– Gov’t Analysis: Up to 592 Trillion Bq of Plutonium equivalent involved in disaster at US nuclear dump – Over 5,000 times amount in waste drum blamed for WIPP release — Official: “We thought for sure” there were multiple ruptured drums — “It actually was measured” in city many miles away (VIDEO) (ENENews, May 5, 2015):
DOE Town Hall in Los Alamos on WIPP Leak Findings (mp3), Apr 23, 2015 (emphasis added):
- Question (at 1:43:15 in): So you’ve come up with an amount that you think was in the drum, and you’ve been able to forensically track that. The underground is pretty contaminated at this point, the walls are contaminated, the filters are contaminated — and it actually was measured in Carlsbad 30 miles away. So that’s a significant quantity of plutonium or other isotopes. How is that quantity matching with what is in the drum?
- Ted Wyka, US Dept. of Energy Chief Nuclear Safety Advisor and chairman of DOE’s Accident Investigation Board: You’re right, any release is obviously too much. We do have hundreds of surveys… We think we have a pretty good source term calculation to the extent that we need to identify it as one drum…
- Question: I don’t feel like that answers my question, which is of course is your job, right?… There’s so much plutonium, americium, or whatever those secret ingredients were, and now it’s spread all over in a layer and it’s leaked into the air — what is that quanity?…
- Wyka (at 1:49:15 in): Does that mean there’s no other sympathetic secondary releases from other drums? I can’t tell you that.
U.S. DOE Accident Investigation Board (AIB) Report Phase 2, Radiological Release at WIPP (pdf), Apr 2015: The inventory in drum 68660 [was] 2.84 PE-Ci [plutonium equivalent curies]… Source terms initially released in Panel 7 Room 7 [is estimated at] 2 to 10 PE-Ci.
> ESTIMATES OF TOTAL INVENTORY OF ACTIVITY INVOLVED
- Source Term (ST) = MAR [Material at Risk] x DR [Damage Ratio] x ARF [Airborne Release Fraction] x RF [Respirable Fraction]
- Assume a 2 Ci release from Room 7 based on assessment from previous slide
- Bounding Case 1… MAR = ST / (DR x ARF x RF) = 2 Ci / 0.5 x 0.0005 x 0.5 = 16,000 Ci [592,000,000,000,000 becquerels]
- Bounding Case 2… MAR = ST / (DR x ARF x RF) = 2 Ci / 0.5 x 0.01 x 1.0 = 400 Ci
Note the AIB reports the total inventory of activity in drum 68660 was 2.84 Ci. SRNL’s estimate of total inventory of activity involved was 400-16,000 Ci (141-5,634 times drum 68660 inventory).
This may explain Wyka’s statement at the Carlsbad town hall, “We went in thinking there’s another drum…We thought for sure we’d see something. Most of the analysis team thought so.”
See also: Gov’t: Radioactive release “orders of magnitude” worse than predicted at US nuke dump — 370 Billion Bq of Plutonium equivalent may have escaped from WIPP drum — For amount that high, “significant number” of breached drums expected (VIDEO)
– “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)
– Top Official: “Really concerned” over radiation release at US nuclear site; Feds “have put a noose around scientific personnel”… they refuse to reveal crucial information about WIPP disaster — Investigators becoming suspicious — Nuclear Expert: “It sure seems like there’s a cover-up”
– LA Times: ‘Horrific Comedy’ at US Nuclear Site — “Mounds of radioactive white foam laced with plutonium” spewed out — Gov’t failed to do any radiation tests when releases peaked after ‘major’ leak — Experts: “Risk of additional eruptions is real”
– Lab Director: Expect radiation spikes coming from US nuclear facility — Gov’t pays for more air monitors to see impact on populated areas — DOE warns of ‘ignitability’ of 368 containers at site; “Significant fire risk” — Top Official: Material at WIPP “just disintegrated… got very hot, very quickly”
– ‘Green burst’ and ‘criticality event’ under investigation by gov’t in connection with plutonium release at U.S. nuclear site #WIPP — Official: Underground fire may have initiated reaction in ruptured radioactive waste drum — Concern over possible arson/sabotage?
– Gov’t Report: Nuclear waste was up to 1,600°F during WIPP plutonium release — Concern that heat ‘chemically or physically changed’ contents of other drums — Increased hazard of spontaneous reaction… may have already occurred — Over 50 drums at risk (VIDEO)
– Internal Memo: 10 times more WIPP nuclear drums risk exploding than media reported – Expert: Data shows increasing amount of radioactivity going into environment – Official: Something “caused drum to later catch fire”
– WIPP Expert: “Very likely” multiple nuclear waste drums exploded, risk of more occurring; It was clearly something major… signs of fire at container holding over 500 billion Bq of Plutonium and Americium — Nuclear Engineer: “This is a huge dirty bomb”
– 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)
– Concern for ‘FULL PLUTONIUM FLASH’ at WIPP nuclear site that affects other drums and triggers spreading disaster – Plutonium-239 is a main radioactive material in drum that exploded – Anonymous Employee: The warnings were ignored … ‘They put us in danger’
– Top Science Journal: “Time bombs” at WIPP nuclear site? “High alert over risk of new explosions” in hundreds of plutonium-contaminated drums – AP: 4 years may be needed just to seal off area where drums stored – Experts go down to check if ground ‘still stable’
– Gov’t: ‘Cracked’ nuclear container filmed at WIPP — Expert: It “blew top off” — Reuters: “Released high levels of radiation” — 100s more drums risk similar ‘energetic reaction’ — Insider: Get forklift and remove them before another accident — Official: No ‘imminent’ public threat ‘at this time’ (VIDEO)