LA Times: ‘Horrific Comedy’ at US Nuclear Site — “Mounds of radioactive white foam laced with plutonium” spewed out — Gov’t failed to do any radiation tests when releases peaked after ‘major’ leak — Experts: “Risk of additional eruptions is real”

LA Times: ‘Horrific Comedy’ at US Nuclear Site — “Mounds of radioactive white foam laced with plutonium” spewed out — Gov’t failed to do any radiation tests when releases peaked after ‘major’ leak — Experts: “Risk of additional eruptions is real” (VIDEO) (ENENews, Aug 24, 2014):

KRQE, Aug 14, 2014 (emphasis added): [In February the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant] experienced a major radiation leak, shutting down the plant.

Los Angeles Times, Aug 23, 2014:

  • Nuclear waste accident in New Mexico was a ‘horrific comedy of errors’
  • A 55-gallon drum of nuclear waste… violently erupted late on Feb. 14 and spewed mounds of radioactive white foam
  • The flowing mass, looking like whipped cream but laced with plutonium, went airborne, traveled up a ventilation duct to the surface
  • Filters [were] to prevent any radioactivity from reaching the surface, but the dampers leaked and thousands of cubic feet of air bypassed filters
  • 150 or so workers on the surface of the site [weren’t told] to move to a safe location [until] about 10 hours after the first alarm sounded
  • Elite ranks of nuclear chemists [have] a mystery they still cannot unravel… six months after
  • Nine days before the radiation release, a giant salt-hauling truck caught fire underground and burned for hours before anybody discovered it
  • Drums of the same material are still at the WIPP… Los Alamos and… in Texas
  • Nuclear experts say another leakage accident cannot be ruled out

Los Angeles Times Q&A, Aug 23, 2014: Some experts say that means the risk of additional eruptions is real… other drums… may also have the same kind of reaction…

James Conca, Forbes.com writer and former WIPP worker: “The accident was a horrific comedy of errors… The ramifications of this are going to be huge.”

More of this ‘horrific comedy’ was revealed in the last few days…

  • Reuters, Aug 22, 2014: Surface-air monitoring conducted beyond the site by facility managers and university researchers in the days after the accident showed detectable trace amounts of radiation apparently had drifted from the plant… [Officials] said they believed those levels were too small to pose a threat to humans… However, additional independent air sampling required of the state… was never conducted during the first week… A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency review of air testing… found discrepancies in recorded times and dates of sample collections, flawed calculation methods, conflicting data and missing documents. It also found the facility sometimes said air samples contained no detectable levels of radiation when measurable levels were present.
  • KOAT, Aug 14, 2014: WIPP officials say no one was badly hurt, but one worker disputes that… Strained speech … Repeated, agonizing coughing… William Utter says it’s all because of [the underground truck] fire… “My brain is just pounding.” Utter has handled nuclear waste for 8 years… Utter tells a doctor how his life, and his family’s lives, have changed… he can barely sleep… his wife and son are constantly on edge. “They’re worried all the time, every time something happens or I cough and have to pull over and throw up

Watch Utter describe his condition here

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