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Tag Archive: New Mexico


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HAZMAT USA State of New Mexico, Los Alamos [Los Alamos National Lab] Damage level Details

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HAZMAT in USA on Wednesday, 14 October, 2015 at 03:19 (03:19 AM) UTC.

Description
Not a very smart thief, stealing lab tools contaminated with radiation from Los Alamos National Laboratory. Investigators believe a LANL contractor might have done just that, and put the public at risk in what is just the latest problem with theft at the high security lab. Los Alamos Police are calling the man a “person of interest,” but not a suspect. Richard Atencio, an employee of Compra Industries, had total access to LANL’s Technical Area-54, which is a radioactive waste storage area. The incident started as a theft, but quickly turned into a full-on HAZMAT situation last month. According to a search warrant, on September 29, a witness saw a man in a brown shirt throwing things out of the trunk of a Honda Accord into bushes on LANL grounds. The man was tossing the things across the way from TA-54, where items have been reported missing over the past year. Los Alamos Police came out to the scene of the dump and found a laundry list of stuff. One of the items, a band saw, had “TA-54” on it, meaning it was likely contaminated. Turns out, it was, along with a pair of gloves and a bag. Police tracked down Richard Atencio, who was wearing a brown shirt and owns a Honda Accord. When officers searched Atencio’s Accord, they noticed his trunk carpet was missing. A HAZMAT sweep of his car found radiation levels on Atencio’s steering wheel, gear shift and passenger door. The FBI then searched Atencio’s Española home on October 9, suspecting he might have contaminated his own stuff. No LANL property or radioactive items were found. Atencio has not yet been charged with anything. LANL didn’t comment on the thefts; the company that Atencio works for, Compra Industries, didn’t get back to KRQE News 13. The search warrant also revealed a disturbing fact, that there have been 76 reported cases of theft of LANL property by LANL employees in the last year.

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13 October 2015 Tuesday 16:10

Thief steals radioactive items from Los Alamos National Lab

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (KRQE) –Investigators believe a LANL contractor might have done just that, and put the public at risk in what is just the latest problem with theft at the high security lab.

Thief steals radioactive items from Los Alamos National Lab

Not a very smart thief, stealing lab tools contaminated with radiation from Los Alamos National Laboratory.LOS ALAMOS, N.M.

Investigators believe a LANL contractor might have done just that, and put the public at risk in what is just the latest problem with theft at the high security lab.

Los Alamos Police are calling the man a “person of interest,” but not a suspect.

Richard Atencio, an employee of Compra Industries, had total access to LANL’s Technical Area-54, which is a radioactive waste storage area.

The incident started as a theft, but quickly turned into a full-on HAZMAT situation last month.

According to a search warrant, on September 29, a witness saw a man in a brown shirt throwing things out of the trunk of a Honda Accord into bushes on LANL grounds. The man was tossing the things across the way from TA-54, where items have been reported missing over the past year.

Los Alamos Police came out to the scene of the dump and found a laundry list of stuff. One of the items, a band saw, had “TA-54” on it, meaning it was likely contaminated. Turns out, it was, along with a pair of gloves and a bag.

 

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The “water lady” is a local hero in this area of the Navajo Nation.

Navajo Woman Trucks Water 75 Miles A Day To People On Parched Reservation

The “water lady’s” big yellow truck is a refreshing sight at the Navajo Nation.

Darlene Arviso, known as “the water lady,” delivers water five days a week to communities without plumbing and clean water on the Navajo reservation surrounding Thoreau, New Mexico, Navajo Times reported. She totes over 3,000 gallons of water in her truck, traveling 75 miles and visiting about a dozen families every day.

“I enjoy my job,” Arviso told the news site. “I like what I’m doing because I’m helping my people.”

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April 25th, 2014, 20:57 GMT · By

Report: Radioactive Leak at Nuclear Waste Site in the US Was Avoidable

 

Report says leak at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico could have been avoided Enlarge pictureReport says leak at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico could have been avoided

 

Earlier this year, on February 16, the Department of Energy in the United States announced that excessive levels of radiation had been documented at a nuclear waste site in New Mexico. The site in question is known as the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, and it presently accommodates for transuranic waste.

Recent news on the topic says that, according to a report shared with the public by the Department of Energy this past Thursday, this incident at said nuclear waste site in New Mexico could have been avoided.

As previously reported, traces of radiation were picked up by underground sensors at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant on Friday, February 14. This increase in radiation levels most likely occurred as a result of a leak inside one of the facility’s waste-storage vaults.

Despite the fact that these waste-storage vaults sit at a depth of about 2,000 feet (nearly 610 meters), some radioactive contamination somehow worked its way above ground. There is evidence to indicate that this happened due to the fact that the emergency filtration system failed to contain it.

NPR
informs that, in its report, the Department of Energy argues that the waste storage vault leaked partly due to improper maintenance, poor management, and unsuitable training and oversight.

 

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Management, Safety Cited for Radiation Release

 

 

A radiation release from the federal government’s underground nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico was the result of a slow erosion of the safety culture at the 15-year-old site, which was evident in the bungled response to the emergency, federal investigators said in a report released Thursday.

The report from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Accident Investigation Board cited poor management, ineffective maintenance and a lack of proper training and oversight at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad. The report also found that much of the operation failed to meet standards for a nuclear facility.

The series of shortcomings are similar to those found in a probe of the truck fire in the half-mile-deep mine just nine days before the Feb. 14 radiation release that shuttered the plant indefinitely.

Given the latest findings, watchdog Don Hancock said the leak that contaminated 21 workers with low doses of radiation in mid-February was a “best-case scenario.”

“Everything conspired for the least bad event to occur, based on what we know — and there is a still a lot we don’t know,” he said.

Last month, the head of the Defense Nuclear Safety Board, which has staff monitoring the Waste Isolation Pilot Project, called the accidents “near misses.”

Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board Chairman Peter Winokur said that for six days after the fire, no underground air monitors were operational, meaning that if that system had failed when the leak occurred Feb. 14, “or if the release event had occurred three days earlier, the release of radioactive material from the aboveground mine exhaust would have been orders of magnitude larger.”

DOE Accident Investigation Board Chairman Ted Wyka previewed the findings of the latest report at a community meeting Wednesday night, identifying the root cause as a “degradation of key safety management and safety culture.”

 

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Crews locate area of radiation leak at New Mexico nuclear waste site

Published time: April 18, 2014 19:25

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), New Mexico. (Image from wikipedia.org user@Leaflet)

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), New Mexico. (Image from wikipedia.org user@Leaflet)

While the cause of a radiation leak at the United States’ first nuclear waste repository remains unknown, officials have reportedly pinpointed the facility’s contaminated area.

According to the Associated Press, the Department of Energy’s Tammy Reynolds told residents in Carlsbad, New Mexico, that no definitive conclusions can be made regarding the latest discovery, but that further investigation into the area should produce some information next week.

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) has been shut down since February 14, when increased radiation levels were detected inside and outside the plant.

On Wednesday, crews investigating the leak made their way into the WIPP and inspected the facility’s various panels, or the large underground salt beds where nuclear waste is stored. These panels are located about a half-mile below the Earth’s surface, and after five hours of inspection they found that Panel 7 was the source of the leaked contamination.

 

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Search crew finds location but not source of leak at New Mexico nuclear waste storage site

By D. Lencho
21 April 2014

On April 16, more than two months after an underground air monitor detected airborne radiation underground at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) nuclear waste burial site in Carlsbad, New Mexico (see “Thirteen workers exposed to radiation in New Mexico nuclear waste site” ), a search team clad in heavy protective gear discovered the location of the contamination.

Since moving in the heavy-duty suits is slow and laborious, and the team’s respiratory equipment was running low, the team turned back before pinpointing the exact source of the leak, determining only that it is in a storage unit known as panel seven. This means that more trips to the 2,150-feet-deep panel will be required to find the source and to deal with it.

On the night of February 14, the monitor set off an alert, causing evacuation of the area and a halt to deliveries. Since then, the number of WIPP workers found to be contaminated with radiation has risen from 13 to 21. In addition, increased radiation has been detected in surrounding areas above ground.

The leak followed on the heels of an incident on February 5 in which a salt-hauling truck caught fire underground. 86 workers had to be evacuated. Six were hospitalized for smoke inhalation and seven others were treated on site.

A March 14 DOE (Department of Energy) Office of Environment Management report on the fire “identifies shortcomings in the preventive maintenance program, emergency management, and emergency response training and drills by the Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC managing and operating DOE Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, N.M., and it also faults the oversight provided by DOE’s Carlsbad Field Office,” according to an ohsonline.com article.

The article adds that the report “finds the NWP/Carlsbad Field Office emergency management program is not fully compliant with DOE’s requirements for a comprehensive emergency management system. While the report identified the direct cause of the incident…the investigative board identified 21 error precursors on the date of the fire. The truck operator’s training and qualification were inadequate to ensure proper response to a vehicle fire, and he did not initially notify the Central Monitoring Room that there was a fire or describe the fire’s location.”

Joe Franco, DOE’s Carlsbad Field Office manager, claimed, “We take these findings seriously and, in fact, we are already implementing many of the corrective actions in the report.”

However, criticism of WIPP from outside the DOE—from scientific, community and environmental organizations—has been constant since planning for the project began decades ago.

WIPP’s history traces its roots to the emergence of the US as a nuclear power during and after World War II. As the development of nuclear weapons picked up its pace, the problem of the accumulation of so-called transuranic waste, or TRU, developed along with it. TRU contains the elements americium and plutonium—which has a half-life in the tens of thousands of years—and contact with or ingestion of it, although it is categorized as “low-level,” is carcinogenic in minute amounts.

The Department of Energy began a search for a location to dispose of TRU, and after other proposed sites were rejected, decided in the early 1970s to begin testing on an area known as the Delaware Basin in southeastern New Mexico, about 26 miles east of the town of Carlsbad. A salt basin formed about 250 million years ago, and below some 300 meters (1,000 feet) of soil and rock, it was promoted by government officials and some scientists as an ideal waste disposal spot.

 

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Earth Watch Report  –  Biological Hazards

File:Yersinia pestis.jpg

Scanning electron micrograph depicting a mass of Yersinia pestis bacteria (the cause of bubonic plague) in the foregut of the flea vector

Credit: Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID, NIH http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/biodefense/Public/Images.htm

Via  Wikipedia.org

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Biological Hazard USA State of New Mexico, [Torrance County] Damage level Details

 

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RSOE EDIS

Biological Hazard in USA on Saturday, 26 April, 2014 at 04:41 (04:41 AM) UTC.

Description
The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) has reported today the first case of human plague of the year in the state and in the United States in a man from Torrance County. Confirmatory testing is being conducted at the NMDOH’s Scientific Laboratory Division. An environmental investigation will take place at the man’s home to look for ongoing risk to others in the surrounding area. “An epidemiologic investigation and an environmental investigation around the home of the plague case are being conducted by NMDOH staff to look for ongoing risk and to ensure the safety of the immediate family and neighbors,” said Department of Health Secretary Retta Ward, MPH. “Staff will go door to door to neighbors near the case to inform them about plague found in the area and educate them on reducing their risk. Health care providers and others close to the patient who have been determined to have been exposed are taking preventive antibiotic therapy.” Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium, Yersinia pestis. It is found in animals throughout the world, most commonly rats but other rodents like ground squirrels, prairie dogs, chipmunks, rabbits and voles. Fleas typically serve as the vector of plague. Human cases have been linked to the domestic cats and dogs that brought infected fleas into the house. People can also get infected through direct contact with an infected animal, through inhalation and in the case of pneumonic plague, person to person. Yersinia pestis is treatable with antibiotics if started early enough. There are three forms of human plague; bubonic, septicemic and pneumonic.
Biohazard name: Yersinia Pestis
Biohazard level: 4/4 Hazardous
Biohazard desc.: Viruses and bacteria that cause severe to fatal disease in humans, and for which vaccines or other treatments are not available, such as Bolivian and Argentine hemorrhagic fevers, H5N1(bird flu), Dengue hemorrhagic fever, Marburg virus, Ebola virus, hantaviruses, Lassa fever, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, and other hemorrhagic or unidentified diseases. When dealing with biological hazards at this level the use of a Hazmat suit and a self-contained oxygen supply is mandatory. The entrance and exit of a Level Four biolab will contain multiple showers, a vacuum room, an ultraviolet light room, autonomous detection system, and other safety precautions designed to destroy all traces of the biohazard. Multiple airlocks are employed and are electronically secured to prevent both doors opening at the same time. All air and water service going to and coming from a Biosafety Level 4 (P4) lab will undergo similar decontamination procedures to eliminate the possibility of an accidental release.
Symptoms:
Status: confirmed

 

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New Mexico Department of Health

Our mission is to promote health and wellness, improve health outcomes, and assure safety net services for all people in New Mexico.

 

Plague Case in Torrance County Man

April 25, 2014 – Zoonotic DiseaseDisease

The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) is reporting a case of plague in a 57-year-old man from Torrance County who is currently hospitalized in critical condition. Confirmatory testing is being conducted at the NMDOH’s Scientific Laboratory Division. This is the first human case of plague in New Mexico and in the United States this year. An environmental investigation will take place at the man’s home to look for ongoing risk to others in the surrounding area.

“An epidemiologic investigation and an environmental investigation around the home of the plague case are being conducted by NMDOH staff to look for ongoing risk and to ensure the safety of the immediate family and neighbors,” said Department of Health Secretary Retta Ward, MPH. “Staff will go door to door to neighbors near the case to inform them about plague found in the area and educate them on reducing their risk. Health care providers and others close to the patient who have been determined to have been exposed are taking preventive antibiotic therapy.”

Plague is a bacterial disease of rodents and is generally transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas, but can also be transmitted by direct contact with infected animals, including rodents, wildlife and pets.

“Plague cases have occurred every month of the year in New Mexico, but most cases usually occur in the summer months,” said Dr. Paul Ettestad, public health veterinarian for the Department of Health. “It is especially important now that it is warming up to take precautions to avoid rodents and their fleas which can expose you to plague. Pets that are allowed to roam and hunt can bring infected fleas from dead rodents back into the home, putting you and your children at risk.”

To prevent plague, the Department of Health recommends:

 

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Protesters descend on Albuquerque City Hall to decry deadly shootings

Published time: April 08, 2014 03:59

Downtown Albuquerque (Photo from wikipedia.org)

Downtown Albuquerque (Photo from wikipedia.org)

Protesters filled Albuquerque City Hall on Monday evening, forcing the city council to clear its legislative agenda and turn the podium over to citizens furious with police over a spiking number of fatal shootings.

City Council President Ken Sanchez told the Albuquerque Journal that more police officers would be assigned to make sure the meeting was peaceful, and that the meeting would be adjourned if tempers flared, but said the council is mulling legislation that would create more oversight over the department.

We need to make some dramatic changes,” he said. “We’re confronting a crisis situation at this time.”

Tension have been building between police and the public for years. Wynema and Michael Gonzagowski told Cindy Carcamo of the Los Angeles Times that, upon moving to Albuquerque, friends warned them to avoid the police. They did not take those warnings seriously until they watched police fatally shoot their neighbor, Alfred Lionel Redwine on March 25.

I’ve never been scared of crops, but out here, the cops terrify me,” said Michael, age 39. “They treat you like you’re out looking to cause trouble every time they talk to you.”

Chief Eden said in a press conference that Redwine brandished a weapon and shot at police during a standoff at a public housing complex, forcing the officers to return fire. Wynemda Gonzagowski disagreed, telling the Times that Redwine had surrendered to police with his arms out when he was hit.

They didn’t warn him, they didn’t tell him to freeze and get on the ground or to put his hand behind his hand,” she said.

 

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Published on Mar 26, 2014

Trouble stops fuel removal at nuclear plant
Work has been suspended to remove spent nuclear fuel from a storage pool at a reactor building in the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
Tokyo Electric Power Company said an accident occurred at around 9:30 AM on Wednesday when workers started removing fuel units at the No. 4 reactor building.
The utility explained a large crane used to hoist a cask containing 22 spent fuel units from the storage pool suddenly halted before lifting the cask. Workers were attaching a hook to the crane’s wire at that time.
The company says no rise in radiation levels have been observed around the pool.
Workers are now trying to find out what caused the problem.
TEPCO began removing fuel units from the storage pool of the No.4 reactor in November of last year. The pool held 1,533 units of fuel, of which 1,331 are highly radioactive spent fuel.
As of Tuesday, 550 fuel units had been removed and transferred to another storage pool.

Japan faces challenges on nuclear material
Japan faces a number of challenges in reducing its stockpiles of nuclear material to prevent its exploitation by terrorists.
Japan agreed in a joint statement with the United States on Monday at the Nuclear Security Summit to return stocks of plutonium provided by other countries for research purposes in the 1960s.
The supply includes 331 kilograms of plutonium from the US used for fast critical assembly experiments.
The United States is collecting nuclear material to prevent terrorists from acquiring it.
Japan also maintains a stockpile of about 44 tons of plutonium recycled from spent nuclear fuel.
The amount would be enough to make about 5,500 bombs according to calculations by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The plutonium is meant to be used as fuel for nuclear power generation, but the accident in March 2011 at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant has put all reactors in Japan offline.
Japan also lacks a law requiring background checks for workers at nuclear facilities.

Leaders aim to minimize nuclear material stocks
World leaders have agreed to try to minimize stocks of weapons-grade uranium and other sensitive materials as a way to counter nuclear terrorism.
Leaders from more than 50 countries adopted a communique at the end of the 2-day Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague on Tuesday.
The Hague communique also calls on nations to keep their stockpile of plutonium to the minimum level. It urges political and financial support for the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Japan announced at the summit that it will remove all highly enriched uranium and plutonium from a research facility and hand them over to the United States for disposal.
Japan has used the materials for research on a fast reactor with cooperation from the US.

Inside Source: Gov’t officials are withholding Fukushima radiation data — Levels much higher than expected — Releasing numbers would “have a huge impact” — Over 2,000 millisieverts per year where residents are being encouraged to return
http://enenews.com/inside-source-govt…

Nearly a dozen Hanford employees sick from unknown fumes
http://www.king5.com/news/investigato…

N.Korea fires ballistic missiles
South Korea’s defense ministry says North Korea fired 2 ballistic missiles towards the Sea of Japan early on Wednesday morning.
Ministry officials say the North launched the missiles from an area north of Pyongyang.

Blockage cleared for Fukushima water bypass
http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS-…

NRC Events
http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-col…

How safe is the DOE’s WIPP nuclear dump when sinkholes open in New Mexico?
http://www.examiner.com/article/how-s…

Mexicans concerned, anxious about WIPP radiation release — City of 2.5 million nearly 200 miles away “within transnational evacuation zone in event of a nuclear disaster” — Local officials meeting with U.S. gov’t — Whistleblower: If plutonium released “surrounding population should take precautions”
http://enenews.com/mexicans-concerned…

Federal oversight chair questions safety at Carlsbad’s WIPP nuke dump
http://www.examiner.com/article/how-s…

Nuclear reactor threatened by cuts
http://www.timesunion.com/local/artic…

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry
http://nuclear-news.net/

 

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Japan prepares to ship nuclear materials to the US

Published time: March 24, 2014 17:37
Edited time: March 26, 2014 12:07

Reuters/Gleb Garanich

Reuters/Gleb Garanich

Japan agreed to transfer a share of its highly enriched uranium and weapons grade plutonium stockpiles to the US as part of the global effort to secure nuclear materials. Other nations are also urged to deposit excess nuclear materials in the US.

On the eve of the two-day Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, US and Japanese leaders arranged a deal on “final disposition” in the US of well over 300 kilograms of weapons grade plutonium and an unspecified quantity of highly enriched uranium (HEU) that will be “sent to a secure facility and fully converted into less sensitive forms.”

This quantity of plutonium is enough to produce 40-50 warheads. The total quantity of HEU currently stocked in Japan is estimated at approximately 1.2 tons. According to The New York Times, some 200 kilograms of HEU is currently designated for the US.

After Barack Obama announced in Prague in 2009 an ambitious agenda to seek “the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons,” the American president has been pressing his foreign counterparts, both in Asia and Europe, demanding they either get rid of their excess nuclear materials via the US, or tighten security of stockpiles at home.

Two more countries, Belgium and Italy, have also agreed to hand over excess nuclear materials to the US and issued separate joint statements with the White House, Reuters reported.

“This effort involves the elimination of hundreds of kilograms of nuclear material, furthering our mutual goal of minimizing stocks of HEU and separated plutonium worldwide, which will help prevent unauthorized actors, criminals, or terrorists from acquiring such materials,” US President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a joint statement released by the White House on Monday.

There is no information whether the deal between Japan and the US has a financial side; nuclear materials, of course, have a solid market value.

 

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Mexicans concerned, anxious about WIPP radiation release — City of 2.5 million nearly 200 miles away “within transnational evacuation zone in event of a nuclear disaster” — Local officials meeting with U.S. gov’t — Whistleblower: If plutonium released “surrounding population should take precautions”

Published: March 26th, 2014 at 1:27 pm ET
By

U.S. Radiation Leak Concerns Mexicans, by Kent Paterson,  Editor of Frontera NorteSur and Curriculum Developer with the project of the Center for Latin American and Border Studies at New Mexico State University (NMSU), Mar. 24, 2014: Serious problems at a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico have caught the eyes of the press and government officials in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico [Population: 2.5 million]. […] Since February 14, additional radiation releases [from WIPP] connected to the original one have been reported, even as more workers are still awaiting test results for possible radiation exposure during the first event. Although Ciudad Juarez is located nearly 200 miles from WIPP, city officials expect to meet with U.S. government representatives on March 26 or 27 to discuss ongoing issues from the February 14 incident. A story in El Diario newspaper said that Ciudad Juarez (and neighboring El Paso and Las Cruces) were well within a transnational evacuation zone in the event of a nuclear disaster. While WIPP spokespersons say that the radiation releases have been minimal and pose no danger to public health, Mexican officials are anxious to hear the message in person. […] Despite U.S. and Mexican government reports of little or no radioactive contamination from the WIPP leak, public doubts about the gravity of the February 14 incident persist due to incomplete contaminant data reporting, the slowness in getting all the potentially exposed workers tested and informed, spotty or contradictory statements by regulatory officials, and uncertainties over the origin of the radiation leak and how far an area it has impacted. […] Back in the 1990s, Ciudad Juarez and U.S. environmentalists from the Rio Bravo Ecological Alliance took a stand against WIPP based partly on concerns that the underground storage facility would eventually contaminate the Pecos River Basin and the Rio Grande.

 

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missingsky102 missingsky102·

 

Published on Mar 8, 2014

What’s Leaking From the Nuclear Waste Isolation Pilot Program
Located near Carlsbad, New Mexico this Department of Energy (DOE) experimental nuclear waste dump is attempting to store leftover radioactive plutonium and americium from the US weapons program. On February 14, 2014 there was a nuclear safety failure at the site and the Department of Energy is not being honest about it. In this film Fairewinds Energy Education’s Arnie Gundersen pieces together what happened and points out Fairewinds’ major concerns about the facility, the accident, and the lack of transparency at the DOE.
http://fairewinds.org/media/fairewind…|

US Gov’t: Never faced challenge like this, but “not giving up hope” at WIPP; Salt from contaminated mine to be sold as feed to dairy farms — TV: “Residents flat out concerned for their safety”; “I want to believe them… but I don’t” — Reuters: ‘Falling slabs’ may have breached waste drums (VIDEO)
http://enenews.com/us-govt-weve-never…

Subsidence concerns at WIPP nuclear dump — Over 100 operating oil and gas wells within mile of site, a ‘very active’ area — Reserves ‘directly underneath’ buried waste — Fracking to take place nearby? (VIDEO)
http://enenews.com/concerns-about-sub…

“WIPP release story doesn’t add up… accident is unbelievable” — New tests show “high level” release underground — “Contains things far more radioactive than High Level Waste” — “I want to hear what really happened down there” (VIDEO)
http://enenews.com/accident-at-wipp-i…

WIPP Expert: Nuclear waste is getting out above ground — Plutonium / Americium found in “every single worker” on site when leak began — New Mexico officials ‘totally unsatisfied’ with lack of info from Feds — “We don’t know how far away it’s gone” — Continuing threat for long time to come (AUDIO)
http://enenews.com/wipp-expert-radioa…

Robot to probe underground at WIPP
http://www.currentargus.com/carlsbad-…

Major Nuclear Dump Has Leaked, But Does US Gov’t Have a Plan B?
Experts warn that troubled repository does not bode well for U.S. strategy for disposal of waste from nuclear weapons development
http://2knowabout.blogspot.ca/2014/03…

 

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The radiation leak site that wants more nuclear waste

The BBC’s Jane O’Brien takes an underground tour of the nuclear waste site before the radiation leak

A recent radiation leak at America’s only nuclear waste repository threatens the future of waste storage in the country. But leaders in the city of Carlsbad, New Mexico, still want their area to be a destination for America’s radioactive history.

Carlsbad works underground.

On the road into the city, derricks pump oil from deep in the Earth.

Residents go to work mining potash, a raw material used in fertiliser. Others give tours at Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

And some of Carlsbad’s underground workers make a half-mile (0.8km) journey into the earth not to take from the ground, but to bury the wastes of human invention.

This is WIPP, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, the only long-term geologic repository for nuclear waste in the United States.

WIPP from afar 3 October 2013 WIPP opened in south-eastern New Mexico in 1999

While other locales across the US have fought mightily to prevent the establishment of similar operations, almost all of Carlsbad is sanguine about the storage of nuclear materials just a 40-minute drive from the centre of town.

That confidence has been tested this month after a radiation leak and the initial report 13 workers had tested positive for radioactive contamination.

And as the only permanent storage facility for nuclear waste, problems at WIPP create problems for the larger US nuclear defence complex, including delays of already scheduled shipments from around the country.

But it is the first serious incident in WIPP’s history, and Carlsbad still appears to have confidence, albeit slightly shaken, in the site.

In fact, town officials are hoping their corner of New Mexico can be the home of even more nuclear waste.

 

Nuclear waste from WIPP

 

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New Mexico sets deadlines for handling WIPP nuke waste

By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN / Associated Press

Posted:   03/04/2014 07:25:28 AM MST

ALBUQUERQUE – The federal government’s only underground nuclear waste dump remained shuttered Monday and state environment officials said they have set deadlines for the U.S. Department of Energy and its contractor to deal with radioactive waste left above ground at the repository.Dozens of drums and other special containers that have been shipped to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant from federal facilities around the country are being stored in a parking area at the plant and inside the facility’s waste handling building.

From there, the waste is usually taken to its final resting place deep in underground salt beds. However, the repository has been closed since early February due to back-to-back accidents, including a radiation release that exposed at least 13 workers and set off air monitoring devices around the plant.

Under its permit with the state, the dump can keep waste stored in the parking area for only 30 days and up to 60 days in the handling building. Due to the closure, the state is extending those deadlines to 60 days and 105 days, respectively. The federal government would have to develop an alternative storage plan if the underground dump remains off-limits for more than three months.

The Environment Department outlined the deadlines, along with requirements for weekly reports and a mandatory inspection before operations resume, in an administrative order made public Monday.
 

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Veterans Today

Enough to Kill 35,5000 People Released so Far

… by  Bob Nichols

(San Francisco) – Feb 28, 2014 – Carlsbad, New Mexico is the site of the nation’s only nuclear weapons program garbage dump. Plutonium is used in making The Bomb, it melts at 640 Deg C or 1,184 Deg F, and is made in reactors. It is not mined anywhere on Earth. Reactors exist to make Bombs.

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Source Current Argus Carlsbad New Mexico img_591-Feb.-06-09.35

Black Smoke from Plutonium Fire at Nuke Garbage Dump Source Current Argus

The Carlsbad Bomb making garbage dump is on fire. The burning radioactive metal does not go away, it turns to dense black radioactive smoke. The black smoke is very obvious in the daytime and it streamed from several ventilator shafts during a fire at the dump two weeks ago.

The shafts were then closed and the visible smoke kept underground. Plutonium does not need oxygen to burn and escaped anyway. The HEPA filters are not good enough to contain the very small Plutonium particles; that’s because nothing is. The fire very well could still be burning Plutonium and Uranium in the salt mine.

The special Bomb making isotopes catch fire easily and burn at unearthly high temperatures – nothing can contain a fire in the underground garbage dump.  Since Uranium and Plutonium burn at higher temperatures than rock salt, there is a remote possibility the underground dump itself is on fire.

This is all about the contaminated garbage left over from making nuclear and thermonuclear bombs. That is the source of the poisonous garbage buried 2200 ft, or 670.56 meters, beneath the southeastern New Mexico desert.

WIPP Pu239 Dispersion by wind Carlsbad New Mexico

WIPP Pu239 Dispersion by wind Carlsbad New Mexico

The nation manufactures and maintains more than 60,000 nuclear and thermonuclear weapons. Bomb production has not necessarily stopped. All the contaminated garbage, trucks, tools, junk, wipes and clothes, etc from 70 years plus of nuclear weapons production is stuffed down a hole in New Mexico.

 

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 Huffpost Green

Posted: 02/27/2014 10:29 am EST Updated: 02/27/2014 10:59 am EST

 

Main Entry Image

Machinery sits in one of the underground tunnels that will used to transport nuclear waste to be stored in underground chambers at WIPP, the controversial nuclear waste dump site in New Mexico. | Joe Raedle via Getty Images

 

 

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Employees who were working at the nation’s underground nuclear waste dump when it started leaking didn’t show signs of external contamination, but officials say biological samples show 13 workers suffered some exposure to radiation.

The U.S. Department of Energy and the contractor that runs the Waste Isolation Pilot Project declined to comment further on the preliminary test results announced Wednesday, saying they’ll discuss the issue at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

“It is important to note that these are initial sample results,” the DOE and Nuclear Waste Partnership, the plant operator, said in a joint statement. “These employees, both federal and contractor, will be asked to provide additional samples in order to fully determine the extent of any exposure.”

All employees who were working at the southeastern New Mexico plant when the leak occurred late Feb. 14 were checked for contamination before being allowed to leave, the news release said. But biological samples were also taken to check for possible exposure from inhaling radioactive particles.

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New Mexico radiation leak raises concerns

 

MATTHEW DALY, SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, Associated Press

 


 

FILE - This undated file aerial photo shows the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, N.M. Back-to-back accidents and a never-supposed-to-happen above-ground radiation release have shuttered the federal government’s only deep underground nuclear waste dump indefinitely, raising questions about a cornerstone of the Department of Energy’s $5 billion-a year-program for cleaning up legacy waste scattered across the country from decades of nuclear bomb making. Thirteen workers have tested positive for radiation exposure after a recent leak. (AP Photo/Carlsbad Current Argus, File)

FILE – This undated file aerial photo shows the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, N.M. Back-to-back accidents and a never-supposed-to-happen above-ground radiation release have shuttered the federal government’s only deep underground nuclear waste dump indefinitely, raising questions about a cornerstone of the Department of Energy’s $5 billion-a year-program for cleaning up legacy waste scattered across the country from decades of nuclear bomb making. Thirteen workers have tested positive for radiation exposure after a recent leak. (AP Photo/Carlsbad Current Argus, File)

 

 

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The radiation exposure of at least 13 workers at a nuclear dump in a New Mexico salt bed more than 2,000 feet below the ground has brought new attention to the nation’s long struggle to find places to dispose of tons of Cold War-era waste.

 

The above-ground radiation release that exposed the workers during a night shift two weeks ago shut down the facility as authorities investigate the cause and attempt to determine the health effects on the employees. The mishap has also raised questions about a cornerstone of the Department of Energy’s $5-billion-a-year program for cleaning up waste scattered across the country from decades of nuclear-bomb making.

 

With operations at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant on hold, so are all shipments, including the last of nearly 4,000 barrels of toxic waste that Los Alamos National Laboratory has been ordered to remove from its campus by the end of June. Other waste from labs in Idaho, Illinois and South Carolina is also without a home while operations are halted.

 

 

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