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Tag Archives: Nuclear Disaster

WIPP contractor got $1.9 million bonus after fire


LAUREN VILLAGRAN | Albuquerque Journal Just five days after an underground truck fire closed the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, the Energy Department awarded the contractor that operates the nuclear repository $1.9 million for “excellent” performance during the past year. One radiation leak and two sharply worded accident investigation reports later slamming the same contractor for long-running safety and maintenance problems, that ...

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Stigmatized nuclear workers quit Japan utility


Yuri Kageyama | Associated Press TOKYO (AP) — Stigma, pay cuts, and risk of radiation exposure are among the reasons why 3,000 employees have left the utility at the center of Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster. Now there’s an additional factor: better paying jobs in the feel good solar energy industry. Engineers and other employees at TEPCO, or Tokyo Electric Power ...

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LANL waste contractor denies cat litter role in WIPP radiation leak

Mark Oswald | the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.) SANTA FE — An operations manager for EnergySolutions, which packages waste at Los Alamos National Laboratory, says his company believes nothing it added to waste drums caused a radioactive leak that shut down the nation’s main nuclear waste disposal plant. “We followed the procedures that were provided to us, and I think LANL ...

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Phase two of WIPP recovery about to begin

Zack Ponce | Carlsbad Current-Argus (Carlsbad, N.M.) CARLSBAD — Phase two of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant underground recovery process is about to begin according to Department of Energy officials. Workers at WIPP, located 26 miles southeast of Carlsbad, recently completed air filter replacement and will next move on to cleaning soot in the underground salt mines that lingers from the ...

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Closure of WIPP casts long shadow

Back in 1979, the nation was sitting on a tremendous pile of nuclear waste from decades of weapons production with no safe place to dispose of it permanently. The country looked to southeastern New Mexico for an answer. That year, Congress authorized the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, in which storage vaults would be formed from ancient salt beds near Carlsbad ...

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Feds will miss deadline to remove LANL nuke waste


By Patrick Malone | The Sante Fe New Mexican The U.S. Department of Energy notified state regulators Friday that it won’t meet a June 30 deadline to remove nuclear waste stored at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The department cited delays caused by a Feb. 14 radiation leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, where waste from the lab ...

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Nuke expert believes ‘kitty litter’ switch led to WIPP leak

kitty litter

By Staci Matlock, The Santa Fe New Mexican An absorbent material similar to kitty litter is the likely cause of a radiation leak that shut down the nation’s only underground nuclear waste repository near Carlsbad three months ago, according to a longtime nuclear expert. A company in charge of packing radioactive contaminated materials at Los Alamos National Laboratory in containers for ...

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Udall: WIPP investigation reports “very troubling”

Zack Ponce for Carlsbad Current-Argus, N.M. CARLSBAD — Sen. Tom Udall says recent investigation reports into accidents at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant are “very troubling.” A Department of Energy Accident Investigation Board blamed the Feb. 5 underground vehicle fire and subsequent Feb. 14 radiation leak on a lack of oversight and erosion of safety culture by all parties involved ...

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