WIPP Community Meeting Tonight + Thurs. News

WIPP Round-Up

Community Update Meeting Scheduled:
for WIPP April 17 – Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway and DOE will
co‐host a weekly town hall meeting featuring updates on WIPP recovery activities.
The meetings are held every Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
Location: Carlsbad City Council Chambers, 101 N. Halagueno Street.

 Live streaming of the weekly meetings can be seen at:

Home WIPP web site:

Thanks to Walter for sending this in 😉     5:30 in N.M. is 3:30 EST.

ENE-News – Mistake at Congressional Hearing? Senator: “Radioactive releases from WIPP have been at levels that are a public health danger” — EPA: “This is a big deal” (VIDEO) < article mentions Mining Awareness 🙂

ENE-News – AP: Crews retreat after nuclear material found at WIPP — Officials: Correct to turn back, contamination was increasing — Robots brought to site for radiation levels too high for humans — ‘Significant amount of information’ will be revealed to public in next few days (VIDEOS)

A quote from Mining Awareness (scroll half way down):

While Farok Sharif of WIPP getting demoted appears good news on the surface, we must examine what he did at WIPP. He orchestrated a speed-up of moving radioactive waste. On the Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC web site it is still proudly proclaimed that Farok helped WIPP to “ramp up” from processing one to two waste shipments per week to more than 30 per week. His background is a BA in “Production and Operations Research Management” and a MBA from New Mexico State University.

A Green Road Blog – WIPP And Illegal High Level Waste Documentation Plus Evidence

WIPP Radioactive Plutonium/Americium Plume Release Covered Up For Six Days, Researchers Denied Access

State agency:  the nuke waste is all getting backed up in the parking lot(!)

(Feb. 27) “In light of DOE’s inability to operate, they are facing storage deadlines in their parking lot and Waste Handling Building.”


The AdvocateSenate OKs bill to sidetrack suits against energy industry

Dutchsinse – Nevada Volcanoes rumbling


2.7 quake in Benton, Illinois


40 thoughts on “WIPP Community Meeting Tonight + Thurs. News

      • You can replay it now. It’s easier to replay. The man in the striped shirt who gives them a hard time on doing the ventilation wrong is Norbert Rempe, a German, who was trained first in Germany and then at the Dakota School of Mines and who worked at WIPP for 23 years. What’s weird is elsewhere he says that Germany ran a salt mine as a dump for 20 years with no trouble. One of those had a problem at around 10 years and another at 20 years. He should know that! I think he was saying that they reversed the ventilation and that they were not supposed to and that some component had been removed because they weren’t supposed to reverse ventilation. I’m sure that this is important but was-am doing multiple things and haven’t had a chance to visualize. Anyway, try again and see what you think and please tell us! You may have to reload the pages and be patient. It is posted in pieces. I wonder if you think the leak is really in Panel 7 or in one of the other panels?

      • Thanks.
        I had put that news about the wrecked German salt cavern twice here so that is familiar.
        Who do they think they are fooling??
        At the beginning the guy chortles “people around the world watch this” tee-hee-hee …. I could boot him!

      • snooze alarm …..
        everything is so low level contamination at WIPP Sandia is sending them robots … because it is so safe.

  1. I’ve watched about 1/2 of the meeting so far, but one thing jumped out. When Tammy began to say “radiation”, she quickly changed the word to “contamination”. No mention of radiation, it’s simply contamination. Your thoughts?

    • While I’m sure they are in minimizing mode, I personally have trouble with terminology because even though radioactivity was coined by Marie Curie for radium, radiation is used more and more now for other things which are less dangerous and not “nuclear”-“atomic”. For that reason sometimes I used contamination. Also, because, if ingested, much of the stuff, like plutonium and americium, poisons both from the ionizing radiation and biochemically, ionizing radiation doesn’t say it all. Radionuclide can be used or radioisotope but who knows these terms? Even then it needs to be contamination by radionuclides.

      • Yes, my dad was a chemist for Dow and there was nothing he enjoyed more than discussing his work. I remember going for tours of his lab on Family Day and he was so proud of showing us where the radioactive isotopes were kept and that he was in charge of them. He died at 46 of cancer. Funny how the words “radioactive isotopes” bring all these memories flooding back…

      • My dad’s lab had a shower in the corner and when I asked why he explained the details of the need for immediate deconamination in case of a lab accident (nuke accident).
        No one in public knows about the reaction of water (I think cold water) on isotopes or that it is vital in case of a nuke plant release. Nuke plants don’t even warn the public when they discharge radioactive steam … they admit it after the fact when it’s too late.

      • Really!? I have never heard of the importance of showering involving nuclear accidents, but the general public isn’t really warned about what to do in case of a nuclear accident involving NPPs. We are warned about tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, but not a word about NPP accidents. And we here all know why not.

      • and super-important is which way the wind is blowing … in a nuke power plant accident.
        You want to be upwind. If driving, you want to drive up wind. School buses want to go upwind. Down winders need to get inside and close all windows and turn off air co etc. and tape up fireplaces etc., etc.
        FEMA had all that info on their website for themselves … not for the public.
        Police don’t even know the thing about wind and getting away from downwind area.

  2. [at the end of the town meeting]
    Q. “”At a former townhall, it was stated that there is no danger from the Plutonium releases at the WIPP, and that eating bananas is more dangerous. However the W(r) multiplier for Plutonium says that it is 115,000 times more dangerous than radiation from a banana. In fact, because the human body has developed with the minor and low energy banana Potassium, and has repair mechanisms in place, and because any potassium a human takes in, becomes excreted out to maintain a constant level. Therefore eating bananas adds no risk no a human or any animal for that matter.

    However, Plutonium in air kills 255 out of 255 Beagles at 300 Micrograms, that is really small. So do you still think that releases from WIPP were less dangerous than eating a banana?”

  3. That was a great quote. They admitted to 800 to 1000 bpm per 100 sq cm. That would be a 10 x 10 cm square. There are 2.54 cm per inch. So that would be per 4 inch by 4 inch square wouldn’t it? They did say cm and not meters, I think?

    • I call this gobbledygook talk at public meetings “science spam”. Texas Brine does it too.
      They throw out all sorts of non-related factoids and avoid the meat of the matter.

      • What did you think of this video? The guy is supposed to be a community activist and I thought anti-nuke, but he seems poorly informed about even the official reality of WIPP, i.e. officially they are removing rooms from ventilation and sealing them up. I don’t think I got to the end. If I were of a younger generation I might have been classified as attention deficit, though I don’t think I was attention deficit when I was younger.

      • Those WIPP meetings are always interesting for their telling slip ups (that get printed in ENE News the next day). And the officials are so self-satisfied with sending people down the mine with no detectors etc.
        They know they’ll never get called out by locals who have zero other job ops in that place. That’s why they call it an isolation plant …. worker-isolated that is!
        And they let contaminated people walk all over town for weeks, contaminating everything they touch etc. as if it’s no big deal ….

      • great detectors.
        I finally got it posted.
        I was making beer battered (Chinese) shrimp and was away.
        Then I heard headline on tv.
        And I ate lunch first.
        Very good.
        Got it up eventually …. 😉

  4. Thanks for reminding us about showering, assuming there is a deep water well and the water’s not contaminated! Now I recall it from Silkwood. Also, needed in chem labs in case you get splattered with things like sulfuric acid. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that your father was a chemist or nuclear chemist, in that it would teach you to think methodically. Still, I figured he was a philosopher of the old school when they taught ethics and how to think methodically (not the recent waste your time philosophy). That seems your training: philosophy and ethics.

  5. Oh, forgot to say. Not sure why we started using radionuclides. I think I was taught radioactive isotopes in school. Maybe because radionuclides is shorter. I suspect that radioactive elements is the best for people to understand, but it is long. Sometimes I think we should go back to using Atomic instead of Nuclear. The Scandinavians and Germans use “Atomkraft” for Nuclear Power. I love this because it’s a language cousin to witchcraft.

  6. That IS interesting and scary and Orwellian. I know that during the First Gulf War new weapons were taught as social science for children, but don’t know if this was policy. I had always heard that Mother’s Day was a Nazi Holiday. Need to read more. Nuclear is the French variant and French has always been for English euphemisms, though I think the English language has shifted from German toward French-Latin, over the last 100 or 150 years. Occasionally vulgar Germanic even triumphs in French, as in shit (chier). I finally looked it up and radionuclide was coined in 1947. But, it is supposed to focus more on the nucleus and the neutrons. The trouble I have with radioisotope is that it seems to imply that there are non-radioactive ones, which is true of iodine, carbon, etc., but not of plutonium. Radioisotope seems tracer studies for nuclear medicine. Then too you can say isotope of plutonium, etc. But, the generic term would seem to be radionuclide. Wiki says that isotope focuses on the chemical nature and is based on the number of protons (and hence electrons). There are actually isotones and isobars too. I think that odd number of neutrons are more likely to undergo fission. I wish I could recall how much of all of this I learned and just forgot over the last decades! I doubt I was taught radionuclide, though, but tend to prefer Latin based words over Greek and German, except German words are good if you need something strong. And, nuclear is strong! So, I like Atomkraft! A-Bomb seems a bit euphemistic too. (The wiki stuff from memory, so could be wrong).

    Wiki defn radionuclide:
    “A radionuclide, or a radioactive nuclide, is an atom with an unstable nucleus, characterized by excess energy available to be imparted either to a newly created radiation particle within the nucleus or via internal conversion. During this process, the radionuclide is said to undergo radioactive decay, resulting in the emission of gamma ray(s) and/or subatomic particles such as alpha or beta particles.[1] These emissions constitute ionizing radiation. Radionuclides occur naturally, or can be produced artificially. Radionuclides are often referred to by chemists and physicists as radioactive isotopes or radioisotopes. Radioisotopes with suitable half-lives play an important part in a number of technologies (for example, nuclear medicine). Radionuclides can also present both real and perceived dangers to health.”

    I think you missed your calling as a philosophy prof, as you force people to think!

  7. I’m sure you know this but some readers may not. On the French euphemisms – many go back to the hundreds of years, post 1066, when the French-speaking Normans ruled England and so we have beef, from the French boeuf, instead of meat or even as in German “Fleisch” or flesh!
    Would you rather eat beef or flesh? I think meat was more generic for food. There is pork from French porc, instead of pig or hog. There are many more, all of which slip my mind. Oh, for the A-bomb, I don’t like that because it sounds like it is either “a bomb” or something good, which gets an “A”; also alpha. But, Atomic sounds harsh.

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