

        Cracked that WIPP.
        It gave the feds the slip.
        Got through a crack.
        The radiation's back!

        When the nuke waste comes along,
        you must WIPP IT.
        Before the creatures start to die,
        you must WIPP IT.
        When you geiger sings it song,
        you must WIPP IT.

        Now WIPP it.
        Ain't too safe.
        Wake UP.
        Get safe.
        Go southward.
        Move out.
        They won't detect it.
        It can't be late,
        to WIPP it.
        WIPP it good.

        When the sirens start to sound,
        you must WIPP it.
        You won't be 'round long,
        unless you WIPP it.
        No one gets away,
        until you WIPP it.

        I say WIPP IT!
        WIPP IT GOOD!
        I say WIPP IT!
        WIPP IT GOOD!

        Based on Whip It – Devo 🙂

  • Stacy

    Not much will be discovered until all the money is in the bank…and even then we will not hear the truth. There are deals to be made.

  • name999 name999

    These people who are supposed to be monitoring lethal wastes can just say they don't know while an 83 year old heroic woman is sent to jail for exposing illegal activities at yet another nuclear facility???

    CNN has 2 reports today on Fukushima. One focuses on the lawsuit by the sailors on USS Reagan and another reports (with considerable innacuracy) about the "new leak" discovered at Fukushima with TEPCO, now referred to as KNOWN AS TEPCO. So now it is AKA TEPCO as they are transitioning to their new identity.


  • Cisco Cisco

    Hell, Savannah River RPP is taking hot stuff in as fast a Germany and others can ship it here. Soon, some brave sole will expose Savannah River like Hanford…another huge regional and national radioactive discharger of gases and effluent.

    • Max Sievert Max Sievert

      Cisco they ship it there because they have already leaking barrels in theyr salt domes
      translated by gügel
      After 2012 first corroded barrels have already been found in the solid state storage of nuclear power plants Brunsbuttel, further studies have now found new trouble spots in the underground caverns. More than 600 barrels stored in a total of six caverns and wait for a possible disposal in the Konrad mine. In Camera Inspections 18 barrels of radioactive waste are now in a cavern, in the store 70 barrels found, the "strong, in part, the wall-penetrating corrosion" exhibit, told the Schleswig-Holstein Ministry of Energy Transition, Agriculture, Environment on Wednesday.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture


    As always.

  • frogs go ribbit frogs go ribbit

    We can start cleaning this shit up by throwing every member of the IAEA into pits of nuclear fire.

  • weeman

    Makes me mad when I read this tripe, you tell me that was not coached all the articles are like clones.
    They don't have a clue, no cameras down in the mine? why the delay on report, it is already late by standards, they know more than they are letting on, but not the extent, in my humble position.
    It's like a old episode of hogans heros, I know nothing, not to be believed.

    • GQR2

      And of course none of whatever happens,will be anything they could have expected. This does not instill confidence. How long do they think they can kid the world about Radiation? The Post Office Gal just got a dx of breast cancer,we're in the midst of an acute upturn,"epidemic" increase is a nice word. Anyone care to ask why? The random birth defects will be more tragic than my life,when this radiation makes survival to 50 look like the new old age.
      Where else could this be going?
      There is no happy ending,no hero,no authority to step in. HOW SAD and absolutely scary. Its why i'm here too Weeman. There are some really great people here,commenting and reading.
      Being awake is not for the faint hearted.

  • ftlt

    How much stuff is in there???

    Is it a massive amount – I would assume so.

    We're screwed!!!

  • Ontological Ontological

    Awake these days is indeed a hard place to have any comfort parameters. Ignorance is bliss, worked ok for a while last century. But it led to so much pollution, so fast from evil people that changed the laws to support there bottom line, not the ecology. Now with the new higher level laws, sloppy ways can be a norm for the handling of nuclear waste, on up to high grade materials. They are behaving like the power is off in the lower storage levels, and the surveillance cams/monitoring equipment are offline. Right. Clean Energy. Check.

  • TearsOjoy

    Anyone have a link to the DOE press conference regarding this?

  • Capt. Nemo Capt. Nemo

    This is definitely an attention catcher. Is something really a foot or it this designed to draw attention away from the other little problem in Japan? A month from now it can turn out to be an entirely minor happening . . . we will never know what the case was. They are getting pretty good at fabricating events. Why are we even being told of this happening? It could be keep under wraps. Many are. Policy. Don't frighten the humans.

  • weegokiburi weegokiburi

    I had the same thought a few weeks ago with the alert at Sellafield (UK)
    A lot of very nasty news has been coming out of Fukushima since.

    Loved this quote
    “Officials at WIPP continue to monitor the situation,” spokeswoman Deb Gill said to the LA Times back on Monday. “We are emphasizing there is no threat to human health and the environment.”
    However, she did say that officials know very little about the extent of the problem or how to solve it.

    We know very little but can at the same confidently emphasize no threat to human health

  • fredquimby fredquimby

    I don't understand why this event is not mentioned on the US nuke event website when they normally even report such mundane things as "radiography camera left untended"


    • GQR2

      i'm thinking Fred…
      There are reasons the N.M. Chamber of Commerce strongly encourages in covert ways along with other Industries like Tourism,Art,Restaurants,Politicos ete

      perpetuate the myth,joke,mis understanding that N.M. is confused with being Mexico, and sort of invisible on the maps. far away N.M…riight.

      It's because of the Nuclear Death Cult. Keeping it all on the hush hush.

  • Sol Man

    We see what is accomplished by people conflicted between Principle and their greed-love for blood money flow.

    Fiat moneys is greater than Principles.

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Yes, and by a very cleverly created design..

  • rockyourworld

    if some arab had unleashed this on us he'd be a terrorist. is there a term for a govt that unleashes it?

  • rockyourworld

    nothing short of crimes against humanity, but we wont see the mass graves on the "news"

  • newsblackoutUSA newsblackoutUSA Alert on WIPP " A proven reliable source with inside information on the internal happenings at the WIPP Plutonium disaster has provided us with radiation reading for Saturday 2/22/14, taken before and after HEPA filtration of the exhaust air from the WIPP mine shaft. Based on that information, and using risk mitigating assumptions, we calculated that Plutonium and Americium are CURRENTLY being RELEASED INTO THE OUTSIDE AIR at a rate of 400,000 Disintegrations Per Minute (DPM), for every single minute the ventilation system is running. For those more comfortable with the Becquerel as a unit of measure, that works out to the plant exhausting 6,667 Becquerels of Plutonium and Americium PER MINUTE into the outside air."