Almost no one has heard about the uncontrolled airborne release of a radioactive plutonium plume from a geological nuclear waste storage facility. According to SRIC; the radiation leak came from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). The leak was identified at 11:30 pm on Friday, February 14, 2014. After the leak was found via an alarm system, it triggered a filtration system, so that air coming out of WIPP would be filtered before being released. Despite the ‘filters’, radiation was detected 3000 feet NW of the ventilation shaft. SRIC nuclear/docs/WIPP Leak pdf HERE
According to climateviewer.com, article below, the radioactive plutonium and americium release was hidden from the public by authorities for five days. A local news report confirms that there was a ‘delay’ of several days.
How much plutonium and americium is coming out? How long will radioactive plume continue? How will this 96,000x above background radiation level affect ‘downwinders’?
There was also a fire at this same facility about a week earlier that released thick black clouds of smoke out of the ventilation shaft. The cause of this fire was claimed to be nothing more than ‘a vehicle’.
Does anyone else feel that it is a bit suspicious that just a few days after a ‘truck fire’ we have a disclosure of radiation coming out of this same salt mine? Was the disclosure of a radiation release hidden for five days? If yes, could it be that these two things (truck fire and radiation release) are actually one and the same thing? Where is the carcass of the burned out vehicle? Maybe the vehicle was a truck carrying a container of radioactive high level waste, which broke open or melted due to the heat of the truck fire.. Who knows, because the DOE is not in the habit of transparently disclosing negative things, just like the nuclear industry. Minimizing, delaying bad news, and saying nothing dangerous is happening are all part of the ‘spin’ that happens after every nuclear accident.
The authorities did not disclose this radiation for five days, according to the article above, but finally did admit the release of plutonium and americium from the facility in unknown amounts. Other news reports indicate that a monitor 1/2 mile away detected the radioactive plume. Of course, the PR person for WIPP claims that plutonium is too ‘heavy’ to go very far, but that is exactly what they said after Fukushima released between 600 to 6000 pounds of plutonium and that plutonium was confirmed to have gone all around the world.
The pro nuclear PR person also claimed that plutonium is ‘natural’ because plutonium has been released via the atomic age from atomic bomb tests and a plutonium satellite crash, just like any pro nuclear PR person will say after any other nuclear accident. Using the ‘natural’ with plutonium makes it sound like plutonium is just ordinary household dust and it is harmless. Bottom line, there is no ‘natural’ plutonium, and this “plutonium is natural claim” is a bald faced lie, designed to deceive people, and to minimize this event.
Below are the links to the actual story, and a 1 hour documentary is also included below for those who want to really dive into the history of the only working geological storage facility of high level nuclear liquid waste products and high level mixed products, despite it being permitted only for low level waste, such as rags, clothing and wipes.
Plutonium release at U.S. nuclear facility: “We don’t know what happened… don’t know whether it could happen again” — “Big problem is…how much is continuing to be released?” — Officials“know very little about extent of problem or how to solve it”
KUNM (NPR affiliate), Feb. 20, 2014: Highest Ever Radiation Levels Detected In Air Above Nuclear Waste Facility [...] Russell Hardy, director of the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center, said Wednesday a monitor near the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico has detected trace amounts of the radioactive isotopes americium and plutonium. He says the levels are the highest ever detected at or around the site [...]
Albuquerque Journal, Feb. 20, 2014: [...] “It’s still below what EPA considers actionable levels, but it’s important to know that some material did get out of the facility,” Hardy said. [...] Plutonium and americium are cancer-causing when inhaled or consumed, Hardy said. [...] WIPP said Wednesday that it is developing a plan to safely re-enter the underground facility. Radiological professionals from other Energy Department locations and national laboratories are also assisting in the recovery, WIPP said. [...] Hardy said CEMRC is in the process of testing 10 additional filters from an exhaust shaft at WIPP.
RT, Feb. 20, 2014: Spokeswoman Deb Gill said [...] officials know very little about the extent of the problem or how to solve it.
Plutonium release at U.S. nuclear facility: “We don’t know what happened… don’t know whether it could happen again” — “Big problem is…how much is continuing to be released?” — Officials “know very little about extent of problem or how to solve it”
Plutonium detected half-mile outside New Mexico nuclear waste facility
February 20, 2014
Four days after a radiation alert shut the nation’s only underground nuclear waste facility, an independent monitoring center said Wednesday it found radioactive isotopes in an air sensor about a half mile from the southeastern New Mexico plant.
US Gov’t: EPA specifically allows radioactive waste to be dumped in salt caverns — Exempted from hazardous waste requirements
How is it that the EPA is working with the DOE on this illegal high level nuclear waste project? The EPA is supposed to be protecting the environment, but now it seems to be in charge of an illegal high level nuclear waste facility. The EPA and DOE are now responsible for the release of airborne plutonium and americium, one of the most deadly substances on Earth.
Bottom line, taxpayers are footing the bill for the garbage produced by the for profit, private nuclear industry. High level radioactive liquid waste is now being disposed of illegally in places like WIPP, originally only permitted for low level nuclear waste.
As late as 2009, the DOE said WIPP was not a good place to store nuclear waste. What changed since then? Nothing, other than they do not have any solutions for high level nuclear garbage. There are actually ten reasons why WIPP was a bad idea to store nuclear wastes, and just ONE of these reasons should have been enough to keep any radioactive waste out of it. But the ‘experts’ went ahead anyway, just like the nuclear industry went ahead and used the Ge Mark I reactor design despite knowing it was so defective that nuclear engineers quit rather than continue working on it. 10 Reasons Why WIPP is a Bad Place for Nuclear Waste
As recently as 2011, “the Department of Energy (DOE) said it would abide by those restrictions (low level waste only allowed). “Legislation and legally binding documents specifically prohibit … other waste forms from being disposed of at WIPP,” the statement said.”
According to the IEER, in High-Level Dollars, Low-Level Sense: Chapter 3, Overview and Critique of the Current Approach to Radioactive Waste Management, there were severe problems with the WIPP site, such as:
“Water leakage into WIPP. The DOE first encountered water seepage into WIPP excavations in 1983. In 1986, a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) panel on WIPP warned that in a few hundred years sufficient brine might seep into the repository rooms to saturate them. The water leakage issue became public in the fall of 1987 when a group of New Mexico scientists (called the Scientists Review Panel) concluded that the salt formation at WIPP contains much more water than the DOE had anticipated. They warned that over a period of time the brine could corrode the waste drums, forming a “radioactive waste slurry” consisting of a mixture of brine and nuclear waste which might eventually reach the surface.49
Learn more at A Green Road
[Tru Editor's FYI: Our Tru Blogger did not write this article. Please see the source at the above link.]