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Slow explanation about Pantex nuclear station lockdown

The Pantex nuclear weapons facility in Texas was just locked down … it took a while for them to explain why    Jamie Seidel, News Corp Australia Network, October 24, 2018 NOTHING invokes such fear as the threat of a nuclear accident. So when a leading US manufacturer of nuclear weapons declares an ‘operations emergency’, the world sits up and pays attention. Problem is, they’re not telling us anything.

All we were told is what is contained in a simple tweet:

Pantex Plant@PantexPlan  
The Pantex Plant is experiencing an operational emergency. The Emergency Response Organization has been activated. 3:59 AM – Oct 24, 2018

Mollified much?

Not when it comes to the amount of explosive radioactive material held at the plant, near Carson County, Texas.

Pantex is where the US nuclear arsenal is both constructed and disassembled.

New devices are built.

Old devices are broken down for safe disposal.

Naturally, it’s a high security site. And safety precautions are well established.

Local media reported “an unexpected event at the plant”.

But not what that unexpected event was.

“At this time, there appears to be no offsite impact and no need for the public to take any action.”

Those are calming words. To a point.

“The Pantex onsite response effort is being conducted by the Emergency Response Organization, a highly-trained group of employees with detailed knowledge of plant operations and emergency response procedures. These employees represent plant functions such as security, logistics, safety, medical response, radiological assessment, firefighting, operations and public information.”

That’s not so calming.

Security? Medical response? Radiological assessment?

The local sheriff closed local roads close to the eastern edge of the extensive facility.

Then, out of nowhere, it was all over. Perhaps.

Pantex Plant@PantexPlant Replying to @PantexPlant

The security event at Pantex has ended without incident. Thanks to the Carson County Sheriff and @AmarilloPD for their quick response.

4:47 AM – Oct 24, 201

Only later was an official explanation given.

A ‘routine’ inspection had sparked a bomb scare.

Security guard dogs had ‘sniffed out’ something suspicious.

“Pantex identified a potential concern with a vehicle in the … administrative building parking lot,” a statement reads. “As a precaution, all employees were sheltered in place.”

Interestingly, while employees were told to seek safety, surrounding inhabitants — equally at risk from nuclear fallout — were not.

“The vehicle was inspected for any prohibited items. After searching the vehicle, it was determined there were no prohibited items or explosives, and the emergency event was resolved without incident.”

Lucky for the locals.

The Carson County, Texas, plant has a history of problems. In 2015, it was reported ‘hundreds’ of employees had fallen ill with radiation related sicknesses since it was established in the 1950s.



October 25, 2018 - Posted by | incidents, USA

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