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Westinghouse nuclear fuel factory – more leaks discovered

More leaks discovered at troubled SC nuclear fuel factory; feds investigating, The BY SAMMY FRETWELL,  August 31, 2018 HOPKINS 

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission will take a closer look at a troubled nuclear fuel factory on Bluff Road as information surfaces about leaks that date back at least a decade, federal officials said.

NRC officials said they have learned about leaks from 2008 that were not reported to the agency by Westinghouse, the owner and operator of the 49-year-old atomic fuel assembly plant. The NRC said it should have been told about the pollution leaks, even though notice was not always legally required.

To learn more, the NRC will reopen an environmental study of whether the Westinghouse facility poses a danger to Richland County if the company receives a new operating license, agency officials said at a community meeting Thursday night in Hopkins.

Westinghouse is seeking a 40-year license, but the NRC must satisfy federal concerns before the agency can make a decision on the Westinghouse request. The NRC completed an environmental study in June that said the plant does not pose a major hazard to the surrounding environment, even though the facility has had past problems.

“We are going to be asking for additional information from Westinghouse on the various leaks,’’ said Brian Smith, a deputy director for safety and environment at the NRC’s Maryland headquarters.

After the meeting, Smith told The State the decision to reopen the environmental study “was based on new information,’’ including leaks tied to a 2011 uranium spill beneath the plant. The NRC has said it did not know about the 2011 uranium spill until the fall of 2017.
Now, it has learned of pipe breaks in the same area beneath the plant that occurred in 2008, said Smith and Tom Vukovinsky, a senior fuel facility inspector with the NRC in Atlanta. Westinghouse disclosed this information to the NRC amid growing questions about the 2011 leak, officials said.

“They identified a couple of previous leaks,’’ Smith said. “Westinghouse, in responding to all the recent events, has started going back through their records and made us aware of this.’’

The 2008 pollution leaks are the third to surface publicly this summer. In July, the NRC learned that uranium drained through a hole in the floor of the plant building. The NRC’s environmental report in June mentioned the 2011 uranium leak that had not been reported. In examining the circumstances surrounding the 2011 spill, leaks from 2008 were discovered, according to the NRC.

A consultant’s letter, obtained Friday by The State, indicates that a broken pipe spilled radioactive material into the soil in 2008. The letter said Westinghouse found “elevated radionuclide concentration’’ in both process wastewater from the plant and the soil. The company then fixed the pipe, the letter said. Three years later, contamination was found in the soil after Westinghouse discovered pipes were “highly corroded,’’ according to the May 31 letter from consultant AECOM to DHEC.

Uranium is a radioactive material used in the production of nuclear fuel. People exposed to significant amounts of uranium can suffer kidney damage or other ailments. A key unanswered question about all the spills is how much leaked into the ground.
The NRC’s decision to reopen the environmental study is significant because it delays an agency decision on whether to grant the new license, which would keep the plant operating another 40 years. Depending on what the agency learns about leaks, the NRC could shorten the time the license is good for or take enforcement action against Westinghouse.

Thursday’s announcement was welcome news to many in the crowd gathered at a county building adjacent to Lower Richland High School………..

The plant, however, has had plenty of troubles through the years. It has had dozens of run-ins with the NRC over nuclear safety issues and has polluted groundwater on the site. Some of the groundwater pollution has existed since the 1980s. Efforts to clean up groundwater have not succeeded in ridding the site of contamination. …….

Citizens have since formed their own committee to monitor Westinghouse. The area near the site is composed of a mixture of modest homes and exclusive hunt clubs. The site is on Bluff Road between Congaree National Park and Interstate 77, just outside Columbia.


September 3, 2018 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

Water leak in Japan’s unfinished Rokkasho nuclear reprocessing plant

August 29, 2018 Posted by | incidents, Japan | Leave a comment

Despite Putin’s boasts, loss at sea, and test failures in ‘invulnerable’ nuclear-powered missile

Putin lost his supposedly ‘invulnerable’ nuclear-powered missile at sea — now he has to go find it, Ryan Pickrell , Business Insider US Aug 26, 2018 

  • Russia is gearing up to search for a missing nuclear-powered cruise missile that was lost at sea during a failed test-fire last year.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin has boasted about the weapon’s advanced capabilities, but all tests have reportedly ended in failure.
  • While the missile is supposed to be able to fly indefinitely, its nuclear-powered core has yet to initiate to allow it to do that.

Russia lost a nuclear-powered missile during a failed test last year, and now Moscow is gearing up to go find it, according to CNBC, citing people familiar with a relevant US intelligence report.

Proudly claiming that the world will “listen to us now”, Russian President Vladimir Putin boasted in early March that his country had developed a new nuclear-powered cruise missile with unlimited range, but each of the four tests between November 2017 and February reportedly ended in failure, according to reports from May.

“The low-flying, stealth cruise missile with a nuclear warhead with a practically unlimited range, unpredictable flight path and the ability to bypass interception lines is invulnerable to all existing and future missile defence and air defence systems,” Putin claimed. “No one in the world has anything like it,” he added.

The reports from testing don’t support the Russian president’s claims.

The longest recorded flight, according to US assessments, lasted only a little over two minutes. Flying just 35km, the missile spun out of control and crashed. In each case, the nuclear-powered core of the experimental cruise missile failed, preventing the weapon from achieving the indefinite flight and unlimited range the Russian president bragged about.

The tests were apparently conducted at the request of senior Kremlin officials despite the protests of Russian engineers who argued that the platform was not ready for testing. Russian media reports claim the weapon will be ready to deploy in ten years.

During one weapons test in November of last year, the missile crashed into the Barents Sea. Three ships, one with the ability to handle radioactive material, will take part in the search operations, which have yet to be officially scheduled.

Experts are concerned about the possibility that the missile may be leaking radioactive nuclear material. The missile is suspected to rely on gasoline for takeoff but switch to nuclear power once in flight.

August 27, 2018 Posted by | incidents, Russia | Leave a comment

A failed test leaves Russia’s ultimate doomsday weapon lost in the Barents Sea

Russia Seems to Have Lost the Ultimate Doomsday Weapon: A Nuclear-Powered Cruise Missile

Here’s what we know.

by Task and Purpose Brad Howard 24 Aug 18, In the worst reboot of The Hunt For Red October we’ve ever heard, Russia has lost a secretive nuclear-powered cruise missile at sea during a failed test in the last several months, CNBC reports .

– Citing an unnamed U.S. intelligence official, CNBC reports that that Russian military lost one of the four cruise missiles used during tests conducted over the Barents Sea between last November and February, all of which ended in failure.

– The status of the missile and its nuclear fuel is unknown, and its disappearance has reportedly triggered an all-out search in the Barents Sea north of Scandinavia by Russian military personnel. According to CNBC, the four test flights ranged from five miles to twenty-two miles.

– While it’s currently unclear which launch resulted in the lost missile, U.S. Air Force nuclear-sniffing WC-135 ‘Constant Phoenix’ aircraft were active in the Barents Sea and Baltic Sea from March to August of this year, with a Russian fighter intercepting one of the aircraft over the Baltic Sea on August 8.

– This missile, one of many doomsday devices touted by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government during Moscow’s last showcase of new military capabilities, is purportedly capable of loitering as an unmanned second-strike platform that can remain in the air for an extended period of time over a virtually unlimited range.

Obviously, the cruise missile could cause an environmental catastrophe if the reactor is breached . But besides the stupidity of losing a bunch of nuclear material in the middle of the open ocean, the incident reveals the short-sighted nature of nuclear-powered cruise missiles at all: they cause environmental devastation, they’re horribly expensive, and decommissioning them is a virtual nightmare. It makes little sense for Russia to even test the damn things since the Ministry of Defense has such an effective nuclear deterrent in place already.

Frankly, a nuclear-powered cruise missile is a 1950s dream that goes against all logic in a world with hundreds of ICBMs tipped with multiple independently-targetable reentry vehicles, all of which can kill a city.

This article by Brad Howard originally appeared at Task & Purpose. Follow Task & Purpose on Twitter .

August 25, 2018 Posted by | incidents, Russia | Leave a comment

Russia has lost a nuclear-powered missile at sea

Russia is preparing to search for a nuclear-powered missile that was lost at sea months ago after a failed test, CNBC 221 Aug 18 

  • Moscow is preparing to recover a nuclear-powered missile lost at sea, according to sources with direct knowledge of a U.S. intelligence report.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin bragged earlier this year that the new missile had unlimited range.
  • The missile was tested four times between November and February, each resulting in a crash, according to sources who spoke to CNBC on the condition of anonymity.
Amanda MaciasCrews will attempt to recover a missile that was test launched in November and landed in the Barents Sea, which is located north of Norway and Russia. The operation will include three vessels, one of which is equipped to handle radioactive material from the weapon’s nuclear core. There is no timeline for the mission, according to the people with knowledge of the report……
Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled the new nuclear-powered missile in March, boasting it had unlimited range. Yet, the weapon has yet to be successfully tested over multiple attempts.
Russia tested four of the missiles between November and February, each resulting in a crash, people who spoke on the condition of anonymity previously told CNBC. The U.S. assessed that the longest test flight lasted just more than two minutes, with the missile flying 22 miles before losing control and crashing. The shortest test lasted four seconds and flew for five miles. Russia has denied the missile test failures. ……..

August 22, 2018 Posted by | incidents, Russia | Leave a comment

Sinkhole discovered at Hanford Tank Farm  by Thomas Yazwinski, August 18th 2018 , RICHLAND, Wash. — A sinkhole with an opening approximately 2 feet in diameter was discovered Thursday morning inside the SX Tank Farm at Hanford.

It was observed while soil compaction work was underway near Tank SX-108.

We’re told the depth of the cavity has not been determined.

Washington River Protection Solutions officials tell Action News they plan to use a special camera to inspect the hole and inside the nearby tank.

Work inside the farm was stopped and personnel left the farm according to procedure.

Radiological surveys conducted in the farm yesterday found no contamination and no significant increase in radiation readings.

August 20, 2018 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

Fire at Hanford radiation-testing laboratory

Fire at Hanford radioactive lab sends workers to hospital, BY ANNETTE CARY, August 09, 2018  RICHLAND, WA 

August 13, 2018 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

San Onofre nuclear plant: Incident involving transfer of waste canister

Incident involving transfer of waste canister at San Onofre nuclear plant prompts additional training measures, LA Times, By ROB NIKOLEWSKI, AUG 12, 2018 

A contractor responsible for transferring canisters of spent nuclear fuel at the site of the shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station has been cited for “performance errors” and was directed to “take corrective actions, including additional training” for its workers, Southern California Edison officials said.

The contractor, Holtec International, was cited for the incident that occurred earlier this month when a canister got caught on an inner ring as it was being lowered into a Cavity Enclosure Container at a newly constructed “dry storage” facility on the site of the plant that is in the process of being decommissioned, Edison said in a statement last week. The transfers have been placed on hold.

Since February, operators of the San Diego County plant have been transferring 73 canisters of spent fuel from what is called “wet storage” to the new dry storage installation. Used up fuel is thermally hot and to cool it, nuclear operators place the fuel in a metal rack and submerge it in a deep wet storage pool.

So far, 29 of the 73 canisters have been transferred to the new storage facility. Edison expects to complete the transfer by the middle of next year.

Edison’s announcement came one day after a man identifying himself as an industrial safety worker associated with the federal government’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration startled those attending a public meeting in Oceanside hosted by the SONGS Community Engagement Panel by describing a litany of safety shortcomings associated with the transfer process.

David Fritch said on Aug. 3 one of the canisters being lowered into the cavity enclosure “could have fallen 18 feet.”

In remarks during the Community Engagement Panel’s public comments period, Fritch said similar problems have occurred before “but it wasn’t shared with the crew that was working. We’re under-manned. We don’t have the proper personnel to get things done safely.”

Fritch, who said he’s been on the site for about three months, said some workers are “under-trained” and that many experienced supervisors “are often sent away” and replaced by new supervisors who “don’t understand it as well.”

Fritch’s remarks were captured on video from the livestream of the panel’s quarterly meeting.

……….Critics of Edison pounced on the disclosure, saying it points to larger issues surrounding the plant near San Clemente that is home to 3.55 million pounds of spent fuel at a site hugging the Pacific Ocean and near the busy 5 Freeway. The area also has a history of seismic activity and 8.4 million people living within a 50-mile radius.

The incident “confirms every fear we’ve had about what’s going on at San Onofre and what measures they’re taking to ensure the public’s safety,” said Charles Langley, executive director of the San Diego advocacy group Public Watchdogs, who has worried the walls of the canisters are not thick enough and could crack.

……..The utility also ran into a problem in March during the transfer of spent fuel at the site. Work was delayed 10 days after workers discovered a piece of shim — essentially, a pin 4 inches by a half-inch — came loose while a canister was being loaded.

Edison received assurance from Holtec and an independent engineering firm that the canister’s integrity was sound.

San Onofre was shut down for good in 2013 as a result of faulty equipment that led to a small release of radioactive steam and a heated regulatory battle over the plant’s license.

August 13, 2018 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

Radioactive lthorium discovered in barrels near mobile home park in Bellflower 

As Thorium 232 decays, it releases radiation and forms decay products. The decay process continues until a stable, nonradioactive decay product is formed.

Studies of workers have shown that inhaling thorium dust will cause an increased risk of developing lung disease, including lung cancer, or pancreatic cancer……


August 10, 2018 Posted by | incidents, USA | 1 Comment

Asteroid explosion near a US early warning radar base – could have triggered a nuclear war

An asteroid exploded near a US early warning radar base and we’re lucky it didn’t spark nuclear Armageddon Jasper Hamil  3 Aug 2018

An asteroid has exploded in a ‘fireball’ near an American early warning radar base, prompting a top scientist to reflect on how a similar ‘freak’ incident could cause nuclear war. The meteor was only detected after it detonated close to Thule Airbase, Greenland, on July 25. A prominent nuclear expert later discussed how the US military could have mistaken the explosion for a Russian ‘first strike’ and launched up to 2,000 nukes in retaliation.

Thule is a base in Greenland which incorporates a Ballistic Missile Early Warning Site designed to spot nuclear doomsday weapons flying towards America. Hans M. Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, tweeted: ‘We’re still here, so they correctly concluded it was not a Russian first strike. ‘There are nearly 2,000 nukes on alert, ready to launch.’ Kristensen told Metro that a ‘freak incident like this could potentially trigger an alert that caused the United States to overreact’, although he stressed such an event was unlikely.

‘The potential risks are about what could happen in a tense crisis where two nuclear powers were at each other’s throats and a conventional shooting war had broken out and part of the command and control system degraded,’ he said. ‘The early warning systems are supposed to be able to differentiate and in most cases probably would be able to do so. ‘But with large number of nuclear weapons on high alert, the concern would be that an overreaction could trigger a series of events that escalated the conflict significantly. ‘There have been cases during the Cold War where atmospheric events caused early warning systems to falsely report nuclear attacks. Fortunately, military officers figured out that they were false alarms.’ He said tensions were low at the moment, making it very unlikely that an asteroid strike would trigger a nuclear war.

‘I don’t think there is any risk that such an event could trigger a nuclear launch under normal circumstances,’ Kristensen continued. ‘There are no other indicators that nuclear adversaries at this point are about to launch nuclear weapons against the United States.’ The asteroid hit on July 25 and exploded with a force of about 2.1 kilotons, Nasa confirmed. This is about an eighth of the 15 kiloton yield of the Little Boy bomb, which was used to destroy Hiroshima in World War II. In 1968, a United States Air Force (USAF) B-52 bomber carrying four hydrogen bombs crashed into sea ice near Thule, causing a huge explosion and forcing a massive clean-up operation.

August 4, 2018 Posted by | ARCTIC, incidents, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Senator wants answers from DHEC about uranium that leaked from SC nuclear plant

BY SAMMY FRETWELL,  July 26, 2018 

A state senator says he wants answers on why uranium leaked through a hole in the floor of a Richland County nuclear plant with a history of troubles and groundwater contamination.

State Sen. Darrell Jackson, D-Richland, is asking the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control to explain what it knows about uranium contamination discovered recently at the Westinghouse nuclear fuel factory on Bluff Road.

At Jackson’s request, DHEC has agreed to hold a public meeting to discuss the leak and other problems. Jackson sent a letter to DHEC on Thursday outlining his concerns………

A state senator says he wants answers on why uranium leaked through a hole in the floor of a Richland County nuclear plant with a history of troubles and groundwater contamination.

State Sen. Darrell Jackson, D-Richland, is asking the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control to explain what it knows about uranium contamination discovered recently at the Westinghouse nuclear fuel factory on Bluff Road.

At Jackson’s request, DHEC has agreed to hold a public meeting to discuss the leak and other problems. Jackson sent a letter to DHEC on Thursday outlining his concerns.

………The uranium leak is the latest in a series of problems that have plagued the facility for decades. In the early 1980s, regulators discovered the groundwater was contaminated with fluoride and ammonia. Solvents later were found in groundwater. Solvents are particularly toxic to people exposed to them. The agency also found nitrate in the groundwater that dates to the 1980s. Nitrate is toxic to babies who drink formula with contaminated water.

Efforts to clean up the contamination have produced mixed results, with some pollution continuing to show up in the water……..

In addition to those problems, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has fined and cited Westinghouse more than a dozen times dating to at least 1993. Those problems range from buildups of uranium in air-pollution control devices and incinerators to worker accidents.

July 28, 2018 Posted by | incidents, politics, USA | Leave a comment

South Carolina Nuclear Plant leaking radioactive uranium into ground below

Uranium Leaked Through Floor of South Carolina Westinghouse Nuclear Plant 26 July 18 nuclear plant in Richmond County, South Carolina with a history of contaminating groundwater has leaked radioactive uranium into the soil below the plant, The State reported Tuesday.

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) officials said there was no reason to believe this leak left the the site of the Westinghouse plant or posed a threat to public drinking water, but state senator Darrell Jackson is calling for a public meeting to discuss the leak and other historic issues at the plant, The State further reported Wednesday.

“This is very disturbing,” Jackson said. “This is one of the fears that those of us who grew up in that area, and lived in that area, have always talked about. I’m asking DHEC to get to Westinghouse officials and let’s have a public meeting, not just with elected officials, but we need citizens there also.”

The company informed the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) of the leak July 12, which came through a hole in a part of the plant where acid is used. The hole was three inches and extended six feet into the ground, the NRC told The State.

The NRC found uranium levels in the soil of 4,000 parts per million, more than 1,000 times higher than average for soil.

“That’s a lot, oh yeah,” U.S. Geological Survey scientist Frank Chapelle told The State.

The company has covered the hole with a metal plate and said it would not use the area until it was completely repaired.

The DHEC said they were still testing the groundwater on the site to see if it was contaminated, but said the plant itself was far enough away from public drinking water that it shouldn’t cause a problem.

“Based on existing information, there is no threat to the public from this recent release or from historical groundwater contamination at this secured site as there is no exposure risk to the general public,” DHEC spokesperson Tommy Crosby told The State.

But Jackson was not reassured.

“What we don’t know is what kind of impact that’s going to have 20 years from now on the groundwater, this drip, drip, drip,” Jackson said. “I don’t know of too many people too receptive to living in the area when they know the groundwater is contaminated.”

DHEC spokesperson Cristi Moore said the agency would consider the senator’s request for a meeting.

This isn’t the first time safety concerns have surrounded the Westinghouse plant.

Part of the plant had to shut down two years ago because of uranium found accumulating in an air pollutiondevice, The Associated Press reported. It was also cited by the federal government this year for failing to plan adequately for a potential radiation burst.

Groundwater below the plant has also been found to be contaminated with nitrate since 1984. While clean up efforts were made, the nitrate was not entirely removed, The State reported.

The leak comes as the Trump administration has promised to assist unprofitable nuclear and coal plants. Its most recent plan, reported in June, would require that grid operators buy power from struggling plants for the sake of national security.

July 27, 2018 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

Donald Trump reopens the radioactive nightmare

Ken Raskin , 22 July 18 Trump has whole heartedly opened up the radioactive nightmare in America again.  Uranium Mining in the Grand canyon. Into water that supplies much of the western United States.

This excerpt is from Majias Blog

“””In 2017 UR Energy’s Lost Creek mine in Wyoming had a terrible accident, described in the headline below as one of the worst recorded uranium mine spills, although trivialized in impact as not posing a threat:
Heather Richards (2017, September 8). Wyoming uranium mine spill one of the largest recorded in U.S.; officials say it does not pose a threat. Star Tribune:

The Lost Creek uranium mine north of Rawlins shut down operations Wednesday just weeks after reporting one of the largest spills of uranium injection fluid ever recorded in the U.S.

The spill was contained on site and is not a human health hazard, according to federal regulators. The spilled fluid had not yet been pumped into the uranium ore beneath the surface. Radioactive metal contained in the fluid was naturally occurring.

The mine, owned by Littleton, Colorado-based Ur-Energy, reported an Aug. 19 spill of 188,000 gallons of pre-injection fluid at Lost Creek. Another spill of 10,000 gallons of pre-injection fluid at Lost Creek on Tuesday was reported to federal regulators.
See how the article trivializes impact by stating that the radioactive metal contained in the spilled fluid was “naturally occurring.”

Uranium mining rapes the earth and processing and utilization poison the population as well as the eco-systems upon which we depend.

We don’t need nuclear power – its inefficient, costly, dangerous, and no solution exists for waste – and we don’t need nuclear weapons.

We don’t need any more uranium. Its antithetical to security when thought in relation to the preservation of life.””””

Start from Ship Rock NM, where a 90 million gallons of highly radioactive sludge, was released illegally into the  environment and,  san Juan River. The san Juan River Drains into the Colorado River.

Shiprock is also close to where underground nukes were detonated in New Mexico for project gasbuggy
Shiprock is on the navajo nation.

From there, moving West on the Navajo Nation.

Moving west to the grand canyon and the Uranium Mines there! Also downwind from Nevada nuke testing in the 50s and 60s.

GO NORTH TO Halchita IN DEEP SOUTH UTAH, BY the sacred Monument Valley.

Halchita, is where there was a uranium Mill and where there were mines, on the navajo Nation. Halchita is also downwind, from where the American Military nuke bombed its own citizens with a thousand bombs.

HALCHITA IS NAVAJO land, where half the residents in the area died from cancer.

Move norteast to Blanding, Utah, where energy Fuels is now located. By Bears ears, where Trump just opened unlimited uranium mining, even open pit uranium mining.

BLANDING IS Also downwinder. So many young people dead in mine accidents, prematurely from lung cancer, pacreatic cancer, ovarian cancer, lymphomas, leukemias. MANY PEOPLE THERE HATE URANIUM AND NUCLEAR.

A leader of the sagebrush rebellion, Cal Black, WAS a county commissioner of that county, San Juan County in the 60s and 70s.

Cal Black died with painful tumors, all over his body, at a young age. He regretted his involvement with Uranium, in the end.

The principal of Monticello High School,  had a young son, who died of the same leukemia, that cursed so many kids in southern utah. All of those kids were downwinders and uranium babies. Monticello is just 20 miles north of the Energy Fuels genocide factory.

There was a Uranium Mill, right in the middle of monticello. It has not cleaned up all the way, to this day.

The mill and tailings of energy fuels in blanding blows radioactive shit all over s utah to colorado and arizona.

Blanding and energy fuels, are 20 miles s of Monticello Utah.

The heavily contaminated dust from that abomination, blows radioactive shit, to the Ute reservation in colorado 50 miles away, to Bluff Utah by Monument valley and has heavily contaminated the Bears Ears.

There were the numerous nuclear bombs, detonated at the headwaters of and under the Colorado River in the 60s and 70s. There are the towns north of energy fuels along the Colorado river in Utah and colarado, that had to sue the government and corporate polluters for 20 years, to get something done about the radioactive shit in their towns.

And now Trump is back to start it up all over again and make it worse.

July 22, 2018 Posted by | incidents, Uranium, USA | Leave a comment

Chemical spill at the Sellafield nuclear plant

Whitehaven News 26th June 2018 , Firefighters were called to deal with a chemical spill at the Sellafield
nuclear plant. Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service was called to the spillage,
which involved about 25 litres of nitric acid, at 3.13pm yesterday. The
service sent three crews, who joined two Sellafield fire service engines
already at the scene. Two CFRS and two Sellafield firefighters wearing
gas-tight suits and breathing apparatus applied sodium bicarbonate to
neutralise the acid. They were at the scene for about two hours. A
Sellafield spokesman said the spill did not involve any radioactive
chemicals, the material stayed within a bund designed to contain spillages
and the incident posed no risk or harm to anybody.

June 29, 2018 Posted by | incidents, UK | Leave a comment

Workers at Waste Isolation Pilot project evacuated due to a container problem

Container problem spurs evacuation at nuclear waste site
May 26, 2018 ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – Workers had to evacuate the U.S. government’s only underground nuclear waste repository after finding a container of waste misaligned inside its packaging, but officials confirmed Friday that no radiation was released.

    It marked another problem for the New Mexico facility where a drum of radioactive waste leaked in 2014 and shut down operations for nearly three years. The leak highlighted safety concerns and resulted in a costly recovery and sweeping changes in the way low-level nuclear waste destined for the dump is treated and handled.

In the latest incident, the contractor that runs the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant activated its emergency operations center after discovering the misaligned container Thursday night. Officials later determined conditions were stable and deactivated emergency operations.

Donavan Mager, a spokesman with Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC, said Friday that officials are investigating how the problem occurred.

In disposing the waste, seven 55-gallon drums are wrapped together in a tight formation to go deep inside the ancient salt formation where the repository is located. The idea is that the shifting salt will eventually entomb the waste.

Workers found one drum wasn’t aligned with the six others that made up the waste package. Work was immediately halted.

Procedures call for officials to develop a plan to re-enter the underground portion of the repository to deal with the pack of drums. It was not immediately known how long that would take.

“The plan is developed with extreme conservatism to ensure workers are protected,” Mager said.

Shipments to the repository resumed in 2017 following the lengthy closure stemming from the container of waste that was improperly treated at Los Alamos National Laboratory, also in New Mexico.

The repository has been receiving several shipments a week of waste that includes gloves, clothing, tools and other debris contaminated by plutonium and other radioactive elements. The Cold War-era waste was generated over years of bomb-making and nuclear weapons research.

The shipments are coming from Los Alamos lab and installations in Idaho, Tennessee, South Carolina and Texas.

May 28, 2018 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment