WIPP Expert: “Very likely” multiple nuclear waste drums exploded, risk of more occurring; It was clearly something major… signs

Submitted by Quest-News-Serv... on Tue, 06/24/2014 - 18:18.

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”

Chris Harris, former licensed Senior Reactor Operator and engineer, June 19, 2014 (at 33:45 in): I do believe the part about it being a hydrogen explosion [at WIPP]– due to the decomposition of the green kitty litter — that causes a whole bunch of problems, and one of them is that this is a huge dirty bomb.

Insight New Mexico interviews Don Hancock, director of the Nuclear Waste Safety program and administrator at Southwest Research and Information Center, June 12, 2014 (at 4:00 in): They haven’t been able to physically get to the one or more containers that… exploded, or had some kind of a deflagration. They had pictures of one container that’s clearly breached, has holes, the lid is off, there are signs that there’s melting around, small amounts of fire, etc… So clearly something major happened. We still don’t know how many containers are involved, I think it’s very likely that its more than the one… the reason I think there’s probably more than is while this particular container has 16 or 17 curies of plutonium and americium [592 billion to 629 billion becquerels] in it, which is a much larger amount than what the average container is, there are containers including ones sitting right beside it that have more radioactivity. We don’t know how much came out, but from what we do know, it looks to me that it was more than what could have come out of a single container.

Nuclear Hotseat #156, with host Libbe HaLevy, M.A., June 16, 2014 — Hancock (at 28:45 in): I think the evidence is pretty strong that there has to be more than one breached container. But the container that is breached… there are 54 other containers from that waste stream in the same room… I’m pretty convinced and other people that have looked at the data are pretty convinced that there’s got to be more than this one container that has leaked… there could be another container nearby that in fact caused the breach and because of its explosion, that forced this other container to leak. […] This morning the House Appropriations Committee, the US Congressional House released a draft report that will be considered by the full committee tomorrow morning in which they in essence say that their understanding is the ventilation system at WIPP and the exhaust shaft are so contaminated that they can never be used again… a new ventilation system and new exhaust shaft [are needed]… clearly they’ve said some things to members of the Houseand people in the House believe that they’re not going to be viable to us those parts of the WIPP anymore. […] At this point there are still risks of additional events happening… it’s going to keep going on and on and on for quite some time.



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