WIPP – DOE to host town hall meeting Mar 6, 2014
The US Department of Energy (DOE) will host a town hall meeting on March 6, 2014 at 5:30 PM (MT) at the Walter Gerrells Performing Arts Center in Carlsbad, NM. Representatives from the DOE headquarters and from the Carlsbad Field Office will provide an information update on recovery activities at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.
There is a press conference scheduled after the town hall meeting at 7:30 PM. Press representatives may attend the town hall meeting but have been requested to hold their questions until the press conference. If reporters respect this request, it should allow other citizens and stakeholders a chance to get their questions answered.
There has not been much information released since the last press conference because it days to weeks to perform the required laboratory procedures for ultra sensitive measurements of radioactive contamination. According to the special event page set up at the WIPP web site, the latest sampling results were taken on February 18, more than two weeks ago.
Update: (posted March 6, 2014 at 03:24 EST) The Carlsbad Environmental Research and Monitoring Center (CEMRC) has posted the results of the analysis conducted on air monitoring filters located both before and after the high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters that are the engineered safety features protecting the environment from detected atmospheric contamination inside the facility.
The results page includes a detailed table of results showing an exponential decrease in radioactive isotope concentrations until the measured levels reach relatively stable, very low concentrations. End Update.
Jim Conca (Forbes, March 5, 2014)
On the political side of things, despite all the negative sentiment, mass seems to be accumulating so to speak, towards an eventual reopening of the site.
The state has issued an administrative order that waste can arrive and accumulate in staging areas (a parking area behind the handling facility) for up to 105 days.
Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center, CEMRC, posted late this afternoon actual numbers from the pre and post HEPA filter monitoring stations. Here is the link: http://www.cemrc.org/2014/03/05/cemrc-radiological-results-air-sampling-wipp-site-following-february-14th-2014-radiation-detection-event-2/ . Thanks for a web site where the discussion is reasonable and informative.
Thanks. At first glance looks like a “puff”/impulse event by rapid drop off of the filter readings.
I didn’t know they tested nuclear weapons there too. At the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center at that site they say they detect residual cesium-137 in 23 percent of the residents.
Project Gnome was the first nuclear test of the Plowshare program and was the first continental nuclear weapon test since Trinity to be conducted outside of the Nevada Test Site. It was tested in southeastern New Mexico, approximately 40 km (25 mi) southeast of Carlsbad, New Mexico.
The underground test was supposed to be self sealing but didn’t immediately seal. They entered the chamber just 6 mo after the test!
The intense radiation of the detonation colored the salt multiple shades of blue, green, and violet
I wonder if they got color photos. (Just a B&W one on the wikli page).
Here is a set of pictures I found that includes one color picture of the cavern.
Those are awesome. You can see some color in it. Im assuming those drips are salt/silicate melts.
Im not sure if clean up and reopening will be as difficult as I initially thought. Airflow and direction seems to be everything in these types of situations and I think I was focusing loosely on the instinctual mathematics of generalized larger particle distribution in a still environment.
This isn’t that at all.
Its a lot like negative room pressure used medical isolation units, but probably even safer in that one unit particle in this case is not going to multiply into an infection or necessarily create a chronic medical condition. If you have a pressure gradient increasing behind you things will generally flow away form you. You obviously can use that, and the access shafts, to your advantage if you have a installed filtration system. As long as you keep behind things and they keep moving away from you, you don’t even need total breathing filtration.
If you really think about it, from what we know, things/learning and issues in this “incident” are so far probably going in a more positive and constructive direction. It and probably worse are looking thoroughly manageable. Thoughts/arguments?
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