Another town hall was held last night and brought forth a number of new admissions on the situation at WIPP in New Mexico
- The underground facility may be shut down for 18 months to three years.
- Waste from Los Alamos is thought to be the likely cause but this is not yet confirmed
- They are considering the possibility of a “chemical explosion” in room 7 as a possible cause
- Waste began being loaded into room 7 in January 2014
- Los Alamos waste shipments to a private temporary facility in TX have been stopped as a precaution
The waste from Los Alamos has been being sent to a temporary facility. There were also a number of received canisters on truck trailers that had been in WIPP’s parking lot. Those were being considered for transfer to the TX facility. Exactly where those waste shipments are currently was not explained. There was also no explanation what DOE may be doing to review those canisters for explosion potential. DOE currently thinks that nitrate salts in the Los Alamos shipments may have been a possible cause of the incident in room 7.
Record keeping functions are being moved from a contractor with offices in New Mexico to a new contractor at Oak Ridge. No explanation was given for the change. This will result in some job losses at the Carlsbad contractor facility. 90 jobs with the former contractor will be lost, the new contractor is estimating 37 jobs will come back to Carlsbad. There was no mention if any former contractor employees would be hired by the new contractor.
DOE investigations are gradually showing the widespread incompetence and lack of following even the basic safety regulations of the facility.
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