Warning: New Mexico Nuclear Power Plant Leaking Radiation
25 February, 2014
Since Obama was re-elected there seems to be a string of disasters unlike anything ever seen in this nations history. From the engineered gulf oil spill to the chemical spill in West Virginia and everything in between. Order out of Chaos continues.
New Mexico officials investigating a leak from the federal government’s only underground nuclear waste dump tried to reassure skeptical southeastern New Mexico residents Monday night that their health is safe.
More than 250 people attended a two-hour meeting to ask questions about back-to-back accidents at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad and the first-known release of radiation from the repository.
“I’m just a mom,” said Anna Hovrud, “and my first reaction was to start praying. … Basically I am not understanding about two-thirds of what has been said here. Is there a chance we could be exposed to radiation, that we are being poisoned somehow, while we are waiting for these samples?”
Joe Franco, who manages the Department of Energy’s Carlsbad office, told Hovrud “there is no risk from this event that would be a hazard to you or your children.”
Farok Sharif, president of the Nuclear Waste Partnership that runs the plant, told Hovrud his family also lives in the community. And he said he has been to the site repeatedly in the past week — without protective gear — to gather readings “because I know it is safe.”
The elevated amounts of radiation that have been detected in and around the plant offer no more risk than a dental X-ray or an airline flight, officials said.
Still, some left skeptical.
“I feel like they are not telling us everything,” said Leah Hunt.
Police were briefly brought to the doors after a man who identified himself as Martin Mills, a mayoral candidate, repeatedly and heatedly interrupted officials as they tried to respond.
“This is like poor management,” Mills insisted. “How can this facility be leaking? … It should not be releasing at all.”
Many others, however, said they are confident in the plant’s safety record and safety systems.
“I’m not leaving with any worries,” said Wanda Durham. “I’m not moving.”
After 15 years of operating with a stellar record, a truck that officials said was hauling salt in the facility’s underground chambers caught fire Feb. 5, shuttering the plant and halting all waste shipments. Nine days later, a radiation alert activated in the area where newly arrived waste was being stored.
Officials said they’re confident that the incidents are unrelated.
An initial analysis of samples from sensors inside and outside the plant indicate a container leaked. But officials say it is unclear what caused the release, and it will likely be weeks before teams can get underground.
WIPP is the nation’s first underground nuclear repository and the only facility in the country that can store plutonium-contaminated clothing and tools from Los Alamos National Laboratory and other federal nuclear sites.
Critical Reads: More News Mainstream Media Chooses To Ignore By Josey Wales, Click Here!
Serious "radiation incident" at NM waste facility has public concerned
23 February, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY – While being played down and barely even reported in the national media, a fairly serious radiological event occurred at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, a federally-operated nuclear waste repository 26 miles northwest of Carlsbad, New Mexico on Feb. 14, 2014.
The Carlsbad Current-Argus reported on Feb. 19, 2014 that a “radiation event” took place sometime between Feb. 11 and Feb. 16, 2014. Released from the salt mines 2,150 feet below ground, where the nuclear waste is stored were trace amounts of americium and plutonium.
John Heaton, chairman of the Carlsbad Nuclear Task Force reportedly said: “At this time there is no concern. We definitely know that the amounts are miniscule. I think the risks are extremely low and I certainly have no worries about it personally.”
Heaton said he does not want the public to jump to any “rash conclusions” about the “radiation event.” He said investigators will have to go underground and look to see what happened within the next month or so.
Another person interviewed for the Current-Argus report was Russell Hardy, director of the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center. He assured the public that americium and plutonium are “heavy” and won’t travel far from the original source.
CEMRC and the Department of Energy have been working hard to downplay the seriousness of this event and information on where the wind may have blown the plutonium and americium is scarce. CEMRC, interestingly enough, is offering folks living within 100 miles of the WIPP facility to get free tests if they think they have been somehow exposed.
Hardy, meanwhile, reiterated that his personnel at the New Mexico State University-affiliated CEMRC “have detected trace amounts of the radioactive isotopes americium and plutonium on an air filter from an ambient air sampling station located approximately six-tenths of a mile northwest” of the WIPP facility.
What caused this event still remains unclear. The investigative research blog POTRblog.com, reported this past Thursday that their research concluded that “All indications are that this was a radiation induced explosion of hydrogen, methane and/or VOC produced from radioactive wastes which are too radioactive to handle, which also happen to be coated with hazardous waste.”
There is also reportedly a "Russian connection" to WIPP, according to this report - a report we have been unable to independently verify.
Curiously, a little over a week before the Feb. 14 “radiation event,” a salt truck operating underground at the WIPP’s north mine, caught on fire, resulting in the evacuation of all WIPP personnel. While the DOE was investigating the cause of the truck fire, “the radiation leak occurred,” reports the Current-Argus. It is thought that there may have been a plutonium release connected with that incident as well, although it is not confirmed.
WIPP is the nation’s only disposal facility for transuranic waste, commonly referred to as “TRU” waste, which is radioactive material generated from the nation’s nuclear weapons program during the Cold War era,” reports the Current-Argus.
The Current-Argus reporter following the story, Zack Ponce, reported that tomorrow – Monday, Feb. 24, a town hall, looking to answer questions from the public, will be held at the Pecos River Village Center Carousel House in Carlsbad.
“This forum will allow the members of the public the direct opportunity to ask WIPP officials their questions,” said Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway in a Current-Argus report.
And there is a lot officials still don’t know about this “radiation event.” The Albuquerque-based Southwest Research & Information Center – SRIC – notes that there are many things still unknown about this serious event, including:
1.What caused the released.
2. What was the nature of the release that allowed some contaminants to travel more than a mile-and-a-half.
3. What radionuclides in what amounts and what toxic chemicals in what amounts have been released.
4. Where all the contaminants that were not captured (by the filters) are, whether inside the WIPP boundary or outside the site area.
And those are just a few of the questions SRIC is currently asking.
Meanwhile, “downwinders” in New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma should be on alert, according to the Feb. 22, 2014 report from OptimalPrediction.com in their article “Plutonium release from the WIPP radioactive waste facility.”
Wind-trajectory maps from the Valentine’s Day nuke release shows cities in the path of the plutonium to include Roswell, New Mexico, the Texas cities of Lubbock, San Angelo and Wichita Falls, and Elk City, Oklahoma.
The report adds: “At any rate, people who live in areas of southeastern New Mexico, northwest Texas and western Oklahoma should all be concerned.”
Here is a link to the dispersion map provided at OptimalPrediction.com.
And recall that this past December, Red Dirt Report reported on a “fire” that took place at Unit 2 of the Arkansas Nuclear One plant in Russellville. As with the WIPP facility accident, the Arkansas Nuclear One accident was hardly reported.
And while we are on the subject of nuclear disasters, on Feb. 28, 2014, at the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas, there will be an event called “Nuclear Remembrance Day” held on the 60th anniversary of the catastrophic Castle Bravo hydrogen bomb test that was conducted on Bikini Atoll on March 1, 1954 in the Marshall Islands. The fallout of that nuclear test created a horrific humanitarian nightmare over generations, including high rates of thyroid cancer, leukemia and other radiation-induced diseases.
Of course the media does not like revisiting that event or covering anything related to nuclear weapons or radioactive “incidents.” Look at the clampdown on real information regarding Fukushima and the contamination of wide swaths of the Pacific Ocean and elsewhere. Big Nuke has a powerful grip on the media.
As POTRblog.com notes: "New Mexico is America's newest "Bikini Atoll" of nuclear research; cause you can't just let a good nuclear disaster go to waste. Just tell the natives its all safe; then offer them free "Health" research and track them over the years.
CEMRC spokesman addresses NM nuke-waste facility "radiation incident"
25 February, 2014
TULSA, Okla. -- Developments continue to arise in relation to the release of radioactive isotopes from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) located in Carlsbad, New Mexico, as first reported here at Red Dirt Report this past Sunday.