Plutonium Chain Reactions

New emails reveal concern over plutonium chain reaction in WIPP containers — “There shouldn’t be a ‘significant’ reaction… criticality safety issues are not my area of expertise” — “Significant amount of plutonium” — No mention of kitty litter

 
http://enenews.com/emails-reveal-concern-over-plutonium-related-nuclear-chain-reaction-in-wipp-containers-there-shouldnt-be-significant-reaction-reactivity-of-plutonium-and-criticality-safety-issues-are-no
Published: May 29th, 2014 at 2:04 pm ET 
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Albuquerque Journal News, May 29, 2014: WIPP probe: Emails raise new questions […] internal Los Alamos National Laboratory emails showing Los Alamos approved products to be used in the drums that some experts say contain ingredients widely known to cause a heat reaction when combined with the drums’ other contents. The emails are not about the switch from inorganic to organic cat litter […] The emails trace LANL’s approval of two products […] to neutralize the pH balance of drum contents sent to WIPP. […] despite product warnings clearly stating that the product is incompatible with metallic nitrates and “strong oxidizers,” such as nitrate salts, both of which are found in the LANL drums. Nitrates and organic matter are known to oxidize, a reaction that generates heat. […] When Zeke Wilmot, [LANL contractor] EnergySolutions industrial hygienist, asked in an August 2013 email for approval to use the product, he notes that “criticality safety issues are not my area of expertise” and “it may be advisable to have LANL personnel weigh in on these issues as well.” […] WIPP and LANL did not grant requests for interviews regarding the emails […]

Email to LANL from Zeke Wilmot, EnergySolutions Industrial Hygienist (pdf): […] we would like approval for use of liquid — acid and base neutralizers […] I believe immediate solidification would resolve any criticality safety related concerns […] As we have received a significant amount of Pu-cemented waste, I have looked into the reactivity issues potentially associated with incidental contact with plutonium. From the limited research I have done, elemental plutonium and plutonium hydride (hydride is not likely to be encountered) are water reactive, but there should not be a significant reaction if an aqueous fluid makes contact with plutonium dioxide. I expect most of the cemented Pu waste we’ve handled is the oxide. As the water reactivity of plutonium and criticality safety issues are not my area of expertise it may be advisable to have LANL personnel weigh in on these issues as well.

Cole Smith, chemist in NMED’s Hazardous Waste Bureau: “A bad combination […] It wasn’t the most fantastic choice because nitrate salts in combination with organics is a bad mixture.”

William Quintana, head of New Mexico State University chemistry department: “That might be the problem right there […] Nitrates are oxidizers. Every chemist knows that.”

See the emails leading to approval of the products here (pdf)

 
Published: May 29th, 2014 at 2:04 pm ET 
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  1. ‘Kitty litter’ blamed for explosive nuclear leak at WIPP — “Incredibly important to act quickly” — ‘All these drums’ are at risk, including at other sites — Must be gathered ‘right away’ before they also burst — Summer heat will increase instability — Storage rooms must be sealed off to contain future ‘events’ May 10, 2014
  2. Experts: Gov’t may never stabilize hundreds of explosive drums of radioactive waste stored at WIPP — Nuclear dump now at risk of closing permanently — Ruined for good by kitty litter? (AUDIO) May 23, 2014
  3. Gov’t publishes model of WIPP radioactive plume — Plutonium and americium transported to northwest after wind shift — At times in direction of nearby Carlsbad (MAP) March 16, 2014
  4. Expert: ‘Cracked’ nuclear container “blew top off” at WIPP — Hundreds more drums at dump risk ‘energetic reaction’ and radiation release — Insider: Get forklift and remove them before another accident — Official: No ‘imminent’ public threat ‘at this time’ (VIDEO)May 19, 2014
  5. OT: New Snowden docs reveal gov’t agents “attempting to manipulate & control online discourse with… deception & reputation-destruction” — “Deliberately spreading lies on internet” — Using “‘false flag operations’ & emails to people’s families, friends” (GRAPHICS) February 26, 2014

Judge rules secret FBI national security letters unconstitutional

CA Federal Judge Illston Sends FBI a Message

Judge rules secret FBI national security letters unconstitutional

fbiwarantless12z.jpg

Feb. 10, 2009: The main headquarters of the FBI, the J. Edgar Hoover Building, in Washington, DC.AP

A federal judge has struck down a set of laws allowing the FBI to issue so-called national security letters to banks, phone companies and other businesses demanding customer information.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston said the laws violate the First Amendment and the separation of powers principles and ordered the government to stop issuing the secretive letters or enforcing their gag orders, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The FBI almost always bars recipients of the letters from disclosing to anyone — including customers — that they have even received the demands, Illston said in the ruling released Friday.

The government has failed to show that the letters and the blanket non-disclosure policy “serve the compelling need of national security,” and the gag order creates “too large a danger that speech is being unnecessarily restricted,” the San Francisco-based Illston wrote.

A Department of Justice spokesman told the Journal the department was “reviewing the order.”

FBI counter-terrorism agents began issuing the letters, which don’t require a judge’s approval, after Congress passed the USA Patriot Act in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The case arises from a lawsuit that lawyers with the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed in 2011 on behalf of an unnamed telecommunications company that received an FBI demand for customer information.

“We are very pleased that the court recognized the fatal constitutional shortcomings of the NSL statute,” EFF lawyer Matt Zimmerman said. “The government’s gags have truncated the public debate on these controversial surveillance tools. Our client looks forward to the day when it can publicly discuss its experience.”

Illston wrote that she was also troubled by the limited powers judges have to lift the gag orders.

Judges can eliminate the gag order only if they have “no reason to believe that disclosure may endanger the national security of the United States, interfere with a criminal counter-terrorism, or counterintelligence investigation, interfere with diplomatic relations, or endanger the life or physical safety of any person.”

That provision also violated the Constitution because it blocks meaningful judicial review.

Illston ordered the FBI to cease issuing the letters, but put her order on hold for 90 days so the U.S. Department of Justice can appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Illston isn’t the first federal judge to find the letters troubling. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York also found the gag order unconstitutional, but allowed the FBI to continue issuing them if it made changes to its system such as notifying recipients they can ask federal judges to review the letters.

Illston ruled Friday that it’s up to Congress, and not the courts, to tinker with the letters.

In 2007, the Justice Department’s inspector general found widespread violations in the FBI’s use of the letters, including demands without proper authorization and information obtained in non-emergency circumstances. The FBI has tightened oversight of the system.

The FBI made 16,511 national security letter requests for information regarding 7,201 people in 2011, the latest data available. The FBI uses the letters to collect unlimited kinds of sensitive, private information like financial and phone records.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Golly Darn, Why Would All These Sea Creatures Be Dying? Is It Something In the Water? (Sarcasm Supplied, by me)

TV: “Like a horror show” at Los Angeles-area beach — Unusual number of marine animals suddenly getting sick and dying — “I wonder if something’s in the water” killing them — They “hobble and fall over, it’s heartbreaking” (VIDEO)

 
http://enenews.com/tv-its-like-a-horror-show-along-los-angeles-coast-unusual-number-of-marine-animals-have-started-dying-i-wonder-if-somethings-in-the-water-thats-killing-these-animals
Published: May 24th, 2014 at 11:42 am ET 
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KTTV Los Angeles, May 22, 2014: Marina Del Rey’s Horror Show — “It’s like a horror show, really!” That’s what Kerma Boyum-Sarmiento said after watching a pelican die […] to Shay Yuval, the “horror show” is watching a number of pelicans and other critters die or show signs of serious sickness in the last couple of weeks in the rocks by Via Marina and Pacific. To the […] women what’s happening is very suspicious. […] Is there a connection between the anchovy-die-off and pelicans and other sealife suddenly getting sick?

  • KTTV: A lot of concern about the wildlife in Marina Del Rey tonight. Days after tons and tons of fish died there, other creatures are now dying too […] more on the mystery.
  • Hal Eisner, KTTV reporter: The big question is […] are these deaths connected or are they coincidental? If you ask the people who live around here, whatever it is they’re very suspicious. […] Neighbors say an unusual number of marine animals have started dying. This pelican took its last breath while we were standing here.
  • Yuval: You see them helpless and want to help. They’re fighting to walk and hobble and fall over, it’s heartbreaking.
  • Eisner: Heartbreaking to Shay Yuval, who lives right by the water, and Kerma Boyum-Sarmiento who does too. And both think the anchovy die off has something to do with these other animals dying.
  • Boyum-Sarmiento: I wonder if there’s something in the water killing these animals.
  • Eisner: We wondered too. […] Whatever is happening is unsettling.
  • Boyum-Sarmiento: It’s like a horror show, really.

Fox 13 LA, May 19, 2014: Carol Baker with LA County’s Department of Beaches and Harbors tells us that testing will have to be done on the fish to find out why they died. It could be an algae bloom or the lack of oxygen or something altogether different. Right now no one knows for sure, she says. “Whether it’s an environment anomaly or if this is something we created, I don’t know”, said Marnella Stout who lives in the area. “But I think we’re going to get a lot more of this.”

Watch the KTTV broadcast here

 
Published: May 24th, 2014 at 11:42 am ET 
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  1. Former Official: Fukushima radiation is killing children… heart problems, leukemia, thyroid — Terrible things are going on — Authorities hiding truth from world — We need to admit many people are dying, but we’re not allowed to say that (VIDEO) April 21, 2014
  2. TV: “Like they’re melting… a lot of melting sea stars out there” says Seattle biologist — Veterinarian: It’s concerning, in under a week roughly 60% of species are sick or dying — “Same thing happening near Canada and nobody’s sure why” (VIDEO) October 27, 2013
  3. Inside Evacuation Zone: Cattle sick, dying — “We call it Fukushima syndrome” — Severe diarrhea, skin problems, weakened immune systems October 8, 2012
  4. ABC Los Angeles: Expert confirms radioactive water on way to West Coast and arriving in next few months; Will we really be told if it’s dangerous? — Journalist in Japan: Lethal contamination is gushing out, endangering millions and wreaking havoc on ocean (VIDEO)November 8, 2013
  5. FOX: Is Iodine-131 Killing Babies In Philadelphia? Deaths up 48 percent since radiation levels spiked in tap water (VIDEO) June 16, 2011

Hey, I Know What To Do, We’ll Dump It Into The Pacific, We Won’t Be Around Much Longer Anyway!

Hundreds of tons of radioactive water now being intentionally dumped into Pacific at Fukushima plant — Tepco: “We’d like to express our sincere appreciation” — Nuclear water stored since last year to be dumped next week — Official: Tepco “utterly inept” at taking accurate radiation readings (VIDEO)

 
http://enenews.com/hundreds-of-tons-of-radioactive-water-now-being-intentionally-dumped-into-pacific-at-fukushima-plant-nuclear-water-stored-since-last-year-to-be-dumped-next-week-official-tepco-utterly-inept
Published: May 21st, 2014 at 9:24 am ET 
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Tepco, May 21, 2014: Today, we have commenced operation of the groundwater bypass at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. We would like to express our sincere appreciation to many parties, including Fukushima Prefecture and members of the fishing industry […]

Yahoo News, May 21, 2014: Wednesday [TEPCO] began to dump controlled quantities of water with low radioactivity into the sea. This is the method it plans to start using to reduce the alarming accumulation of contaminated liquid […] TEPCO revealed that around 560,000 litres [~148,000 gallons] of water was emptied Wednesday.

Japan Times, May 21, 2014: [Tepco] said Wednesday it began dumping into the Pacific Ocean hundreds of tons of groundwater […] The next release is expected to involve about 790 tons of groundwater stored since last year […] the official said there could be a water discharge roughly every week.

The Australian, May 21, 2014: Nuclear water released into sea off Japan […] not clear whether the water was more radioactive than normal

Xinhua, May 21, 2014: [Tepco] has also been slammed by Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Shunichi Tanaka for incorrectly measuring levels of radioactive materials in groundwater […] Tanaka has said that even though three years has passed since the reactor meltdowns at the plant, TEPCO is still “utterly inept” when it comes to taking accurate readings […] and “lacks a basic understanding of measuring and handling radiation.” […] A spokesperson for the utility said the massive error [measuring strontium-90] was due to a “calibration error” […] He added that other machines had also been mistakingly calibrated […]

Kyodo, May 21, 2014: The official said the amount of water seeping into the reactor buildings may be reduced by up to 80 tons per day [out of the 400 tons per day of contaminated water that flows into the Pacific], but added that the effect of the groundwater bypass system needs to be checked through actual operation.

Watch NHK’s broadcast here

 
Published: May 21st, 2014 at 9:24 am ET 
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Related Posts

  1. Tepco admits “radiation levels in groundwater are soaring” at Fukushima — “Strontium readings spike 6,500-fold in one day” (VIDEO) October 18, 2013
  2. Record radiation level in underground water well near ocean at Fukushima — Tepco: “Rise in radiation readings is an obvious concern” — 1.4 billion Bq/m³ of strontium/beta emittersDecember 8, 2013
  3. ‘Emergency’ Measure: Over 1,000 tons of polluted water dumped on ground at Fukushima — “There’s a limit on how much water we can store” — Never tested cesium levels — Sandbags swept away by typhoon (PHOTO & VIDEO) September 17, 2013
  4. CNN Nuclear Expert: Fukushima plant is in ‘uncharted territory’ — Highly radioactive water to either be boiled until it evaporates, or dumped in ocean August 6, 2013
  5. Japan Gov’t: It’s “inevitable” that Fukushima radioactive water will be dumped in Pacific Ocean — “Tepco has no choice” July 26, 2013

No One Will Ever Tell Truth of How Badly We’ve Been Nuked By Japanese

CNN: Fukushima fallout ‘grossly underestimated’ says new Japan study — “Radioactive poison… contaminating the North Pacific Ocean” — Tepco: ‘Impossible’ to know how much really got out (VIDEO)

 
http://enenews.com/cnn-fukushima-fallout-grossly-underestimated-says-new-japan-study-radioactive-poison-spewed-out-and-is-contaminating-the-north-pacific-ocean-tepco-admits-its-impossible-to-know
Published: May 22nd, 2014 at 5:24 pm ET 
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CNN, May 21, 2014: […] This is my first time visiting one of the most dangerous places on earth. […] the highly contaminated “red zone” […] remains a desolate wasteland […] Impact underestimated? The true scope of the contamination is a subject of debate, with a research team from Fukushima University recently releasing a study that claims [TEPCO] grossly underestimated the amount of radioactive poison cesium-137 released into the environment. Exposure can heighten the risk of cancer. […] TEPCO acknowledges it’s impossible to know for sure how much cesium was released […] Researchers told me they don’t believe the risk extends far beyond Japan and the North Pacific Ocean, even though small traces of radioactive ocean water have been detected as far away as Canada.

Transcript Excerpt – Will Ripley, CNN: A senior scientist and his research team at Fukushima University just published a study claiming the power plant’s operator Tepco grossly underestimated the amount of radioactive poison — Cesium-137 — released during the meltdown. This material has already gone into the ocean. It’s already there. He’s especially worried about contaminated fish in a country where most meals come from the sea. His research team says cesium spewed into the air during the meltdown and later fell into the water contaminating the North Pacific Ocean and the Japanese mainland. Tepco says the company’s radiation estimates come from the best information they have, but a spokesperson admits nobody really knows for sure. […] The invisible danger from Fukushima is why these town will continue to sit empty for years, as crews try to contain the slow moving catastrophe that turned their homeland into this wasteland.

CNN Student News, Daily Curriculum, May 22, 2014: Where is Fukushima? What disasters struck the city three years ago? What does the city look like now? Why are fields that once were full of crops now full of bags of soil? What radioactive poison was released during the nuclear plant meltdown? Why is the professor seen in the video especially worried about the poison’s effect on fish? What does the reporter have to do before he enters the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant? What are workers there trying to do to the plant? How long will the cleanup take? According to the video, why will the town continue to sit empty for years?

Watch the broadcast here

 
Published: May 22nd, 2014 at 5:24 pm ET 
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  1. Record cesium levels at Pacific Ocean sampling location north of Fukushima plant — Spikes to 6,900 Bq/m³ from ‘not detected’ in one day March 17, 2014
  2. Tepco: It’s ‘really impossible’ for us to keep storing liquid from Fukushima reactors — We need to think about discharging it into ocean (VIDEO) March 10, 2013
  3. Kyodo: Tepco ‘reverses’ position — Admits Fukushima plant’s groundwater is contaminated with radioactive cesium — Wanted to dump it into Pacific Ocean June 3, 2013
  4. TV: Fukushima underground dam not working, radiation levels now exceeding gov’t limit near shore — Tepco Official: “The flow of contaminated water into ocean is causing problems… It’s quite difficult to stop” (VIDEO) February 9, 2014
  5. Hundreds of tons of radioactive water now being intentionally dumped into Pacific at Fukushima plant — Tepco: “We’d like to express our sincere appreciation” — Nuclear water stored since last year to be dumped next week — Official: Tepco “utterly inept” at taking accurate radiation readings (VIDEO) May 21, 2014

Some Fukushima Truth Coming Out Finally!

Gov’t Report: Fukushima radioactive material still raining down on U.S. in 2013 — Contamination “worked its way into local ecosystems” — ‘Incremental impacts’ from Fukushima radiation release — Health implications ‘incompletely understood’

 
http://enenews.com/california-govt-report-fukushima-cesium-raining-down-2013-contamination-worked-local-ecosystems-incremental-impacts-radiation-released-fukushima-health-implications-incompletely-understood
Published: May 19th, 2014 at 3:52 pm ET 
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California Coastal Commission, STATE OF CALIFORNIA—NATURAL RESOURCES AGENCY(pdf), Apr. 30, 2014: Attached for your information is a report investigating the release of radioactivity materials during the disaster and the implications for residents of California. […]

Airborne Contamination in California

  • Several massive pulses of radionuclides were released to the atmosphere from Fukushima between March 12 and 18, 2011 […] 134Cs and 137Cs persisted at trace levels […] in on-going air monitoring at Berkeley through the end of 2012.

Rainwater Contamination in California

  • March 2011 was an unusually wet month in California (~200% of normal monthly precipitation in the Bay Area) due to several large storms which resulted in discrete wet deposition events on March 18-20 and 22-26. […] 134Cs and 137Cs were present, at low levels, after 70 days. However, it is worth noting that low levels of radioactive cesium were still detectable in rainwater during subsequent wet seasons in 2012 and 2013, reflecting the continued presence of Fukushima-derived cesium in the atmosphere. […]

Food Chain Contamination in California

  • Fukushima-derived radionuclides transferred from the atmosphere to the land through rainout or dry deposition have the potential to contaminate soil and water supplies, and to enter the food chain. […] Sampling of soil and sediments from several California locations detected a clear pulse of 131I, 134Cs and 137Cs between April – June 2011, with only 137Cs remaining above the pre-accident background thereafter (through Nov 2012). Plant and food samples collected in the Bay Area in April and May 2011 contained detectable concentrations of Fukushima-derived 131I, 134Cs, and 137Cs, indicating that low-level contamination of the water and soil had worked its way into local ecosystems.

Public Health Impacts

  • Fukushima disaster presented (and continues to present) a low risk to public health relative to other concerns. However, it is worth reiterating that the health implications of exposure to low levels of radiation remain incompletely understood, and that the incremental impacts of the radiation released at Fukushima may be very difficult to separate from those of other radiation sources and the many other causes of disease.

See also: Fukushima fallout in N. America at 400,000,000,000,000 Bq of Cesium-137 — Study: Hazardous on a ‘continental scale’ — CBS: Inaccurate internet reports stoked fear radiation had somehow come California’s way (VIDEO)

Imminent Threat From New Mexico’s WIPP

CBS News: “Potential ‘imminent’ threat from New Mexico nuclear waste” — Official: Risk of “substantial endangerment” to public health — 57 barrels of nuclear waste could rupture, came from multiple gov’t labs — ‘Unclear’ how many are now at WIPP — Being monitored for rise in temperature (VIDEO)

 
http://enenews.com/cbs-news-potential-imminent-threat-new-mexico-nuclear-waste-official-substantial-endangerment-health-environment-possible-57-barrels-nuclear-waste-risk-unknown-number-stored-wipp-being-monito?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29
Published: May 20th, 2014 at 7:46 pm ET 
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CBS/Associated Press, May 20, 2014 (Emphasis Added): Potential “imminent” threat from New Mexico nuclear waste, officials say — Los Alamos National Laboratory packed 57 barrels of nuclear waste with a type of kitty litter believed to have caused a radiation leak at the federal government’s troubled nuclear waste dump, posing a potentially “imminent” and “substantial” threat to public health and the environment, New Mexico officials said Monday. […] two of those containers are known to be at WIPP. It doesn’t say where the rest of the barrels are […] The lab has taken a series of precautionary measures, the statement said, including packing the drums into special containers and moving them under a dome with a fire protection system. The lab is also monitoring the drums for any rise in temperature.

New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) Secretary Ryan Flynn, May 20, 2014: “Based on the evidence presented to NMED, the current handling, storage, treatment and transportation of the hazardous nitrate salt bearing waste containers at LANL may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to health or the environment.”

KUNM, May 19, 2014: Flynn on Monday gave the lab two days to submit a plan for fixing the problem, saying the barrels may “present an imminent and substantial threat” to public health and the environment.

Xinhua, May 19, 2014: Troubled U.S. nuke lab has new woes: officials — A nuclear laboratory in the U.S. state of New Mexico packed dozens of waste containers with a type of kitty litter believed to have caused a radiation leak at another nuclear facility, posing a potentially “imminent” and “substantial” threat to public health and environment, officials said Monday.

Carlsbad Current Argus, May 20, 2014 (Emphasis Added): State officials announced this week that the DOE was analyzing 57 drums of waste containing a mixture of kitty litter and nitrate salts suspected of causing a reaction that led to the radiation leak. The 57 barrels of waste originated from Los Alamos and Savannah River National Laboratory in South Carolina. The drums in question are scattered across the state at Los Alamos, WIPP and Waste Control Specialists, a private nuclear waste disposal facility in Andrews County, Texas, straddling the Texas-New Mexico border. The number of drums stored at each site is unclear […]

Watch KRQE’s broadcast here

 
Published: May 20th, 2014 at 7:46 pm ET 
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  1. Video: WIPP nuclear site may close for several years — Explosion in multiple drums suspected — “Very much a cause for concern” — Top official gives ‘fiery speech’ calling for public to be told what has happened — DOE refuses to name source of nuclear wasteMay 9, 2014
  2. Gov’t: ‘Cracked’ nuclear container filmed at WIPP — Expert: It “blew top off” — Reuters: “Released high levels of radiation” — 100s more drums risk similar ‘energetic reaction’ — Insider: Get forklift and remove them before another accident — Official: No ‘imminent’ public threat ‘at this time’ (VIDEO) May 19, 2014
  3. AP: 33 underground canals of radioactive waste were beneath barrels of plutonium contamination threatened by Los Alamos fire October 2, 2011
  4. As of this morning flames just two miles away from plutonium-contaminated waste at Los Alamos — Barrels are not well contained says former top official June 30, 2011
  5. Head of New Mexico department dealing with hazardous waste at Los Alamos labs mysteriously resigns — Officials not providing any details July 19, 2011