1. Regarding Crimea. A great man,Mikhail S. Gorbachev, is for it. That should be good enough for all of us.

    President Reagan and him did fantastic things for humanity.

    No blood was taken. Thank God. Putin has no more intention as a conqueror with regards to Ukraine.

    Putin says the West has made progress moving east and always told Russia and it was not for them. That they had no part in this. I can feel for Putin, up to a certain point.

    Here is a good article:


  2. Indeed, I read most of the report. It is a scathing example of a complete disregard for procedures. Operators not trained with proper use on onboard and portable fire extinguisher, operators not reporting fire to the right people, control doors locked open or closed, just seems like they were screwing up on every level.

    the “culture of safety” seems to be restricted to putting up some big signs.

    how come no robots have been in there yet taking pictures and video. With 1000 people on the taxpayer dole (rough loaded cost of $80 per hour, or $640,000 per day, it sure seems like they could have got a ‘bot in there already.

    1. WIPP has a strong nuclear safety culture, but the mine safety culture that should be a part of any underground industrial activity needs to be improved.

      Sounds like the article addressed that before you had to throw your straw man in there.

      1. John T, you indeed pointed out the straw man….and it wasnt created by me. The straw man is to deflect the blame away from the “nuclear side” to the “mine side” and in reality they both failed on donning equipment, communication, evacuation. The reality is that when you are working in a mine, you are all on the same team, and there are not 2 seperate teams.

        But I like the idea of coining the term Straw “Bot, LOL, carry on.

        1. @NP

          You are correct. In a mine, as in a submarine, everyone is on the same team. To a lesser, but still important extent, that is true inside a nuclear power station.

          My point is not to deflect blame away from any “nuclear side.” The point of the post is provide a wake-up reminder to those parts of all nuclear establishments — especially the not so competent DOE establishments — that striving for perfection on just those activities and structures, systems and components (SSC) that have been identified as “safety-related” (in the vernacular of nuclear regulators) has the potential to starve the other important parts of the enterprise of resources and managerial attention.

          That is especially true in organizations where the decision making about resources is often made by people wearing green eyeshades, some of whom have absolutely no understanding of technology and the importance of such boring and mundane tasks as planned maintenance systems that are designed to ensure reliability by regularly inspecting, testing, and then fixing or replacing equipment BEFORE it breaks. It gets really bad in establishments where the people making the financial decisions don’t even LIKE nuclear energy and actually hope it goes away. (The Office of Management and Budget has a number of analysts and political appointees who appear to fit that description.)

          Even in the highly touted submarine force, there have been examples of commands that have forgotten the importance of fairly resourcing (with trained personnel, competent supervisors, and properly motivated managers) the whole team that enables continued reliable performance of both nuclear reactors and all of the associated supporting systems. Fortunately, the submarine force is full of people who understand the risks and have been able to recognize a poor command climate that attempts to recognize a sharp division (rather than a graduated spectrum) between nuclear and non-nuclear areas. In general, either insiders or outside inspectors have exposed any growing divides before they get too bad. Naval Reactors is also a competent organization that successfully defends its budgets.

          Since all members of the submarine force leadership are nuclear trained, they have also done a pretty fair job of ensuring that their systems for personnel recruiting, training, and assignment and their systems for ensuring proper maintenance are not whittled away. During lean budget periods, the submarine force has often made the hard decisions to retire subs to free up adequate resources rather than to try to keep the numbers up.

          I won’t speak too much out of school, but that has not always been true in the non-nuclear powered parts of the Navy.

          Bottom line – I agree that the WIPP facility appears to have been the victim of misplaced priorities. I do not have all of the details needed to make detailed judgments, but the fault here cannot stop at the specific contractor managing the facility. The management and resourcing responsibility goes all the way to the top of the organization. The top of the responsible organization in this case is the President of the United States and his cabinet (Secretary of Energy and Budget Director) along with Congressional appropriators.

          One more thing. There is virtually no relationship between the Department of Energy and the commercial nuclear power industry.

        2. Oh I thought you said:

          “the “culture of safety” seems to be restricted to putting up some big signs.”

          I must have been mistaken. Where on earth did I get that idea.

          “The straw man is to deflect the blame away from the “nuclear side” to the “mine side” and in reality they both failed on donning equipment, communication, evacuation. The reality is that when you are working in a mine, you are all on the same team, and there are not 2 separate teams.”

          So Red herrings now? You never provided a argument to support the first claim and considering they take fecal samples from their workers at the end of their shift – that were not even in the repository, and the various detectors and air handling mechanisms revealed so far, id say the Nuclear side is pretty well covered, is also been rather well documented.

          From the combined positions also, mines and waste handling, neither incident was all that unusual or noteworthy, now was it? Mr “Nuke Professional”?

        3. @tucker
          John, John, John, where to even start with you?

          Testing the fecal after the SHTF is not my idea of a “culture of safety” and then pretending that because they state that Alpha was not detected in the urine, that the Pu and Am they did detect was not from breathing in…..as if they were licking the barrels instead…..sheesh….didnt they learn anything from the Radium Girls? LOL

          There was 461g of plutonium right next to the panel 7 remote radiation sensor. That is the Bq the WIPP people reported. Do you know how far Alpha flies in air? Do you understand the ramifications for the extent of contamination in that Panel?

          Do you know how to read this chart?

          Do you understand the ramifications of the second spike in radiation, that was attempted to be covered up by their arbitrary change in reporting duration?

          1. Highest filter readings from inside the repository. I dont think you have any idea what you are talking about. I think the “Radium Girls” reference pretty much hammers that home.

          2. Johm, the Radium Girls reference was for humor….Rod showed an example how the original radium girls “tipped” their paint brush by licking it,

            Now the current joke is the WIPP mouthpieces doing the nuke industry a diservice by comparing alpha radiation to “licking your iphone charger”

            And those WIPP workers….if they aren’t breathing in the Pu, they must be licking the barrels…

            OK, now do you get the joke, cmon thats funny!!

  3. This event shows once again, ironically, how dangerous hydrocarbon fuels are and how safe nuclear anything is.

    Sadly, it won’t be interpreted this way by mainstream media, anti nuclear movements, and the general public.

    1. @cyril r

      You may be right about the media and antinuclear movements, but the public is open to factual explanation. They are more rational than many nuclear advocates assume.

  4. It is amazing to me why they would have disabled the automatic suppression system or shut down the wash station. how hard would it have been to bring that water to the surface and dry it out? just a simple pump into a carboy.

    From the fire accident report, it looks to me that the suppression system nozzles were also plugged. which means the monthly maintenance was less then sufficient. Maybe that’s the way a typical underground mine operates.

  5. @Rod Adams

    is there any news about how long the time is in between the radiation alarm sounding and exhaust air diverted to HEPA filters? And any estimate of how much radioactive material was able to escape in that interval?

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