TV: US Senators want federal agents near WIPP to check if safe; “A lot more people could have been hurt a lot worse” — Public “skeptical whole truth about environmental risks shared” — Report: “It will shut WIPP down for a year or more, and now everyone is talking about maybe WIPP is no good” (VIDEO)

Published: March 27th, 2014 at 6:28 pm ET
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Sante Fe Reporter, Mar. 26, 2014: [...] When WIPP will reopen for business is unclear. Several longtime observers say they expect the facility will remain closed for about a year while underground surfaces are treated [...] DOE declared, “There is no danger to human health or the environment” [...] Since then, the steady dribble of information has stoked confusion and skepticism among some in the public. While the energy department said on March 9 that urinalysis results indicated workers had not inhaled radioactive particles into their lungs, the next day it issued a correction to say it was possible a “small amount of contamination was inhaled.” Complete test results on more than 100 people haven’t been disclosed yet. [...] state and federal agencies plan to deploy additional air monitors around WIPP and in Carlsbad.

  • James Conca, former director of Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center: “It’s going to take a year.” [...] it seems it will shut WIPP down for a year or more, and now everyone is talking about maybe WIPP is no good.
  • Don Hancock, Southwest Research and Information Center: The answer is “unknowable…until we have a lot more information. What happened? Why did it happen? Is it a systemic problem that is likely to happen again? How much decontamination will be required? This is going to take a while to get results.”
  • Brandy O’Connor: Skeptical that the whole truth about the environmental risks has been shared [...] she hasn’t discussed the leak with her children because “they’ll freak out [...] I’ve never had to worry about something like this before [...] I just try not to think about it.”
  • Van Romero, a physics professor and vice president of research at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro: The “bigger problem” underlined by the radiation leak is that the risk of such an event occurring “wasn’t as small as we thought it was [...] So either there was a scenario they didn’t consider, or they didn’t do the proper analysis or… something way outside of the norm happened.” [...] A key question for WIPP in planning the underground contamination remediation effort will be to decide “how clean is clean enough.” Workers, after all, will face long-term exposure in the environment.
  • Carlsbad native Rachel Good, a 57-year-old gas-station clerk: She is rattled by the fact that she and four family members have all had cancer. [...] “The only thing you can do is leave [...] I guess if I was really concerned, I’d do more studying (about radiation’s risks). Maybe I don’t want to know, like the ostrich that puts its head in the sand.”

KOAT, Mar. 26, 2014: A new investigation claims officials at the nuclear waste repository near Carlsbad didn’t do enough in advance to keep workers and the community safe. It also says officials waited too long to tell workers about a radiation leak. […] A lot more people could have been hurt a lot worse, and major changes are needed so the next emergency isn’t a tragedy. [...] Senator Udall calls this report deeply troubling and says, “We need a zero-tolerance approach to serious accidents.” In fact, Udall and Heinrich are now calling for federal environmental agents to soon head to Carlsbad and test the air to make sure it’s safe. The report also says workers were not told to shelter in place, until 10 hours after the first sign of a potential leak [...] the Department of Energy’s emergency center in Washington DC was never notified.

Watch the KOAT broadcast here

Published: March 27th, 2014 at 6:28 pm ET
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368 comments

Related Posts

  1. Experts: Gov’t may never stabilize hundreds of explosive drums of radioactive waste stored at WIPP — Nuclear dump now at risk of closing permanently — Ruined for good by kitty litter? (AUDIO) May 23, 2014
  2. Report: Officials backtrack on threat to public from WIPP leak — Now only “pretty sure” population centers are safe — Group calling for outside help, independent scientists to collect radiation samples — TV: Fears in Texas Panhandle; “Material could’ve been pushed up this direction” (VIDEO) March 1, 2014
  3. 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
  4. Officials now admit over 500 barrels of nuclear waste at risk of bursting open — AP: 368 already at WIPP dump — “New Mexico sees ‘imminent’ danger” — State orders WIPP to prevent “health or environmental threat”; Must ‘permanently seal’ underground storage areas May 21, 2014
  5. 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

368 comments to TV: US Senators want federal agents near WIPP to check if safe; “A lot more people could have been hurt a lot worse” — Public “skeptical whole truth about environmental risks shared” — Report: “It will shut WIPP down for a year or more, and now everyone is talking about maybe WIPP is no good” (VIDEO)

  • GQR2

    hi Stacy there is a news black out – unless someone takes the time,often hours to search out accurate information in a haystack of crap,they will not have a clue about Fukushhh or the chemtrails. This has been relagated effectively to the "alturnative" media. Which carries the mini stigma or large stigma for being reliable simply because its not off the idiot box.

    imo
    The 24/7/365 chemical cloud skies seeping down on us daily, are really effecting people mentally physically in a myriad of "almost" incapacitating ways.
    the metals and nano particulate highly charged air is only made more toxic by fall out from Fukushima and the leaking plants in this country. We are waaaay past the tipping point.


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  • Sickputer

    We're still kicking and so is Iori Mochizuki over at Fukushima Diary. :-)

    A little of the Tokyo Trots for my family today (blaming too many items consumed at Golden Corral) versus thinking overly about the hellacious downwinds that have been ripping relentlessly from WIPPIE land since about last Thursday.

    My Japanese is beyond poor…anybody have a translation of iori's latest post? Something about he traveled from Amsterdam to Cyprus?

    http://fukushima-diary.com/2014/03


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  • Nick

    Sol Man…

    The gene pool may indeed be compromised, now that we are 7 decades into the atomic age.

    My family has always tried to "think" and act for the seventh generation so to speak. My father is an avid researcher into our family genome and it kills me to think going forward, his descendants will dwindle, be maimed, not exist, etc.

    I remember as a kid, being incredulous that humans would spend astronomical sums on nuclear weapons and electrical generation. I started my anti-nuke career as a baby in 1958 in Honolulu when my folks boat sat on the Golden Rule before it went to protest the Bikini Bravo bomb blast.

    I don't "hate" all nuclear science since we have used it for space craft (plutonium cells). The risk of an explosion at launch is there but the distant traveling probes have yielded some fascinating science.

    The problem is the lie that WE CAN SAFELY store the waste. With WIPP and Hanford it is clear that safe storage for eons is a pipe dream, and in actuality a real nightmare.


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    • Sol Man

      Nick, It has always been a nightmare that never did bring any joy to our spirit. Seems this could be avoided but there are certain parts of a old warped vision that must change.

      Do you all remember life before you became aware that at any given moment it could all end in an instantaneous flash?

      Oh, what a work mankind is!


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      • Shaker1

        Well, I guess that beyond staying warm or cool (whatever the case may be), dry, and well-fed, mankind since self-consciousness does little else but search for a stick to fuck themselves and/or any other species that is available. It took a while, but we've now found the almost universally indiscriminate stick. Despite those who pontificate about our collective intelligence, imagination, and 'better nature' we can't help but use the stick. Hell, we even have 'disciplines' for such, studying it like Masters and Johnson and their research into the human sexual response. And what did we really learn? Mother may not be so proud of the kids. "You did WHAT to them?"

        Sorry. I'm usually not so crude, but it does seem appropriate at times to refrain from flowery language. 'The ends justify the means' in my mind is only appropriate in life and death situations, and then with reservations. I might love space exploration for its delightful piques of imagination; it can be done without plutonium if we use that imagination.

        Mother yells, "Drop that stick, Johnny!"


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Senators want report on WIPP inspections
    3/31/2014

    http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/blog/morning-edition/2014/03/senators-want-report-on-wipp-inspections.html

    "The information about missed safety inspections was revealed in the Department of Energy’s accident report on the Feb. 5 fire at WIPP, according to the senators. By law, the Labor Department’s MSHA is required to inspect WIPP no less than four times a year. Yet records in the accident report indicate that MSHA had performed inspections just twice in the last three years, the senators said."


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  • Nick

    HOTR…

    I suspect that inspections were curtailed as they ramped up importing stuff to store.

    The more I learn about WIPP, the scarier it is. Seems the esteemed engineers assured us that the salt was "self-sealing," acting like a giant trash compactor, supposedly isolating the vile waste for eons.

    Obviously, something went terribly wrong.

    Diminished inspections are never a good idea, anywhere.

    WIPP also supposedly imported crap from over-seas. I can't for the life of me believe that (most) locals were on board with that. No way to "look" into a given canister/cardboard box to see what's inside. You have to rely on accurate manifests.

    Let's just forget about long-term safe storage of nuclear waste and keep storing it on site, everywhere. Good idea eh?

    Maybe the best option we have is to keep ignoring a problem that will kill us all in the end any way!


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    • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

      "Let's just forget about long-term safe storage of nuclear waste and keep storing it on site, everywhere. Good idea eh?"

      Not really…but then ..I am seldom in the mood ..for 'take it or leave it'.
      Conca..saying something to the effect.

      Where Would YOU Put Our Nuclear Waste?
      3/31/2014

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2014/03/31/where-would-you-put-our-nuclear-waste/2/

      Oh..my..but what else can we do..?

      What to do?.. a lethal conundrum..brought to the world ..via the nuclear industry.
      Is it too much to ask ..for at least a cease of production?
      I don't know ..but I'll tell you this..the engineering concept and geological situation at WIPP ..is not appropriate for the usage.


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      • GQR2

        +311

        leave it to James Conca. Failed scientist,now science perception manager to hit the hapless readers of Forbes who stumble upon his drivel.
        To hit them over the head with a supercilious minimizing shilling mis-information.
        This guy is menace,the tone he takes is reckless and criminal.
        This is how it all goes down,with these Nimrods spewing their bullshit into the mainstream. "a small puff of radioactivity" indeed.

        They side step the primary issues.
        Stop making the S*** (they have no intention of stopping anything :(


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      • GQR2

        Heart
        i just read the PDF that was on the link. pg 13 of the PDF.
        Conca has always been a sloppy thinker and a avid pro nuker.
        He went to school at New Mexico State and worked for CEMRC and still has an active email there.

        what a tangled web.


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      • rogerthat

        Foot in mouth gold medal winner:

        ''Where Would YOU Put Our Nuclear Waste?''

        - where the sun don't shine?


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  • TylerDerdon

    Just checking in to see if someone knows why there hasn't been a new post for a few days? I understand this site is ran by one person so maybe they're taking a much needed vacation. At least I hope that's the case and this site hasn't been "tampered" with by someone. This is a great site and I'd hate for it to get shut down because it created too much of a stir. Thoughts?


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  • GQR2

    There was a forum created by nuckelchen when the web cam thread went down.Hope everybody bookmarked it. Its been all but abandoned but its easy enough to utilize. just a thought. i always check there when there are technical problems.


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  • Sparky Sparky

    I'm concerned about Enenews Admin as well. No new posts since Mar. 27th–very unusual. I e-mailed Admin at two different e-mail addresses last night to check on his/her well-being. From some earlier posts here and in response to two other e-mails from/to Admin about 2 wks. ago I know he/she was recuperating from illness, but improving.


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  • Sparky Sparky

    I've also noticed some functional quirks in the Enenews site over the past few weeks, but nothing as debilitating as when the Webcam forum was down and there were problems logging-in/posting. If there's a mirror site, I hope that it's been established and maintained by Admin as a protective measure. Pure speculation on my part as I don't know enough about these things.


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  • Nick

    "The Senators said they believe the monitors will prove the radiation releases from WIPP are not a danger to public health."
    http://www.currentargus.com/carlsbad-news/ci_25430586/epa-deploy-mobile-air-monitors

    The EPA has a batch of used monitors from Japan, on loan from TEPCO. (sarc)

    Also, how are they going to declare a "safe" level of plutonium?

    What is the background number for plutonium post 3/11/11?

    TATAL takers state that some atoms are toxic at the atomic level!

    Saying even cesium 134/137 are at a level deemed "safe" is pure 100% nuclear industrial bullshit. The stuff destroys cellular processes!

    No, the WIPPees had best be going on a FULL DISCLOSURE trip and spill their guts to the worried public about REALLY happened.

    The rad levels can surely go down, but the dust shall rise again.


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  • Nick

    …about what really happened…


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  • Nick

    Heads up…I just got a bogus request to submit my email for a new password.

    I had just gotten a screen capture where I discovered that an 10/7/13 tour of WIPP was canceled…I am leery of trying to find link again (it was in a pdf file under New Mexico).

    I quit and was able to relog in normallt..

    DO NOT fall for this gimmick


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  • Nick

    http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/radiation/default.htm
    Not much here on radiation from the CDC…

    http://www.epa.gov/radiation/news/wipp-news.html#panelclosure
    Interesting to note about the request for a new panel closure….the 2/14/14 event was NOT what they had in mind!


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  • On the NRC blog I posted the following, which I think is the best "debunk" ever to the theory of hormesis….do the true believers then go to seek out extra radiation for themselves.??

    ——————————————–

    When you are blowing up cells and DNA, it is pretty clear what the results are, and there is plenty of scientific evidence that does show that low dose does cause diseases and cancers. Hormesis is a lie.

    How much "extra" radiation are you trying to put into your body to get those positive effects? OK proved my point….you are either a believer, and put your beliefs into action, or you are a poser or liar. Maybe I am wrong, maybe you are pursuing extra radiation, if so, please explain your regimen of extra radiation.


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    • WWJD WWJD

      @stock – User CannabidiolVitiminC posted this NASA link on the NETC forum and it fits nice as a reply to help support your previous comment.

      QUOTE: "Passage of ionizing radiation can result in direct effect on DNA leading to single strand breaks (SSB), double strand breaks (DSB), associated base damage (BD), or clusters of these damage types. The initial damage caused by the HZE particles at the cell level and to the tissue is unique compared to the damage caused by the terrestrial radiation such as x-rays or gamma rays. Because of their high ionization density, HZE particles can also cause clusters of damage where many molecular bonds are broken in the tissue along their trajectory. The cell's ability to repair DNA damage becomes impaired as the severity of clustering increases leading to DNA deletions and other forms of mutations. The long range of the HZE's allows for the potential damage along a long column of cells in tissue. Since HZE particles are rare on Earth, the prediction of biological risks to humans in space must rely on fundamental knowledge gathered from biological and medical research."

      http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/postsecondary/features/F_Space_Radiation_Project.html


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    • WWJD WWJD

      That link was a great find because they admit all radiation is damaging and that the most damaging type is seen normally out in space, x-rays/HZE! These same x-rays but only man-made, are seen here on earth. In fact a recent news article talking about the radioactive waste water being stored in the many tanks at Fukushima are creating x-rays from the beta radiation going through the metal containers. Of course in the U.S. the x-rays from those containers do not directly effect us here but they do for the workers trying to control this nightmare we call Fukushima.


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  • via i know March 31, 2014

    Please comment on this article. So far only nuclear industry reps have commented on it and the other side of the story needs to be told.

    http://www.ocregister.com/articles/nuclear-607540-diablo-health.html


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  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    WIPP locations will end up being just like Japan.

    Bread or bagels left in the toaster too long will turn into burnt, black, charcoal, smelly, smokey derivatives of their former states, thus will be the entire world if we do not change course….now.

    Japan is/will soon be a form of the above toast… :(


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  • Nick

    somewhat OT:
    "Beer brewers push back against proposed FDA rule restricting use of old grains…
    Beer makers complain that the new rules, if adopted, would force them to dump millions of tons of "spent grains," which are left over after barley, wheat and other grains are steeped in hot water."
    http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2014/04/01/beer-brewers-angry-about-proposed-fda-rule/

    Guess the FDA thinks this stuff should be sent to WIPP? It IS possible that some of the grain in the supply chain IS radioactive…especially from the Ukraine and Japan (think rice).


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