There was an interesting post on Enenews today about WIPP.
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…
Ryan Flynn is the cabinet secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department. This is a state agency which is independent of the Department of Energy, which is in charge of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. It’s a part of the state government, so it’s not an environmental watchdog group, but they have done things like block Hanford waste from being stored in the facility.
On Friday, Flynn accused the Energy Department of muzzling scientists with crucial information about the waste stream.
He said at times during the state’s investigation into the leak, LANL personnel have provided “outstanding communication” about the possible cause of the radiation release. But when the Environment Department has asked for documentation supporting the scientists’ observations, the Energy Department has repeatedly refused to provide it.
“During those positive meetings, information will be referenced, and there’s a willingness [by LANL personnel] to provide information that’s referenced during those meetings or presentations,” Flynn said. “After those meetings, information gets communicated up the chain of command and someone back at [Energy] headquarters decides that no, they’re not going to provide that information to the state.”
Well, they want to know what the nature of the chemical reaction that burst open the drum(s), for one thing.
Another thing is why the isotope ratios in the alleged waste stream from Los Alamos do not match the ratios determined at Station B at WIPP.
Oh, and how much plutonium was released would be nice to know, too.
Greg Mello, executive director of the watchdog organization Los Alamos Study Group, echoed Flynn’s angst that the Energy Department hasn’t openly shared details with regulators about the radiation leak and the waste suspected of causing it.
“Anything else is a sign of a poor safety culture and could be a danger signal for workers and the public,” Mello said. “Mislabeling drums and withholding information can be criminal. That’s one way serious accidents can happen.”
Right, I guess one way for the isotope ratios to not match would be that the drums were mislabeled in the first place. So what is in the drums? Perhaps high-level waste? Did it even come from Los Alamos? Maybe from Hanford?
Yes, it’s criminal. Criminal actions done by criminals in the government or working for the government.
[Los Alamos National Laboratory’s] review of the incident has led to uncertainty over the volatility of hundreds of other drums… The lab notified state environment officials late last month that it was re-evaluating and relabeling as “ignitable” or “corrosive” the contents of 86 drums at LANL… The Department of Energy also is reviewing and relabeling more than 300… stored in WIPP’s underground… [This] raises questions about the scope of the problem that led to the leak at WIPP.
Nobody knows if the other 300 drums involved are going to blow up.
Chris Harris, former licensed Senior Reactor Operator & engineer, Aug 28, 2014 (at 22:15 in): “It sure seems like that there’s a combination of a cover-up, and a combination of slip-shot record keeping. Now there’s talk of whether they ditched those records after the fact or before the fact, but those records are nonexistent. One would expect really good records as to what is being stored, where it’s being stored, when it was put away, when it was stored, all that – every bit of information that one would expect to have in a nuclear storage facility and these are missing, there’s a lot of information.
A new company was put in charge of WIPP records in May, TFE, Inc. Now the records are nonexistent. Hmmm….
TFE contracts with all sorts of nuclear facilities like Oak Ridge. I wouldn’t think it takes a lot of technical knowledge to shred documents, but I am sure they have the experience.
This is a cover-up of a plutonium release that potentially covers half the land mass of the United States.
From the ECRR 2010 recommendations:
We’re talking about plutonium. We’re talking about something that is deadly in infinitesimal amounts.