US allowing work to restart at nuke dump three years after leak

December 23, 2016 by Susan Montoya Bryan

The U.S. Energy Department authorized its contractor Friday to begin disposing of radioactive waste again at the nation's only underground repository, setting the stage for the first barrel to go below ground since a radiation release forced the facility to shut down nearly three years ago.

Agency officials said the move confirms that numerous corrective actions uncovered during a recent review of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southern New Mexico have been completed.

A team of Energy Department experts from around the nation had found paperwork and documentation issues that needed to be fixed. It also had found inadequate procedures for new requirements on accepting from national laboratories and other defense sites.

The federal government called the authorization a major milestone.

"Safety has and will continue to be our number one priority," Energy Department spokeswoman Bridget Bartol said, noting that workers will complete minor maintenance on the walls and floors of the underground disposal area before waste-handling work resumes.

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant has been closed since February 2014 when a radiation release contaminated a significant portion of the repository, where disposal rooms are carved out of a thick salt formation deep underground.

The shutdown put shipments from around the country on indefinite hold as the poured hundreds of millions of dollars into recovery efforts and policy overhauls.

New Mexico regulators cited the government and the contractor for numerous permit violations related to the radiation release and an unrelated fire involving a mining truck weeks earlier. That resulted in a multimillion-dollar settlement with the state.

Los Alamos National Laboratory, in northern New Mexico, also was cited because the breached container of waste from 2014 had been inappropriately packed there before being shipped to the repository.

Investigators said the incident could have been avoided had managers not ignored existing policies and procedures for handling and treating the waste, which includes gloves, tools, clothing and other materials from decades of bomb-making and research.

The Energy Department released a slew of documents Friday related to reviews of the facility's readiness to reopen that state and federal officials conducted in recent weeks. State officials gave their approval for work to resume in letters sent to the federal agency late last week.

Some watchdog groups had asked the department not to rush, citing the previous incidents and the importance of the facility to the nation's multibillion-dollar cleanup of Cold War-era waste.

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WillieWard
4 / 5 (4) Dec 23, 2016
if it were applied the same set of standards, the antinuclear radiophobics would desperately asking to shut down all solar and wind farms
"Tens of thousands of tons of toxic waste from producing 2,000 kilos of Neodymium for the direct-drive permanent-magnet generator of every single large wind turbine.."
"By far the largest collective dose to workers per unit of electricity generated was found in the solar power cycle, followed by the wind power cycle. The reason for this is that these technologies require large amounts of rare earth metals, and the mining of low-grade ore exposes workers to natural radionuclides during mining"
http://scontent-l...AQFeIV74
http://institutef...inerals/
http://mzconsulti...m/?p=846
http://www.unscea...4696.pdf
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Dec 23, 2016
No, Willie.

And did you forget the mining of Uranium?

Lots'a Radium there, . . .

But this is only gloves and tools and overalls, Willie. How are you going to guard the high-level waste, essentially forever?

Got the money put away for armed guards for 200,000 years?
WillieWard
4 / 5 (4) Dec 23, 2016
And did you forget the mining of Uranium?
It was not forgotten, indeed wind/solar exposes workers to natural radionuclides, levels higher than nuclear power.
"For the life cycle of nuclear power the sources of radioactive discharges included uranium mining, milling and mill tailings, power plant operation and reprocessing activities."
"By far the largest collective dose to workers per unit of electricity generated was found in the solar power cycle, followed by the wind power cycle. The reason for this is that these technologies require large amounts of rare earth metals, and the mining of low-grade ore exposes workers to natural radionuclides during mining."
http://www.unscea...4696.pdf
http://mzconsulti...m/?p=846
https://scontent-...58E249C3
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Dec 23, 2016
Willikins, do you check those sties before you paste them in?

None support your hypothesis. Only one comes close. It confuses the issue by only referring to the shorter periods of time when the radiation from coal is still higher. Over the longer term, they admit nuclear power is the worst.
WillieWard
4 / 5 (4) Dec 24, 2016
Nuclear waste is safely stored, shielded to protect humans and wildlife, mainly if it in a geological disposal, and in 300 years it will be much less harmful than natural radioactivity spread by wind/solar farms, renewables are worse than asbestos.
"no one is suffering from spent nuclear fuel. No one has ever been injured from used fuel from a commercial nuclear power plant, let alone killed."
"One person's lifetime nuclear waste would fit in a Coke can — which is tiny, compared with the many tons of carbon dioxide the average American dumps into the atmosphere each and every year."
https://scontent-...58D185B9
https://scontent-...5893CDB4
"Air pollution kills about 7 million people worldwide every year"
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Dec 27, 2016
$190,000,000,000 to "clean up" Fukushima. And "clean up" means contaminating some other place, as well as all the equipment used.

Not a good investment, is it?

And how many folk DIED from Chernobyl?
WillieWard
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 27, 2016
And how many folk DIED from Chernobyl?
4,000 projected(not-confirmed) fatalities by extrapolations, meanwhile fossil fuels, that serve as backup for intermittent renewables, kill about 13 thousand of people each day, millions each year.
WillieWard
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 27, 2016
Not a good investment, is it?
Bad news for pseudo-environmentalists, good news for the environment:
"Wind power industry loses its free pass to kill bald eagles."
"In the ironic name of environmentalism, wind power gets a free pass on the 1.4 million birds and bats the industry kills each year, including endangered and protected species like the bald eagle."
"Wind and solar power loses disproportionate subsidies."
"Wind and solar subsidies during the past decade have dwarfed those of all other energy sources, imposing expensive and unreliable power on American consumers."
"Next-generation nuclear power surges forward."
http://www.forbes...changes/
https://upload.wi....svg.png
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Dec 27, 2016
The nuke dump in discussion is WIPP, and also holds barrels of high-level waste put into holes in the walls of the rooms. Meanwhile, the other weapons-related nuclear waste is leaking from its unbreachable tanks and heading toward the Columbia River in Washington.

No matter what they say, nobody can show a way to safely store this nasty stuff for the required period. What kind of person does that? Who creates stuff so nasty they cannot deal with it, and keeps on making more, knowing somebody else will have to deal with it?
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Dec 29, 2016
I guess my question above was answered by the folks who gave me a "one" for the comment.
WillieWard
4 / 5 (4) Dec 29, 2016
I guess my question above was answered by the folks who gave me a "one" for the comment.
Who but george kamburoff takes george kamburoff seriously?

Nobody here.

Nobody out there, which is why he spends all his time here (wasting ours).

gkam
1 / 5 (6) Dec 29, 2016
Yes, Willie, pay no attention to the embarrassing questions:

"What kind of person does that? Who creates stuff so nasty they cannot deal with it, and keeps on making more, knowing somebody else will have to deal with it?"

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