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)

Published: March 10th, 2014 at 6:14 pm ET


Carlsbad Current-Argus, Mar. 10, 2014: Four more employees at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant have tested positive for elevated levels of radiation over the weekend. The Department of Energy announced that fecal samples taken from employees at the nuclear waste facility found 17 workers tested positive for low levels of radiation. After initial testing more than a week ago, the DOE reported 13 workers tested positive for trace amounts americium and plutonium. [...]

KRQE, Mar. 10, 2014 (emphasis added): WIPP radiation leak still a mystery [...] contamination drifted across the countryside and 26 miles west, all the way to the city of Carlsbad itself. Nuclear experts told residents, worried about children, the WIPP contamination now confirmed to have reached town is not dangerous. ”Below any limit, just above background, and would result in no health potential to a child, or a fetus,” Fran Williams, URS technical advisor said. [...] Panel 7 is where workers most recently put waste. The radiation leak is believed to be [in that panel, which is the length of a football field]. [...] it’s thought most likely part of the roof of the mine here collapsed on and ruptured containers. Another possibility is that a container blew up. [...] Roof sections here have collapsed before, two decades ago during stress tests. Hundreds of tons of salt crashed down. [...] Salt is elastic, so from the moment tunnels are dug they start to close back in. Roof bolts slow down, but do not stop that. [...]

Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds chief engineer and former nuclear industry executive: “[An] x-ray is broadly distributed externally over a large piece of mass. On the other hand, the radioactivity [from WIPP] in the air is in a particular form [i.e. particulate] that can deposit in your lung. Radioactive material is attracted to your lung tissue. What you breathe in does not come out.

New York Times: Plutonium and americium [...] lodged in the body bombards internal organs with subatomic particles for the rest of the person’s lifetime.

See also: Radiation level at Carlsbad monitor jumps around 40% — Residents concerned for safety, pleading for more info (MAP)

And: Radioactive contamination now reported in city over 20 miles from leaking U.S. nuclear site #WIPP -- 10th largest population in state of New Mexico (MAP)

Watch the KRQE broadcast here

Published: March 10th, 2014 at 6:14 pm ET


217 comments to 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)

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    NO WARNING (( EVER )) . . .

    Radiation gets released on unknowing people.

    That's how it works.

    Report comment

    • razzz razzz

      They are abandoning some of the vent shafts the way I am reading it. Various articles kept jumping back and forth about the mine being a military nuke waste repository and a low level nuke waste dump site. Who really knows for sure?

      Can't get over the concerned mother asking if she and kids are safe and some flunky reads a prepared statement that all is well like nothing ever happened. Sad.

      From rockyourworld link above:
      "…Since the February 14 accident, this was the first testing of air below ground at the facility near Carlsbad which accepts equipment and clothing contaminated with radioisotopes like plutonium from U.S. nuclear labs and weapons sites.

      Crews in recent days have used high-density foam to seal vents that released underground air to the surface, Bugger said. Monitoring shows no further radiation leakage from those vents, but officials are crafting methods to ensure against leakages in future caused by degradation of the foam over time, he said…"

      Report comment

  • This crap sucks! I hope they get the rewards they deserve for poisoning our planet and our people. This is just unacceptable. They need to be held responsible and stop with the bad energy planning.

    Report comment

  • PurpleRain PurpleRain

    How do they get away with such blatant lies!?? This is so very disturbing! We have to educate more people, esp more people in positions of authority/leadership — no matter how difficult that might be, everyone needs to try to inform others without turning them off so they don't shut their ears before "hearing." Nuclear Needs to be Stopped!~~

    Report comment

  • rogerthat

    Carlsburg Current-Argus: Most of the waste WIPP receives is primarily low-level, solid materials such as discarded tools and cloths used in the manufacturing of Cold War-era nuclear weapons.

    Jim Conca
    February 20, 2014 at 11:26 PM
    Great job, Rod. One thing to mention about WIPP ventilation is its great design, 425,000 cubic feet per minute flow that can be diverted to HEPA and then decreased to 100,000 cfm. The system is designed such that air flow is always over people before waste and then exhausted so anything coming from the waste cannot contact people. The system worked beautifully. It will take some time to determine the source, but one incident in 15 years is awfully good. WIPP has disposed of almost 100,000 cubic meters of waste, some fairly high-level (>7 Ci/liter), hotter than anything left in the Hanford tanks. Now WIPP is merely nearly perfect.

    So we have gone from all low-level a month ago, to mostly low-level, to the highest-level radioactive waste in the country.

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  • tbg

    I wonder if someones frack well blew out or drilling dislodged a roof. Here's an article from 1997 by Bill Weinberg that says:
    "About 100 new oil and gas wells have opened within two miles of the WIPP site since it was built, some reaching right to its border. One actually uses a slant drill to access a lease within the borders of the WIPP site at 13,466 feet. WIPP is now surrounded by perhaps the highest rate of drilling for any four-square-mile piece of real estate anywhere"

    You can look up details about individual wells at, Ive meant to look up details and where they run at WIPP, but I haven't. Maybe someone who knows more than me (/anything) about well maps can read it.

    They say those "impervious waste containers" have vented smoke en route to WIPP, I wish someone had pics or video. But with hundreds of drums deeps, its almost hard to imagine a container blowout/well intrusion/roof collapse incident only involving a single container. I think i read today they've sealed the vents, does that mean everything is OK now?
    You cant trust anything these people say New Mexico, go if you can is my advice. They will always tell us everything and anything is OK, just don't panic. Like at hanford, big rain, big crack, no problem.
    Dont worry Mattawa, it healed itself.

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  • wetpwcas1 wetpwcas1

    Hot particles in the air does not care who you are, if you take a breath & inhale just 1 of those hot particles you will get sick, what type depends on your age & where it settles, cancer is then will become your life. Thanks to DOD & DOE & EPA actions. Time to start to pour concrete down into that giant hole & stop all gas & oil drilling now & never start it again.

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  • HoTaters HoTaters

    Now that it's about 3AM Pacific Time, some late night Wierd Alski to go with your WIPP'in yer brains good and tryin' to wrap them around this mind boggling news story.

    G'night, all. Hope you all sleep well, awake refreshed and ready to tackle another day in the Fuku'd world.

    Report comment

  • FXofTruth

    The correct "government's strategy" to handle a Public Health crisis:
    1. Deny, deny, deny
    2. Stall, lie, misinform
    3. Reference external effect rather than internal ingestion
    4. Deny more
    5. Have "grant paid" scientists lie
    6. Release some data and keep counts at a fraction of actual numbers
    7. Threaten whistleblowers
    8. Stop doing "Public" monitoring
    9. Attempt to decontaminate for the public relations effect
    10. Keep denying long-term dangers

    This is the information "road map" that every nuclear disaster has followed. Since it's a road well traveled, everything should look very familiar but, people make believe they never traveled it before!

    Report comment

    • GQR2

      FxforTruth, you forgot just one eensy teensy thing but an outstanding one

      11. Incolcate the next generation of business,science,and engineering graduates in the habit of pushing questionable science on a massive scale.
      12. Infiltrate all Universities and Secondary Schools,write the text books,make the PR movie pieces. Control Information.
      13. deny again with updated language,to exploit the Mass Media tools which allow a message to be conveyed in a nano second.
      14. Act like they care.

      ok that was more than one ;)

      Report comment

      • 15. Attack the truth tellers, call them conspiracy theorists.
        16. If that does not work, call them nuts, crazy, weirdos.
        17. If that does not work, do ad hominum attacks on their character, personality, infer that they are doing something 'illegal', immoral, or unethical.
        18. If that does not work, say that they are doing it only for the profit, money motivated, impure and should be ignored.
        19. If that does not work, cast them as criminal, associated with terrorists who want to destroy society and well intentioned businesses.
        20. If that does not work, charge them with crime (make up something), jail them, and throw away the key
        21. If that does not work, make them disappear. (polonium is used for that)

        And then there are the phone calls and threats made to family and friends..

        Report comment

  • Speedy

    I noticed some comments on the KRQE website that read kinda familiar…certian writing styles stand out….very nice..If you haven't been out there, it is worth a visit..The locals have plenty of ammo for the next meeting..leave a note..I did..

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  • Nick

    Finally we are getting the point across that x-rays ain't bananas aint particles.

    It's as if the nuclear industrialists assume that Joe and Jill public, being dumber than door-knobs, will
    blithely keep on believe that all radiation is somehow equivalent, unable to think particle versus wave.

    Particles have mass. They LODGE in the LUNGS……pretty much forever, even when you are dead and lie still.

    Waves zap through space and molecules, bouncing, sometimes getting absorbed…but for the most part zipping on out of tissue.

    Report comment

  • irhologram

    Comprehensive new Greenroad post.

    Report comment

  • jcfougere jcfougere

    Someone wrote "not true" on one of my flyers at a coffee shop.

    Another flyer at a bus stop was taken down after 3 days.

    I put a new one up.

    Report comment

  • waiono

    Excellent history and analysis of WIPP by Roger Yates Anderson, Univ. of NM

    The other WIPP

    "The official web sites provide a mixture of complicated, accurate, inaccurate, half-true information, but little about problems at WIPP. There is not enough space here to clarify much of the misinformation so I have chosen a few examples to illustrate the difference between the Official WIPP and the Other WIPP."

    Report comment

    • Cisco Cisco

      waiono…great find on WIPP!!! Read this and draw your conclusions about how dangerous is this operation, and where does this event go from here.

      It's not over, and it's not fixed. It can't be geologically. They lied, we're fu#ked, but so are they.

      Report comment

    • Sickputer

      Let's have a few Enenewsers back up those smoking gun pages of Ryan. These pages from the 1990s on an education web server will not survive forever. Nothing surprises us at how far people will go to protect financial interests. Genocidal maniacs comes to mind. Murdering future generations for sure. Maybe even this current generation pool.

      Report comment

  • natano natano

    Ok people, it looks like we're loosing the war on truth and disclosure but can we at least stand our ground on grammar? It may have "blew up"? Shouldn't that be blown up? What's this would coming too? Oh yeah, never mind the fact that these "regulators" and "officials" don't know what an extra neutron does to a girl, they don't even know the difference between should have did and should have done. Want to be an ambassador? Just fork over 6 figures to the man and voila – you don't even need to speak the language or find the country on the map. what a deal.

    Report comment

    • califnative califnative (NY)

      Really Natano? Misspelled words or poor grammar are generally ignored or forgiven considering the nightmare at hand. Personally I believe we are gaining ground on the FUKU truth and disclosure thanks to ENEnews.

      Report comment

    • One person with the truth wins every time, despite an army of liars.

      The only question is, will the public see it? Will they acknowledge it? How long will it take for them to see the truth? Will they kill the messenger or reward that person?

      No matter what, truth wins, every time, without exception.

      Report comment

  • Nick


    Bet folks downwind are wishing they had a plan in case of an accident.

    Now many of you have bits of DOE waste sticking to your lung tissue.

    I suggest wearing pink for the rest of the year.

    Do not expect to be told the truth.

    If I lived in the vicinity I would be furious, livid, pale beyond words until I went red in the face with anger.

    Expect property values to plummet.

    Thanks nuclear. Thanks for the memories of a future we once all had.

    Report comment

  • Sickputer

    I have a plan and I am a downwinder. Lacking a major explosion at WIPP and knowing levels of radiation are so far under the geiger counter volunteer radar, I am not bugging out yet.

    If I were within 100 miles epicenter I would more alarmed. But I think Fukushima is the real danger and far worse than WIPP.

    WIPP can be sealed in a matter of days or hours. Nukashambles in Japan is totally out of control.

    Pick a poison. I bet 10 million Japanese parents in central Japan would move to west Texas given the chance and a waiting home and employment.

    Would Idaho and Montana folks leave because of Hanford? Far worse than WIPP.

    The world is shrinking for refuges in the Northern Hemisphere.

    Report comment

  • waiono

    "WIPP can be sealed in a matter of days or hours. Nukashambles in Japan is totally out of control."


    I highly suggest reading this man's studies on WIPP

    Roger Yates Anderson

    Roger Y. Anderson is a Senior Research Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of New Mexico. He attended Beloit College, received BS and MS degrees at the University of Arizona, and Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1960.

    Anderson joined the University faculty in 1956 and has received the UNM faculty's highest award for research. He has been a consultant on the geologic aspects of nuclear waste disposal for Sandia National Laboratories, Argonne National Laboratories, the New Mexico WIPP Environmental Evaluation Group (EEG), has given invited testimony on WIPP before State and Congressional Committees, and has been interviewed about WIPP on nationally syndicated news programs.

    Anderson has published several books and more than 100 technical articles related to paleoclimate, has been Principal Investigator for two dozen federally funded research grants, and has served on national and international panels for research on global and climate change. His current research is developing a hydrologic and climatic model for estimating climatic changes preserved in Estancia Basin, New Mexico over the past 24,000 years
    The Praedial Universe and also The Other WIPP

    One comment from his research

    It seems ironic,…

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  • waiono

    Comment that was supposed to be in previous post.

    "It seems ironic, after our efforts, to find that we geologists managed to find one of the few places on earth where geologic conditions and natural forces can blow nuclear waste back to the surface."

    -The Praedial Universe

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  • Capt. Nemo Capt. Nemo

    It is too bad there is at present only one Nikola Tesla/Royal Raymond Rife nuclear safety ring. All you have to do is wear this green ring. When it begins to go yellow it is time to check on your food, water and air. Or your location. As you eliminate what was turning the ring yellow, it smoothly glides back to green.
    Should you be near a serious hazard it will blink orange or red. Of course if you move too slowly it will stay red, perhaps for as long as you wear it. This ring is a marvel and saves one from the prodigious lack of research and testing during the past seventy odd years.

    Report comment

  • melting mermaid melting mermaid

    I went to the rsoe edis today to check the wipp updates and it said Obama was going to cut Hanford cleanup costs by 67 million. Haven't seen anything else about it. Yall?

    Report comment

  • Capt. Nemo Capt. Nemo

    Sooooooooooo, having read the material by the very likeable Dr. Roger Anderson, I feel more confident in my original feeling that lies were very successful in getting WIPP approved in the first place.
    Alas, the People (i.e. corporations and governments) win the game against the scientists and people. All this once again demonstrates that large organized groups of people tend in the direction of hubris. The world, the flesh and the devil!

    In large groups we have a mob that is controlled. The Federal gov is a highly controlled mob or gang. Goldman Sacks is likewise a band of scalpers. And so on. GE is nothing more than bandits wearing expensive clothes and driving expensive vehicles. Criminals from head to toes.

    Report comment

  • waiono

    I came across this WIPP posting from the Southwest Research & Info Center

    pretty good factual update(or so it appears to me).

    Report comment

  • Angela_R

    The following are some of the articles mentioned in the following link:

    "Plutonium Terror on the High Sea"
    "Prospects for Diversion of Plutonium from Japanese Facilities"
    "Let's Rethink Plutonium Use"
    "The Tritium Factor"
    "The Deadly Link: Spent Fuel and Nuclear Weapons"
    "The A-Bomb Material in Civilian Reactors"
    "Energy Department Blurs Line between Civilian, Military Reactors"
    "The US-China Nuclear Agreement"
    "We Are Ignoring the Plutonium Issue at our Peril"
    "Reprocessing of Nuclear Fuel will Spread Ingredients for War"

    The following are from Reports in the same link:
    "Are IAEA Safeguards on Plutonium Bulk-Handling Facilities"
    "Costs and Risks of Plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium in Civil Nuclear Programs"
    Japanese Plutonium Supply and Demand Requirements for Research, Development and Demonstration Programs"
    "Breeders, Plutonium and Nuclear Weapons"

    I have tended above to isolate some of the articles pertaining to Plutonium, there are a number I have not included, there are also others that may relate.

    I believe that the message in the article "We Are Ignoring the Plutonium Issue at our Peril," written by Paul Leventhal on August 28, 1985 has now been proven, on more than one occasion, to be true.

    Report comment

  • Numerous, Severe Geological Problems Identified At WIPP Site; via @AGreenRoad

    Among one of the scenarios presented is a nuclear explosion..

    Report comment

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    All WIPP employees will help in cleanup of nuclear site

    Dept. of Energy approves recovery plan for site of nuclear waste repository

    "All employees are expected to be involved in the recovery process, either in a support role, or directly after retraining takes place, said DOE spokesman Bradley Bugger in an email. The Department of Energy approved Nuclear Waste Partnership's recovery plan on Monday."

    There is nothing contaminated/nothing destroyed ..but there's a need for retraining.

    Brad Bugger:

    "I understand that some citizens may never accept the fact that we can't tell them what those uses are, but we can't change the rules of the game," said Bugger."!search/profile/person?personId=60234332&targetid=profile


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    A rather 'middle of the road' article..
    Posted to draw attention to the photo..

    It seems the nuclear industry has an endless supply of plastic, tape and sandbags.

    WIPP vulnerable, recent leak shows

    Report comment

  • RichardPerry

    Using a value of a percent of back ground levels is not very useful, who is stating this makes a difference, background varies greatly around the world and very high at plants, 40% can be low to very high. The back ground is well blended but from a plant is small pieces that can take into the lungs or mouth a high concentrated amount. What other types of radiation are mixed with the new radiation as these have been breaking down to other types. Plutonium is almost unknown before 1900.

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  • GQR2

    Another day dawns on
    Planet Crazy one wonders what will happen when the workers get sick,fall over on the job of instituting safety processes which have been suspended for years.
    If i worked there i wouldn't trust any of these prostitutes that insist on going back there. i might if they honestly acknowledged the threat. but they don't!

    Getting the people to accept this is criminally manipulative. Really who on earth would trust them? I know people have kids,bills,homes etc. But these managers all of them are completely incompetent at anything BUT putting together a press conference,lying their bottoms off and then on paper making a safety plan. NWP is completely incompetent. If the deadly Nuclear Waste could be seen. Nobody would go down in there. It is going to blow up again soon.

    The attitude towards Nuclear Waste and most everything else accept for celebrity gossip on Lame Stream Media has made me swear off television. There is no investigative journalism only lying for their corporate masters. TV is toxic too.

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  • mxhology

    Great bro thunks for this info <a href="; title="stream"></a>

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