Emergency center activated at U.S. nuclear site — ‘Dead body found at facility’

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Emergency center activated at U.S. nuclear site — “Dead body found at facility”… “Officials confirm one death” — “Sheriff’s office is actively investigating the incident”:

Albuquerque Journal, Dec 28, 2015 (emphasis added): A 62-year-old employee was found dead Sunday at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico. Robert Staffel, an employee at the nuclear waste repository’s quality assurance department, was found unresponsive by emergency response personnel around 8 p.m. after family members alerted staff that they had tried to reach him by phone, according to a spokesman… Eddy County Sheriff’s Office and state medical examiner responded to the site and an investigation is ongoing. Staffel is believed to have died of natural causes… Phil Breidenbach, NWP president and project manager [said] “We will continue to support the investigation into Mr. Staffel’s death.”

Read moreEmergency center activated at U.S. nuclear site — ‘Dead body found at facility’

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)

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):

Ceiling collapses at WIPP nuclear waste dump – 6 other areas at risk due to ‘significant bolt loss’ — Failures are exceeding safety levels

Flashback:

“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)

New Mexico WIPP Nuclear Storage Facility Essentially ‘A Huge Dirty Bomb’ Waiting To Explode

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”


AP: Ceiling collapses at WIPP nuclear waste dump — Officials: Roof has separated — “Ground control a significant concern for all of us” — 6 other areas at risk due to ‘significant bolt loss’ — Failures are exceeding safety levels (VIDEO) (ENENews, Jan 23, 2015):

Dept. of Energy, Jan 21, 2015 (emphasis added): Roof Separation Highlights Bolting Priority — January 15 [we] discovered that a portion of the ceiling in the Panel 3 access drift had fallen… The roof fall… was estimated to be approximately 8’ long by 8’wide and 24” thick… no WIPP personnel were present at the time of the fall. The area where the fall occurred is also known to contain low levels of radioactive contamination… WIPP geotechnical inspections conducted in November 2014 identified seven areas… where access was restricted due to significant bolt loss… The area where the roof fall occurred was one of the seven locations…

Read moreCeiling collapses at WIPP nuclear waste dump – 6 other areas at risk due to ‘significant bolt loss’ — Failures are exceeding safety levels

“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)

“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) (ENENews, Nov 17, 2014):

Sante Fe New Mexican, Nov. 15, 2014 (emphasis added): The combination [of neutralizer and wheat-based organic litter] turned the waste into a potential bomb that one lab chemist later characterized as akin to plastic explosives, according to a six-month investigation by The New Mexican. [Los Alamos National Lab] then shipped [the waste] to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant… Feb. 14… the drum’s lid cracked open… Temperatures in the underground chamber soared to 1,600 degrees, threatening dozens of nearby drums… Documents and internal emails show… officials downplayed the dangers… and withheld critical information.

Patented Explosives

  • LANL chemist Steve Clemmons [found] the drum’s contents match the makeup of patented plastic, water-gel and slurry explosives… “All of the required components included in the patent claims would be present,” Clemmons wrote… “I am appalled that LANL didn’t provide us this information!” [wrote DOE official Dana Bryson]… On May 27, when they learned of the memo about patented explosives… WIPP abandoned plans for the next day to sample the area where the breach occurred, fearing it was too dangerous. “In a phone call with LANL, they indicated that there is a possibility that any sampling of the kitty litter/drum contents could cause another event,” [wrote] David Freeman, Nuclear Waste Partnership’s chief nuclear engineer… “We have a formal letter on LANL letterhead implying there is a real and present danger in the WIPP underground,” Bryson wrote.

Up to 55 more drums of waste ‘destabilized ‘

Read more“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)

Reuters: Investigation suggests another drum with plutonium ruptured at US nuclear site — TV: “There are new concerns at WIPP that there could be another radiation leak”

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Reuters: Investigation suggests another drum with plutonium ruptured at US nuclear site — TV: “There are new concerns at WIPP that there could be another radiation leak” (VIDEO) (ENENews, Sep 19, 2014):

Joe Franco, DOE official, Sept. 18, 2014 (at 41:00 in): “As you probably heard… there’s been some items about a 2nd drum in Panel 6… We’ve taken into consideration, that what if we had that event again while our folks are in the underground… What’s come out insinuates that we have another potential drum… We’re taking things seriously.” >> Watch video here

Reuters, Sept. 19, 2014 (emphasis added): Second container possibly leaked at New Mexico nuclear dump — A second container of plutonium-contaminated debris may have contributed to a radiation leak [at New Mexico’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant] a U.S. Energy Department official said on Thursday…. “What has come out insinuates we have another potential drum,” Joe Franco, manager of the Energy Department field office in Carlsbad that oversees the plant, told a public meeting. Franco said further investigation of the underground suggests the rupture of an additional barrel of nuclear waste

Read moreReuters: Investigation suggests another drum with plutonium ruptured at US nuclear site — TV: “There are new concerns at WIPP that there could be another radiation leak”

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”

–  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” (AUDIO) (ENENews, Sep 6, 2014):

The Santa Fe New Mexican, Sept 6, 2014: Flynn accuses feds of blocking WIPP probe — New Mexico’s top environmental regulator lashed out at the U.S. Department of Energy this week, accusing it of impeding the state’s investigation into [the WIPP] radiation leak… Secretary Ryan Flynn warned [about] Energy Department roadblocks that have protracted the probe… Increasingly in recent weeks, the federal Energy Department has thwarted attempts by the state… Flynn accused the Energy Department of muzzling scientists with crucial information about the waste…. [They] asked for documentation supporting the scientists’ observations [but] the Energy Department has repeatedly refused… his frustration with the Energy Department grew as its denials… became more frequent… The Energy Department’s refusal to provide information raised suspicions among Flynn’s investigators…

Read moreTop 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”

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” (VIDEO) (ENENews, Aug 24, 2014):

KRQE, Aug 14, 2014 (emphasis added): [In February the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant] experienced a major radiation leak, shutting down the plant.

Los Angeles Times, Aug 23, 2014:

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”

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” (VIDEO) (ENENews, Aug 2, 2014)

‘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?

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‘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? (VIDEO) (ENENews, July 23, 2014):

Sante Fe Reporter, July 23, 2014 (emphasis added): Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory are still trying to determine exactly what caused a barrel buried at the Waste Isolation Pilot Project to burst open in February, said LANL chemist Nan Sauer. […] investigators now believe the metals in [a] glove might have reacted with nitrate salts after temperatures rose in the barrel at WIPP. […] Just how the temps increased to initiate the reaction, however, is still up for debate. Theories about what initiated the reaction include warmth generated by decomposition of the litter (a commercially
available substance called Swheat that Sauer says won’t be used anymore ). Another hypothesis would put the blame on heat from a truck fire that occurred inside WIPP a half mile from the barrel location about nine days before an air monitor detected the radiation leak. Smoke from the fire might have also affected ventilation systems and led to hotter air, she said. […]

Read more‘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)

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) (ENENews, July 13, 2014):

Evaluation of the Effect of Elevated Temperatures on the Waste Containers in [the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant’s] Room 7 of Panel 7 to Determine if an Additional Reaction Hazard Has Been Introduced, Los Alamos National Laboratory, June 18, 2014 (emphasis added): Unreacted drums of nitrate salt waste stream, LAMIN02-V.001, continue to pose a potential reaction hazard in Room 7. […] at least one nitrate salt bearing waste container from [LANL] is breached […] LANL-CO was […] to determine if the heat has chemically or physically changed the waste and introduced a reaction hazard causing the waste to spontaneously combust, self-heat, autoignite, or explode. […] Based on the photographic evidence of the color of the steel on the breached LANL drum, a small area of the drum reached a minimum temperature of 340°C [644°F]. […] The damage to container gaskets, polypropylene backfill bags, shrink wrap, and slip sheets indicate a room wide temperature sufficient to cause the polymers in these items to flow or melt […] Based solely on the photographic information it appears that some surfaces on the LANL drum may have reached temperatures of up to 700-870°C [1598°F] and the waste in a large portion of the room reached temperatures up to 170°C to 230°C [446°F].

Read moreGov’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)