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