Video: WIPP nuclear site may close for several years — Explosion in multiple drums suspected — “Very much a cause for concern” — Top official gives ‘fiery speech’ calling for public to be told what has happened — DOE refuses to name source of nuclear waste

Published: May 9th, 2014 at 6:13 pm ET


Albuquerque Journal, May 9, 2014: The head of the recovery effort at the federal government’s nuclear waste repository in southern New Mexico said Thursday it could be up to three years before full operations resume at the underground facility. […] the focus has turned to a set of waste drums that came from Los Alamos National Laboratory. Officials at the meeting reiterated the possibility that there may have been a chemical reaction inside the drums. […] New Mexico Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn said the theory of a chemical reaction is based on limited knowledge, and he urged officials during the meeting not to withhold any information. Flynn said he’s concerned the public will lose faith […] “We need to know what happened. We absolutely need to know,” he said. […] Los Alamos is under a tight deadline to get the plutonium-contaminated waste off its northern New Mexico campus before wildfire season peaks. […] Lab Director Charlie McMillan said Thursday during a news conference in Albuquerque that the recent developments “are very much a cause for concern.”

Carlsbad Current Argus, May 9, 2014: […] community leaders in Carlsbad and New Mexico government officials have begun to reveal their irritations. New Mexico Environment Department Secretary Ryan Flynn capped the weekly WIPP town hall with a fiery speech [and] called for the immediate closure of all waste panels except Panel 7 at WIPP, as well as complete public transparency. […] after investigators narrowed the likely cause to the waste makeup from LANL. Nuclear Waste Partnership Recovery Manager Jim Blankenhorn announced on Thursday that WIPP officials believe the radiation leak was likely caused by nuclear waste that contained nitrate salt which gave off some sort of a chemical reaction. The waste with nitrate salt matched waste stored in drums that originated from three separate waste streams: two of the waste streams originated from LANL and the source of the other was unknown because DOE and NWP refused to name the source.

Watch the town hall meeting here

Published: May 9th, 2014 at 6:13 pm ET


Related Posts

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  2. Officials: Leakage seen on “many” nuclear waste drums in WIPP underground — We think the seals have degraded — Public “should be concerned” about another explosion — 1,000s of radioactive drums now seen as too risky to move (VIDEO) June 13, 2014
  3. “Patented explosives” reported inside plutonium waste drums at US nuclear facility — TV: So volatile, experts comparing it to ‘bomb’ — Official: I’m appalled we weren’t told about real and present danger — Over 5,000 drums a threat — Invisible reactions may have already occurred (VIDEO) November 17, 2014
  4. Japan TV: Gov’t officials discover nuclear material flowing into ground at Fukushima; Releases thought to be ongoing for months — Expert: “No end” to problems with radioactive waste at plant; Public does not trust what they are being told (VIDEO) June 6, 2014
  5. 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

96 comments to Video: WIPP nuclear site may close for several years — Explosion in multiple drums suspected — “Very much a cause for concern” — Top official gives ‘fiery speech’ calling for public to be told what has happened — DOE refuses to name source of nuclear waste

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Microbial Transformations of Plutonium and Other Actinides in Transuranic and Mixed Wastes

    "Significant microbial activity is expected in the waste because of the presence of organic materials and nitrate, which serves as carbon and nitrogen sources in the absence of oxygen the microbes can use nitrate and sulfate as alternate receptors. Bio-gradation of TRU waste can result in gas generation and pressurization of containment areas, and waste volume reduction and subsidence in the repository."

    • nedlifromvermont

      WOW!!! Hi Heart …

      Boy oh boy … but the truth hurts … somehow …

      Nice to be back with the 'newser team …

      just back from Quebec City … very nice … exciting hockey game and all … but the FUKUSHIMA COVER UP is just as alive in Samuel Champlain's city … the capital of old Canada … Nouvelle France and all … as it is in our nuclear power-corrupted, so-called "democracy" … which is really a uranium and petro-chemical fueled fascist oligarchy … oh well … the truth hurts, … sometimes …

      peace to you all … and death to BIG NUKE!!! Ol' Chuck Forsberg, of MIT, booster of WIPP on TV post 3/11 … ol' Chuckie boy …. where are you now???? on this WIPP matter??? You nuclear whore!!!

      peace anyway!

  • dosdos dosdos

    "…the source of the other was unknown because DOE and NWP refused to name the source."

    Hanford, maybe?

    • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

      Supposedly not..

      State to DOE : WIPP Permit won’t be modified, at least for now
      March 24 1014

      "NMED cannot move forward on the WIPP’s request to open additional underground storage … and for the other requested permit modifications until more information is known about the recent events at the WIPP,” Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn said in Friday’s release.
      “Just as NMED needs more information to make informed decisions on permit modifications, the public also needs more information about the radiation release in order to provide informed input during the public comment period,” Flyss said. “Once NMED has all of our questions answered, we will proceed with consideration of a revised draft permit.”

      But who knows..

    • jec jec

      Or OAK RIDGE!
      Hot cells at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak
      Ridge National Laboratory are now ready to sort and
      package remote handled transuranic waste resulting from
      decades of research activity at the lab. The hot cells became
      ready to receive waste in late May, following months
      of preparation by the DOE Oak Ridge Office’s Environmental
      Management Program. The waste will be sorted
      and repackaged into 55-gallon drums, then placed into
      TRUPACK containers for shipment to the Waste Isolation
      Pilot Plant in New Mexico. Shipments are anticipated
      to begin by the end of 2008, and once under way, approximately
      60 to 120 truck shipments will be made
      annually through 2013.
      rs_2008_9-10_3.pdf Industry report

      • jec jec

        HOT CELLS…hum could that have had PU inside?? Are hot cells low level waste? Interesting to read the report to say the least.

    • mrutopian mrutopian

      DosDos, I'm thinking maybe Russia. We are disarming their old nuclear missles.

      If it were chemical weapons, I would think Syria.

      We are becoming a toxic waste dump for the world

    • The *other* was the radioactive stuff shipped there from when the USS Ronald Reagan spent 18 months in San Diego being decontaminated after that huge aircraft carrier got caught in the 3-11 fallout offshore Fuki. There is a big lawsuit going on against Tepco on behalf of the severely ill sailors. I'll try to find the links tomorrow.

    • pinksailmatt pinksailmatt

      A couple of months ago I saw 2 semi's with nuke waste heading south on I-5 just north of Eugene, OR. Could very well be from Hanford.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    More than one waste stream.. more than one container..

  • Arto Lauri's latest investigation on Chernobyl may provide some insight as to the unknown episodes at WIPP.

  • Bay Area Guy 2

    I'm surprised the DOE didn't say the source of the waste was an atom.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Oh.. Savannah River already has a lot of waste stored at WIPP.


    Waste shipments may be on hold

    The Site’s TRU waste program includes solid waste consisting of clothing, tools, rags, residues, debris and other items contaminated with plutonium.

    The chemical composition of the 'residues'?

  • fireguyjeff fireguyjeff

    “We need to know what happened. We absolutely need to know,”

    So just exactly what does "knowing" do for any one there or elsewhere?
    The genie is more than out of the bottle in WIPP.
    And there is no putting it back in.

    I absolutely need to know what caliber was used in the drive by.

    I absolutely need to know exactly how drunk the guy was who hit me.

    I absolutely need to know how big lightning was that zorched my house.

    I absolutely need to know how pregnant my daughter is.

    I absolutely need to know how bad I flunked the exam.

    • We Not They Finally

      First we "absolutely need to know" which fricking storyline is even what happened. Was it the truck catching on fire? The roof of a salt cavern caving in and puncturing containers? The new story now about explosions from within the drums?

      All-of-the-above or is this just multiple-choice? Or it is yet ANOTHER story which then dwarfs all the previous fabrications?

    • dosdos dosdos

      The issue isn't knowing what happened, the issue is transparency by those running the facility. It's that they don't want to license a task this delicate to a pack of liars.

      I wish them luck. Nuclear energy and lying go hand in hand.

      • GQR2

        They brought in their layers and layers of spinners,i mean managers. Its not what happened that concerns me,its what is happening now. They can say all they want there is no significant contamination from that mine's/dump's ongoing event(s)and try to act like business as usual in a WIPP recovery process with their reports,charts and blather. There are criticalities down there that as we known are unresolved. The inspectors were met with 800-1000 DACs per hour.

  • 52Rockwell

    Ryan Flynn said the theory of a chemical reaction is based on limited knowledge….No S–T Sherlock..Now it all goes to Andrews Texas with even less control ,or documentation Good Ol WCS. Well they dont have many wild fires there…Im confident that WCS will do an excellent job and we will never hear about it anymore.(wink)
    I Just Hope the Zetas aignt in the Market for Plutonium …

    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      WCS, Texas, where the worst waste will now be sent and drums stored under a thin layer of dirt, like a common landfill (photo of facility on front page):

      Maybe they don't have many wildfires there, but Texas is getting a shitload of violent tornadoes, and more to come. Can you imagine a tornado ripping across the WCS storage facility and sending thousands of nuclear waste containers miles into the sky? Ripping them apart and blowing their contents across the mid-West?

      Good idea.

      • Crickets Crickets

        What a visual! Nuclear waste containers spinning in a twister, being bashed against trees, buildings and automobiles, the contents then spreading across a vast region as a fine mist, over farms, rivers, lakes, forests and communities.

        • We Not They Finally

          Don't think TOO hard about that, guys. Remember, it might actually happen.

          • GQR2

            no **%*^bT ! WNTF – it could totally happen and probably will. Luck with containing Nuclear waste seems to be running out,time and again with each passing day and the extreme weather will not discriminate with each passing day – its truly just a matter of time and the way things look to me,a short time at that.

        • mrutopian mrutopian

          Crickets, as a truckdriver, that is possible

        • jec jec

          And in the summer heat…BANG! Or Boom..your choice.

      • PurpleRain PurpleRain

        I was thinking the same exact thing regarding a tornado picking up all that plutonium dirt/dust and spinning it across half the country, state by state!

  • NoFixedID

    Go to Google images and search "Shipping radioactive waste from Los Alamos to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico". If those containers are prone to explode it's only a matter of time before it happens in transit, maybe upwind of Albuquerque.

    • mairs mairs

      They used to come directly through Santa Fe from Los Alamos, through the city, but they finally built a "relief route" around the city for the waste shipments. Officials said the land wouldn't be developed along that road, but they're putting in a new housing development and a commercial area. So the original purpose of routing the trucks around inhabited areas is lost.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Carlsbad residents assured on safety of WIPP radiation leak

    2/24 2014

    "Most of WIPP's recently disposed waste has come from Los Alamos National Laboratory and Idaho National Laboratory. The facility had been averaging 16 waste shipments per week according to the DOE.

    WIPP had also received some waste from the Savannah River Site in South Carolina and Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois on a more limited basis."

    Considering again ..the compressed TRU from Idaho ..I mentioned on another thread.

    " two of the waste streams originated from LANL and the source of the other was unknown because DOE and NWP refused to name the source."

    Reaction/chain reaction of the' waste streams'?

  • GQR2

    i wish the Mayor of Carlsbad would stop reading his obsequious love letters to WIPP before each Town Hall Meeting.
    He presumes too much.

  • jec jec

    Those containers— read this
    "The Department of Energy's new proposal involving a
    canister system for transporting, aging and disposing of spent-
    fuel holds promise. However, the board believes that the
    project should fully evaluate the range of consequences
    associated with its implementation.
    An issue that affects pre-closure operations, as well as
    post-closure for repository performance, is thermal management.
    For example, the new canister system will have implications for
    DOE's thermal management strategy and DOE's above-boiling
    repository design will affect the potential for corrosion of
    the waste packages.
    The board believes that DOE needs to consider the system-
    wide implications of heat on the waste management system and
    strengthen the technical basis for its thermal management
    Yucca Mountain project was stop because of the poor containment of the containers. Did DOE go ahead and ship identical items to WIPP?The results were expected….

    • GQR2

      SMOKING GUN – jec good find. Thermal management,wow that's a euphemism for you. geeze but wait there is more. Waste from LANL of course. Its all down there barely inventoried it sounds like. And certainly not vented. I wonder who they think they are kidding. They say the vent it. How are they venting it. We are supposed to believe this? How stupid do they think people are?
      They need to be shut down immediately as a imminent risk to the public welfare and all Fracking and salt mining ceased in an effort to keep the area which is sitting in wet salt from blowing to kingdom come.

  • jec jec

    Take a look at Oak Ridge and their 'hot cells'–Highly radioactive!!!. This is NOT low level waste. Bet DOE never thought anyone would find out it went into WIPP.

  • jec jec

    Nothing like MOX fuel cells from Oak Ridge..full of Plutonium. I am waiting for knock on my door from 'men in black'..(sarcasm of course).

  • Uranium_Mountain Uranium_Mountain

    How many more of these drums are ready to burst in WIPP?

    How many drums are ready to burst at LANL?

    How many drums are ready to burst at the other unknown locations?

    Have any already burst above ground and nothing was said?

    Its very evident our own Government cares nothing for its peasants. Face reality, that is what all of us are to them.

    The top level DOE personal responsible for producing this kind of waste and then recklessly disposing of it should be executed for criminal acts of murder, willful contamination and endangerment of United States Citizens and Territories.

    It is wickedness.

    • nedlifromvermont

      ask GE: "What were you thinking on the night you unleashed the 1948 "Green Run;'" excessive release of radio-iodine on an unsuspecting population … oh right … the "experiment got away from you" … you nuclear whores … all of you!!!

      Time to dig up the WIPP "pilot" project wastes and get serious about dealing with our radioactive legacy wastes once and for all!! Where are the grown ups?? WIPP is not a serious attempt at dealing with the problem; nor is it "good enough", Chuckie boy. Lets bring in some experts for once; and leave the call girls at the door.

      And shut the vestigial nuclear power business down for good. (Something that may have been "of use" once … but certainly is no longer.)

      Nuclear is both unnecessary and highly dangerous. Like Heroin. Who needs it, but the pushers?

      peace …

  • Uranium_Mountain Uranium_Mountain

    "I'd rather not say the other one at this point and cause a lot of flurry," Blankenhorn said. "Its not that it's a big secret, but from a management perspective, I don't want to cause a lot of angst."

    United States Marshall's and FBI should have been standing by and arresting every damn DOE representative at that meeting starting with Blankenhorn for obstruction of an official investigation.

  • mairs mairs

    "Los Alamos is under a tight deadline to get the plutonium-contaminated waste off its northern New Mexico campus before wildfire season peaks."

    Yeah, since the last enormous wild fire that was up there came very close to the outdoor storage area where they have the drums under tarps. We had an almost nonexistent winter with almost no snow and it was way too warm. This fire season is going to be awful.

    I can hardly get my mind around the fact that they have nowhere to put these drums and they've been sitting outside in the open for years now.

    • GQR2

      Hi Mairs,Its dry as a bone lots of dead burnt trees,not forest fire burnt but just dessicated. There was some kind of mini rain event The area is in a flight path here and in the N.E. corner there are less Ravens,Rabbits,Coyotes,and other wild life where i am.
      Less of them and the dirt is powdery. Forest Fires is a real fear,the winds are stronger these days. They would spread so fast and the last one up by LANL was explosive. That footage is strange.The winds are cyclonic lately blowing in every direction. The windy season almost never ends. Knowing what is up at LANL its a really scary prospect.

      • nedlifromvermont

        you can still make wind power from nuclear winds … just sad that that is what it has come to … so unnecessary … so inane?

        nuclear whores … get off your uranium heroin and stop killing life forms on this, our home planet … you unscientific scum …

        just telling it like it is

        oh, and a non-radioactive peace to you, too!

      • mairs mairs

        Hi GQR2. I know a couple who lost their home up there in the last fire. Both of them are firefighters and they told me that they thought they had a couple of hours to get out, but the fire came so fast that they barely made it out alive 20 minutes later. They said the speed of the fire was unbelievable.

  • Crickets Crickets

    Isn't it obvious yet that nuclear power is completely out of control? The people that are supposed to be operating and regulating these places have no idea what they're doing. It's like children playing hot potato, with hot toxic waste. They really need stop generating this waste and figure out a place to safely store all the crap they've already produced. They need to understand that they don't own this world and they have no right to destroy it for the rest of us!

    • whatamessa

      Well stated…The behavior of these people is disgusting,and criminal
      The U.S. Government is always very quick to publicly criticise, other world leaders for their(usually fabricated by the U.S.)acts of terrorism,corruption, etc.etc.
      This is unbelievable (not really) AMERICANS HAVE GOT TO BE IN AN UPROAR ………….THIS IS EVIL.

  • ftlt

    It is a secret. HAHAHA

    Nobody want to be left holding the bag here. Better to let the American people pay for this rather than some for-profit ring bumper nuclear insider company.

    Wonder, even what the conservative cost estimate is for the clean up there. If, one is even possible?

  • ftlt

    Google "enenews wiki" There is an all out attack on to discredit this site.

    Google is slipping fast is the rest of the internet. How much longer will free speech be allowed on it here?

    Wiki is getting real scrubbed and buffed up.

  • nedlifromvermont

    The waste probably belongs in an 'Onkalo', (Finland-type) deep burial in a monitored and retrievable storage configuration, within a metamorphosed-igneous basement shield rock … Canada or Australia??? far from any faulting in the last 500 million years … and well above maximum sea level rise, or above 350 feet msl … and an international effort to achieve and shut down all further production of the crap at civilian nuclear power "poison factories" (Helen Caldicott) … and internationalization of the entire fraudulent uranium industry … and efforts to achieve a biosphere block from these awful, man-made, unnatural poisons and contaminants …

    By the way … getting it right won't be "Chuckie Forsberg-style" simple and easy … buy off some desperate locals in some desert outpost (Carlsbad) … TOO BAD FOR THEM!!! This has suddenly become serious business.

    Far more important than hockey.

    Even if that is more fun to watch.

    oh yeah … such a good thing that it's only a "pilot" i.e. demonstration project … and not not not the whole enchilada!!! yuck yuck.

    • jec jec

      Bet WIPP was no longer considered PILOT because it looks like they dumped the kitchen sink in it. ChasAha, if you participate in the next townhall (think you did before) the following would be telling quesions
      1. Hot Cells were part of the delivery to WIPP (yes they were). From the Oak Ridge documentation the IFE lab materials, hot cells (could be MOX)were sent up to 2013 which was final delivery. Can ANYONE get the government to confess if that is in the TRUPACK containers?
      2. Radioactive material were stored in the TRUPack (1 II or III or whatever its called). The question to ask is the types of TRUPACK containers used.
      3. How many years has the material been stored in the TRUPACK containers PRIOR to shipment to WIPP? And where…
      And finally
      3. Ask IF that is the same container that failed the Yucca Mountain testing which the judge used to justify closure of the YUCCA plan? The steel corroded in less than 5 years.

      One has to wonder if MOX or other hot cells were stored in WIPP from Oak Ridge. Was this the type of "low level waste" or TRU (TRUPack is just the container NOT the type of waste) as allowable by the WIPP agreement with the State of Mexico? Just because materials are put in "TRUPACK" containers and 'look' okay visually, does not mean its safe for storage. See what happened to YUCCA Mtn containers. Same for LLNL, one should know at least WHAT was in the drums/containers/TRUPACKS. Inventory records, please..forget public angst..what about public…

  • Crickets Crickets

    A website I encountered while googling for info…It's no wonder so many people are hoodwinked and complacent about this industry and its malfeasance.

  • The article refers to nitrate salts. That is a basic component of many high and low explosives. Combine it with carbon and a little potassium and you have gunpowder.

  • WIPP And Illegal High Level Waste Documentation Plus Evidence; via @AGreenRoad

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

  • We Not They Finally

    WIPP re-opening in three years may be slightly more likely than Japan hosting the 2020 Olympics, but maybe not by much.

  • Sol Man

    The road to Perdition is straight.

  • jec jec

    INVENTORY from Carlbad DOE office read and weep.

    • jec jec

      This is up to Dec 2012. The contents from 2013–would be released in PDF in October 2014. So the worst stuff dumped in Dec 2013/January 2014..its not shown. Bet the 2014 report is very santizied by the new contractors…

  • jec jec

    LOTS of Plutonium stored in those 'drums.'

  • cooterboy

    A new federal contract was issued to TFE who will begin to document waste inventory for WIPP and are in charge of all documented materials stored at WIPP. Records were kept by Stoller since 2008. This is more than a coincidence in light of what is occurring with the radiation events and how poorly WIPP has been run. Just wait and see how quickly the new contractor can loose these critical documents.


  • Shaker1

    I'm sorry, but I don't see what's so difficult about inventories. It's rather sad that it's portrayed as something that is difficult to accomplish. They've got a hole they're shoving the stuff down. One counts as it goes into the hole.

    Data bases with unlimited fields, computers that can process millions of bytes of data a second and all these master-minds to attend the data and it takes a year to release information? This isn't the 40s and the days of pencils, paper, manual typewriters, but the days of bar codes and readers. Daily, and at any point of the day, they should be able to print out what they've done in that regard. Let's face it, it's somewhat accepted incompetence. A relatively intelligent kid could put together a management stream that would identify and count what's in that hole. Your neighborhood grocery store is managed better than this, and maybe they ought to fund a multi-year study of those practices.

    Don't be awed by supposed complexity. Who's dealing with this stuff? Sheldon Cooper?

  • razzz razzz

    There is no sane way to deal with and dump nuke waste so it is spread around the country in an attempt to 'dilute' and not concentrate it in one area.

    Hanford still has one nuke plant in operation onsite. Nuke bombs require refreshing as nuke materials decay and a source of new and fresh nuke materials must be maintained and Hanford is it. Create primary nuke materials and worry about the radioactive and dangerous chemical wastes later.

    At the WIPP meeting, the question was asked about neutron sensors and yes they have them and many other types of nuke sensors but wouldn't say what the readings were or are. Claimed WIPP would be made safe implying that it isn't safe and never was safe but everyone is doing a great job at the meeting of the mutual admiration society. No one is fired for incompetence just send us more money to make the national monument safe. Maybe they can apply for Superfund money to cleanup the WIPP site. If they can stall for 100,000 years, decay will render it safe and they can reopen.

    'Waste Control Specialists'

    "Waste Control Specialists is a treatment, storage, & disposal company dealing in radioactive, hazardous, and mixed wastes. Controlled by billionaire investor Harold Simmons, the company was founded in Dallas, Texas in 1989 as a landfill operator, and awarded a unique license for disposal of low level radioactive waste in 2009. Its main operations are in remote West Texas…"

  • mrutopian mrutopian

    In three years they may be able to proceed. Hahahhah

    By then there may be many more exposions.

  • WIPP may blow YET!

    Arto Lauri's Latest Investigation 50.Chernobyl
    He reviews the photos in the video "Battle of Chernobyl"
    an old documentary with original footage no longer available or
    used anywhere because of the lies the nuclear industry and all it's supporters insist on maintaining as status quo.

    Arto is an actual scientist who spent many years training and working on Finland's NPP Olkiluoto….
    He is not pleased with anything about this issue.

    However, it seems he finds some very unique yet simple clues in this video that proves ALL meltdowns will be MELT THRUS…meaning the China Phenomena.

    I've prepared a transcript of the video as it was very moving for me to watch and hoped to make the data available to others…
    but i think you need to watch the video itself to get to understand the secrets Arto extracted from the material he provides us with….

  • Steve_G Steve_G

    Well, just viewed my third town hall meeting and it was infuriating as well as stupefying.
    When the most common response to questions of substance relating to this "accident" that was waiting to happen is:
    "We don't know"
    "Don't have enough information"
    "We'd rather not say"
    "Unknown at this time"……….and on and on…….
    I honestly feel like this bullshit merits a swift kick in the jewels for these willfully ignorant sociopaths!
    This is a travesty to us all, an utter disgrace.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    WIPP Clarifies Reports on Magnesium Oxide Usage
    May 3 2014

    "Due to some confusion in recent news reports, here is a more detailed explanation of the use of magnesium oxide (MgO) at WIPP. The magnesium oxide, a dry chemical, is not used to weigh down waste containers in the WIPP underground as one news outlet reported. The material is used as an engineered barrier to prevent radioactive material from releasing into the environment over a 10,000-year period, as required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) disposal standards for radioactive waste."

    Who knows how effective..

    The 'puff'wasn't contained ..and went out the ventiliation and salt handling shaft.

    • jec jec

      Wait..the TRUPACK steel containers were supposed to last for 10,000 years..if so, why need the bags? Unless the containers failed in the first 5 years, like the Yucca Mountain ones… Guess the work around was to fill up the containers with kitty litter..boy THAT makes sense..Just saying..

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Soooo … WIPP says it's Magnesium Oxide ..Conca says 'kitty litter'..
    This should be interesting.

    • jec jec

      Heart, I think, not sure, but there are two kinds of those Trupack containers or maybe more. But sounds like the 'wet cask' containers were the ones with kitty litter. There is dry and wet cask..wet means the contents can not dry out but is not sloshing liquid. So clay type materials are used to keep a level of humidity. Someone correct me if I am wrong here. If so, makes it easier to determine what was in what containers in Panel 7..and where they might have come from.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    There isn't supposed to be liquid waste at WIPP.
    I thought.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Not a great link.. can't get back to this for a bit..

    Liquid Waste at WIPP An Error
    June 26 2007

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    From link:

    "Safety rules prohibit all but the tiniest quantities of liquids at WIPP to avoid the risk of radioactive waste leaks. The rule applies to all liquids, not only radioactive ones, because of the possibility that they could cause drums to leak, carrying radioactive materials with them."

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    "In 2013, the Environment Department approved a permit modification that eliminated all headspace gas testing, so long as the documentation accompanying the waste was in order. That documentation is known as “acceptable knowledge” and typically includes extensive paperwork tracking the waste stream’s history and chemical makeup, even interviews with people who handled the materials in the past."Nuclear Waste Partnership spokesman Donavan Mager notes that even though headspace gas sampling is no longer required, before containers can be shipped they are tested to ensure they don’t vent flammable gases during transport to WIPP.

    Hancock notes that the testing to meet transportation regulations uses different methods and primarily looks for hydrogen gas buildup – not the array or amount of chemicals that could be trapped in container headspace."

    WIPP permits get a closer look after 2 incidents
    April 2 2014


  • Nick

    Snap Crackle and Pop makes the WIPP close down.

    Today it was discovered that some WIPPees stored contact handled waste in the remote handled area. Normally this would not be of too great a concern, but it was also discovered that the labels on the remote handled canisters was written in French and Russian.

    As a result, the canisters got placed in the contact handled section.

    Rest assured, this mistake will never happen again. Promise.


  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    It's magnesium oxide.. Mr.Conca.