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Octafish

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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 45,797

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Wrong kitty litter the culprit for WIPP Plutonium release

I'm not hot dogging you. The DOE did not specify its preferred brand for its nuclear state-of-of-the-art Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP):



Wrong kitty litter the culprit for WIPP release

The contents of a failed waste barrel at the WIPP underground disposal site were "chemically incompatible", said the Department of Energy's (DOE's) technical report today, with a certain brand of cat litter playing a major role in the incident.

World Nuclear News, March 25, 2015

Without saying how the situation came about, the report explained how a mixture of nitrate salts in the waste reacted with SwheatScoop cat litter to produce heat and gases that eventually caused the barrel seal to fail. The announcement confirms rumours that circulated shortly after the release that an incorrect choice of cat litter had led to the issue.

In many industries cat litter is used as a convenient absorbant, and each barrel of waste disposed of at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) contains around 26 kg of cat litter to stabilise liquids and nitrate salts. However, SwheatScoop happens to be made from wheat and therefore contains carbohydrates which provided fuel for a chemical reaction with the metal nitrate salts being disposed of. The reaction is exothermic, which means it produces heat. The increase in temperature then accelerated the reaction, leading to a runaway effect which eventually produced enough heat and gas to overcome the barrel's vent and seal to cause a release of some radioactive material.

Although this conclusion cannot be confirmed without examining the barrel, the report said that samples of material ejected from the barrel contained sodium carbonate which was likely present as a result of the reaction described above. A truck had caught fire in WIPP only one week before the incident, but the technical report ruled this out as a factor.

WIPP is owned by the DOE and operated by Nuclear Waste Partnership and is the country's facility for the disposal of transuranic, or TRU, nuclear waste from the US military program. The waste - clothing, tools, rags, residues, debris, soil and items contaminated with small amounts of plutonium and other man-made radioactive elements - is sealed in containers and placed in panels carved out of the underground rock salt formation. The surrounding salt ensures a dry environment while natural geologic processes cause the salt to compact around the packages. Detecting the rupture via air ventilation and monitoring systems on 14 February 2014, WIPP managers evacuated the site, shut down its operation and began an investigation. No significant radioactivity reached the surface.

SOURCE: http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS-Wrong-kitty-litter-the-culript-for-WIPP-release-27030151.html


A little history: A year ago, plutonium escaped from a place it wasn't supposed to, deep within WIPP, a half-mile deep salt mine converted to store "low level" nuclear waste. A major demonstration project, WIPP is a supposedly the closest thing we have to a secure nuclear waste storage facility. Here's a PDF for: Waste Isolation Plant Documented Safety Analysis, issued a few months before th leak.

http://www.wipp.energy.gov/library/DSA/DOE_WIPP_07-3372_Rev_4_DSA.pdf

Anyway, the kitty litter failed and something unexpected happened:



PLUTONIUM LEAK DETECTED NEAR UNDERGROUND NUCLEAR WASTE PLANT

By Bob Brewin
NextGov.com, February 20, 2014

Energy Department officials confirmed that trace leaks of plutonium have been detected in the air outside the country’s only underground nuclear waste repository, located 26 miles southeast of Carlsbad, N.M.

An independent monitoring organization first detected the leaks over the weekend after an air monitor within the storage facility, the Energy Department’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, detected radiation. The plant stores 3.2 million cubic feet of plutonium-contaminated waste in salt caverns 2,150 feet underground.

The Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center, operated by the College of Engineering at New Mexico State University, said earlier this week it had detected trace amounts of plutonium and americium, a radioactive isotope, in an air filter from a sampling station located northwest of the storage site.

Joe Franco, Carlsbad field office manager for Energy, confirmed at a press conference this afternoon that the leak emanated from the underground facility where waste is packed into drums stored in the salt caverns.

Franco said it will be three weeks before officials are able to return underground to assess exactly what caused the leaks. During that time, Energy will develop safety plans to deal with potential radiation, health and mining hazards.

Ryan Flynn, secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department, told reporters attending the conference that “events like this should never happen . . . one event is too many.” He criticized Energy for waiting two days to inform his office that plutonium had been detected outside the facility.

The levels of plutonium radiation detected are “well below” levels that would be harmful to people of the environment, Flynn said.

CONTINUED...

http://www.nextgov.com/health/2014/02/researchers-detect-plutonium-air-near-underground-nuclear-waste-plant/79133/



For some reason, government, academia and industry failed to warn the public about the plutonium release for two days:



Only one drum involved in WIPP release

by World Nuclear News, 13 February 2015

Photographs taken inside the underground Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) have confirmed that a single waste drum was the source of the contamination incident that has stopped operations at New Mexico facility since February 2014.

The information was gathered through a project known as Reach, which has been using a specially designed and manufactured 90-foot (27 meter) composite boom equipped with a high resolution camera. All this was installed on a movable cradle and mounted on a support structure, allowing operators to examine waste stacks from floor to ceiling and from wall to wall. Waste at WIPP is stacked in six columns, with each column consisting of up to three layers of transuranic waste containers.

Initial analysis of the pictures obtained by Reach indicates that no additional breached waste containers contributed to the February 2014 incident. Ted Wyka, chairman of the Department of Energy's (DOE) Accident Investigation Board (AIB), said that the evidence obtained supported the idea that a single drum, referred to as LANL68660, was the source of the radiological release.

WIPP is owned by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and operated by Nuclear Waste Partnership and is the the country's only repository for the disposal of transuranic, or TRU, nuclear waste from the US military program. The waste - clothing, tools, rags, residues, debris, soil and other items contaminated with small amounts of plutonium and other man-made radioactive elements - is sealed in containers and placed in panels carved out of the underground rock salt formation.

The radiological release took place only a week after an underground fire caused the partial shutdown of the facility. The two incidents were not related and took place in separate underground locations, but WIPP has remained out of action while the causes of both incidents are investigated and a recovery plan is implemented. The WIPP recovery plan foresees the restart of limited waste disposal operations in the first quarter of 2016.

SOURCE: http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/WR-No-further-drums-involved-in-WIPP-release-1302157.html



Why this matters? If ingested, even a microscopic amount of plutonium will cause cancer. Yet, we weren't warned about that and a lot of other stuff regarding nuclear waste, in general, and plutonium, in particular.



DOE-STD-1128-98

Guide of Good Practices for Occupational Radiological Protection in Plutonium Facilities


EXCERPT...

4.2.3 Characteristics of Plutonium Contamination

There are few characteristics of plutonium contamination that are unique. Plutonium
contamination may be in many physical and chemical forms. (See Section 2.0 for the many
potential sources of plutonium contamination from combustion products of a plutonium fire
to radiolytic products from long-term storage.) The one characteristic that many believe is
unique to plutonium is its ability to migrate with no apparent motive force. Whether from
alpha recoil or some other mechanism, plutonium contamination, if not contained or
removed, will spread relatively rapidly throughout an area.


SOURCE (PDF file format): http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2013/11/f5/doe-std-1128-98_ch1.pdf



So, where is the technology to store plutonium and the rest of the radioactive waste from the reactors, weapons and the rest?

And Who's going to pay for it?

It's my hope this also leads to discussion of why we even need plutonium.

Threat comes from having economic independence.

That means the Venezuelans want to profit from their national resources, not its true owners cough Wall Street.

Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler, USMC talked about it in 1933:



On War (1933)

I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

SOURCE: http://co.quaker.org/Writings/SmedleyButler.htm



Apart from the ability to vaporize all of humanity at the push of a button, things haven't changed all that much.

Alien Sex 101, The Antonio Villas Boas Account

In 1957... Antonio was ploughing a field on the family farm when the engine of his tractor cut out; at the same time, an object with purple lights descended from the sky. Humanoids in spacesuits emerged from the object and took him into their craft, subjecting him to what seemed like a medical examination....

http://www.ufocasebook.com/aliensex101.html


''However, the robot stopped functioning before completing the day's planned inspection.''

Robot inspects inside of Fukushima No. 1 reactor container

TOKYO, April 10, Kyodo

The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant began on Friday a remote-controlled robot survey inside the No. 1 reactor's containment vessel, a step toward grasping the condition of melted fuel debris in detail and extracting it.

However, the robot stopped functioning before completing the day's planned inspection. Tokyo Electric Power Co. said the cause is unknown.

It is the first time TEPCO has deployed a robot to check the interior of a reactor's primary containment vessel since the March 2011 three-reactor meltdown triggered by a huge earthquake and tsunami.

SOURCE: http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2015/04/346603.html

The Robot Died on the Job. TEPCO doesn't know Why.

''Money trumps peace.'' -- appointed pretzeldent George Walker Bush, Feb. 14, 2007

"You know, General Sherman had it all wrong. It's not war that's hell, it's peace that's hell." -- former Sec. of Defense (and former CIA director) James Schlesinger, honored at the Military Order of the Carabao luncheon, 2002.

http://www.thebaffler.com/salvos/in-the-good-old-wallow-time

also great reading:

http://www.villagevoice.com/2003-01-28/news/the-empire-strikes-back/

Jebthro ex Machina

Shaping the scenery and setting the stage...



...for the Final Putsch on Democracy.

Call some other Democrat, ''Asshat,'' siddithers of DU.

RFK, Jr. is a good man who tells the truth. It's why he doesn't get on tee vee, even when he breaks the news about what his father really thought about the assassination of his brother, President John F. Kennedy:

Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy believed President Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy.

That's what his son and daughter, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Rory Kennedy, reported in an interview with Charlie Rose in 2013, recorded live in Dallas.



It's also what author and Salon founder David Talbot reported, when he called Robert F. Kennedy the "first conspiracy theorist" in 2007.

Here's why the news from Robert and Rory is so important:

The important issue is that he and his sister reported their father -- the president's principal counselor and the nation's chief law enforcement officer -- privately thought a conspiracy was behind the assassination of President Kennedy.

RFK called the Warren Commission report "shoddy workmanship."

Attorney General Kennedy knew about the Ruby-Mafia connections immediately, which is vital when considering the Mafia were hired by Allen Dulles and the CIA during Eisenhower's administration to murder Fidel Castro -- an operation which the CIA failed to inform the president and attorney general.

The interview with Charlie Rose marked the first time members of the immediate Kennedy family have voiced the attorney general's doubts about the Warren Commission and its lone gunman theory.


Those are the facts we learned Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. It's called history.

When you smear RFK Jr. as an "asshat," you do the work of those who hate Liberal Democrats, siddithers of DU.

Radiation from Fukushima reactor detected off Vancouver Island

Source: The Canadian Press

Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press
Published Monday, April 6, 2015 7:32PM EDT

VICTORIA -- Radiation from the leaking Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor has been detected on the shores of Vancouver Island, four years after a deadly earthquake and tsunami in Japan killed 16,000 people.

University of Victoria chemical oceanographer Jay Cullen said Monday that it's the first time radiation has been found on the shorelines of North America since the quake and tsunami ravaged the Japanese north coast and disabled the nuclear reactor.

Low levels of the radioactive isotope Cesium-134, which scientists say can only come from Fukushima, were found in waters collected on Feb. 19 off a dock at Ucluelet, B.C., about 315 kilometres west of Victoria, said Cullen.

Last November, the first sample containing detectable radioactivity from Fukushima was discovered 150 kilometres off the coast of northern California.

Over the past 15 months, scientists and citizen volunteers have been collecting water samples at more than 60 sites along the Canadian and U.S. west coasts and in Hawaii as they've looked for traces of radioactive isotopes from Japan.

"This is the first sample that's been collected in North America with this contaminated plume of sea water, which we've seen offshore, but it's the first time we've actually seen it at the shoreline," Cullen said.

Read more: http://www.cp24.com/news/radiation-from-fukushima-reactor-detected-off-vancouver-island-1.2314613



And it won' be da last.

Was Hillary Clinton, While Secretary of State, Running a Secret Spy Network?

AllGov.com is among those wondering. Here is one of the documents that seems to support that contention:





I wonder to what, exactly, the parts about a "Trifecta" and an "October Surprise" refer?



Was Hillary Clinton, While Secretary of State, Running a Secret Spy Network?

A trove of emails released two years ago show that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had access to intelligence from a private spy network run by an old confidant.

In 2012, the email account of Sidney Blumenthal, a long-time associate of Bill and Hillary Clinton, was accessed by Romanian hacker Marcel-Lehel Lazar, who went by the name Guccifer. Blumenthal’s emails, which were posted on the internet, showed he’d had correspondence with Hillary Clinton via her private email account. They revealed that Blumenthal was providing back-channel intelligence to Clinton about Libya’s civil war in the run-up to the Benghazi disaster, according to a report from ProPublica and Gawker.

One of the emails pointed out the deteriorating security situation right before the Benghazi consulate was stormed, citing “an extremely sensitive source” who pointed out the numerous bombings and kidnapping of aid workers and diplomats by those thought to be loyal to the late Libyan Prime Minister Muammar Gaddafi, ProPublica reported. Despite the information gathered by Clinton’s network, she said after the Benghazi attacks of September 2012 that U.S. intelligence officials had had no advance warning of the threat.

The reports Blumenthal sent to Clinton appear to have been compiled by Tyler Drumheller, a former chief of the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) clandestine service in Europe. Drumheller left the CIA in 2005 and started his own security business.

CONTINUED...

http://www.allgov.com/news/top-stories/was-hillary-clinton-while-secretary-of-state-running-a-secret-spy-network-150330?news=856096



We talked a bit on it on DU over the last week or so:

Private Emails Reveal Ex-Clinton Aide’s Secret Spy Network

and here...

Private Emails Reveal Ex-Clinton Aide’s Secret Spy Network

Forget the Flying Car. I'm getting a Flying House.

Floats on manual or automatic with the help of phlegmatized hydrogen.



Russian designers have presented a visual concept of a state-of-the-art house which they claim will be capable of flying.

SputnikNews, March 28, 2015

A visual concept of a sophisticated new home which will be capable of floating through the air has been showcased by Russian designers, who claim that the house can also be used as a summer cottage and a small airship, media reports said.

The Freedom house, which has first and foremost been designed for so-called citizens of the world, can be installed almost anywhere on our planet — in the woods, at sea, on the coast, in the mountains, and in an urban area, according to Dmitry Ulitin and Anstasiya Taratuta of the design studio Artzona.ru.

The owner of this house will be able to make him or herself at home while soaring through the clouds, a dream that now may finally come true.

CONTINUED...

http://sputniknews.com/russia/20150328/1020143947.html
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