– US Gov’t: Never faced challenge like this, but “not giving up hope” at WIPP; Salt from contaminated mine to be sold as feed to dairy farms — TV: “Residents flat out concerned for their safety”; “I want to believe them… but I don’t” — Reuters: ‘Falling slabs’ may have breached waste drums (VIDEO) (ENENews, March 7, 2014):
Reuters, Mar. 5: The leak may have been caused by falling slabs of salt that created a breach of a drum or drums containing waste, officials have said.
Joe Franco, US DOE, Mar. 5: “We have not faced this kind of challenge in our 15-year history”
KRQE, Mar. 5: Damage control is in full swing.
KRQE, Mar. 6: A lot questions remain about the WIPP radiation leak. On Thursday at a town hall meeting in Carlsbad, residents and many WIPP supporters told officials they’re frustrated […] Some residents say they’re flat out concerned for their safety […]
Carlsbad Current Argus, Mar. 6 (emphasis added): Plans cleanup crews are considering underground at WIPP include mining some of the salt off the existing wall […] WIPP currently sells the salt to local private industry, including for use as salt feed at local dairies. Franco said he thinks the DOE should be able to continue selling the mined salt.
Carlsbad Current Argus, Mar. 6: David Klaus, deputy under secretary for management and performance, and David Huizenga, senior advisor for the DOE’s Office of Environmental Management, made the trip to Carlsbad from Washington D.C. and said that the DOE is not giving up hope that all radiation particles in WIPP’s south salt mine can be eradicated. “There’s no other option for us, we need to go down there, sort it out […]” Huizenga said.
Senator Mark Udall, Mar. 6: “It’s absolutely critical for DOE to be as open and transparent as possible […] The community understandably has questions about health and safety”
Senator Mark Udall, Mar. 6: “We’re doing everything we can to […] give the community the info they need to make decisions with their lives.”
AP, Mar. 6: DOE [and EPA] have all said there’s no public health threat, but watchdog groups have questioned whether officials are holding back information related to the leak.
National Journal, Mar. 6: [EPA] regional chief Ron Curry said the early analyses indicate that no related medical complications are likely to arise in nearby populations.
Franco, Mar. 5: “Ongoing air and environmental monitoring around the WIPP site, both by our contractor and by independent parties, is showing no significant off-site contamination.”
Karen Armendaruz, resident, Mar. 6: “I want to believe what they’re saying that the levels are practically non-existent, but truthfully, I don’t really believe that.”