Author Topic: 13 people exposed to radiation at N.M. nuke waste dump storing bomb waste  (Read 1107 times)

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Offline Niri Te

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  13 people tested POSITIVE for exposure to Radiation exposure at the MIPP site just east of Carlsbad, New Mexico. The site houses many barrels of TRANSURANIC waste, a byproduct of NUCLEAR WEAPONS PRODUCTION, and PLUTONIUM LACED CLOTHING from Los Alamos Labs. Elevated levels of radiation were detected HALF A MILE OUTSIDE the plant complex. LINK to story from CBS NEWS is below.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/13-exposed-to-radiation-at-nm-nuke-waste-dump/
Workers test positive for contamination after recent leak at underground facility
Tokx alu tawtute, Tirea Le Na'vi

Offline `Eylan Ayfalulukanä

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What is important about this story is what they didn't say. How much radiation were workers exposed to? Radiation is so easy to measure that even a little bit, not enough to generally cause a health risk, is easily measureable. So, I beg the question: Is this a serious incident? Or is it a minor incident blown out of proportion because the word RADIATION appears in the story?

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Offline Niri Te

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 They have been HOSPITALIZED, there were two other incidents last month, one a fire, at that facility. They used the words "high", and "Significant", in two other reports, but the manager of the place said it was not life threatening.
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Offline `Eylan Ayfalulukanä

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They have been HOSPITALIZED, there were two other incidents last month, one a fire, at that facility. They used the words "high", and "Significant", in two other reports, but the manager of the place said it was not life threatening.

OK, that is more substantial info than I have seen on this incident so far. But for one to report 'high and significant', and another to report 'not life threatening' makes me wonder if we are seeing fear or obfuscation here.

The fire was a vehicle fire (which seem a lot more common today than 20 years ago) totally unrelated event and never posed a radiation hazard, from what I have read.

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Offline Niri Te

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 Unless there is outright exaggeration about the severity of whats has gone on with the THREE incidents in the month of February, I consider the close observation of a facility that stores PLUTONIUM left over from the making of Fusion bombs, as a healthy respect for what Plutonium, and the other by-products of the manufacture of Nuclear Weapons can do. We are not talking about Uranium 238 here. This is coming from someone who has spent some of her life not five FEET from REAL Nuclear warheads. I don't share the hysteria of the anti-nuke power pacifists, but I was TAUGHT a healthy respect for what was inside the lead shielding of those Nuclear Warheads by the Army.
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Offline Niri Te

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 To those who read this, there is a web page posted by the EPA concerning Transuranic waste, AND the WIPP site in southern New Mexico. Pay attention to the Half life, this stuff will be a hazard that will need to be monitored for 25 Millennia. Am I terrified of it? NO. Do I think that it needs to be respected, and monitored as long as it is a threat? Absolutely. BELOW is the link to the EPA Web Page, please read it, so you understand what we are dealing with here.

http://www.epa.gov/rpdweb00/docs/radwaste/402-k-94-001-tru.html
Tokx alu tawtute, Tirea Le Na'vi

Offline `Eylan Ayfalulukanä

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I am well aware of the hazards associated with this material. However, what is stored there is not high level waste, nor is it weapons grade (purified). it is mostly stuff that has been contaminated by Plutonium and other transuranic waste (some of it besides Plutonium has a significant half life).

Also, I don't believe everything the EPA tells me. ;)

Yawey ngahu!
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Offline Niri Te

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  BY THE WAY people, remember when I told you that the WIPP plant in Carlsbad, N.M. had four incidents in one month with Plutonium and Americum leaks? Remember when the naysayers Pooh-Poohed my loading it up? Well I have a little NEWS FLASH for everyone. Not only were the particles found on their clothing and skin, the hospital tests of the now SEVENTEEN, (four more people) showed the particles IN THEIR FECES!!! GEE who is the alarmist NOW??
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Offline `Eylan Ayfalulukanä

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Concerned, yes, alarmist, no. If these people picked up the radioactivity from the air (which has been implied all along here), it is not surprising that it is showing up in their feces. All it takes is for some of the particles in the air to get in their mouths, where it is trapped by saliva. Radioactive substances (especially any with significant activity) can often be measured at very low levels due to their...radioactivity.

Its interesting that Americum is mentioned. Americum 241 is very commonly used in smoke detectors as a source of alpha particles. As far as I know, this is one of the few commercial uses of a transuranic material.

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Offline Taronyu Leleioae

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True.  We used to see trace amounts of this back in the college physics lab and results from MIT's experiments.  241 has a half life of about 432 years (yuck... and yes I looked it up to double check as it has been too long...) and is an alpha emitter.  So it's surface contact but really inhalation/digestion.  It's also the largest waste component from certain processes.  So that they are showing it is no surprise.  Not saying this is a good thing.  With some tests, they should know if the source was airborne or touch/contamination.

Offline Niri Te

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 Because it was detected a half mile from the facility, I would say it was airborne. Update, although all the people had the radiation in their feces, none of them had it in their urine. They will need lifelong following to see if any of them develop cancer anywhere in their G. I. tracts.
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Offline `Eylan Ayfalulukanä

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Because it was detected a half mile from the facility, I would say it was airborne. Update, although all the people had the radiation in their feces, none of them had it in their urine. They will need lifelong following to see if any of them develop cancer anywhere in their G. I. tracts.

Thanks for answering the question I had but didn't ask. If it is not being seen in their urine, this means it was not a long-term exposure. Alpha emitters are bad internally, as alpha particles can do a lot of damage in their short paths. But there is also an excellent chance that this will mostly clear out of their systems.

Yawey ngahu!
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Offline Niri Te

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 THIS is the link that leads to the ORDER by a FEDERAL JUDGE, demanding the release of this page, but it was NEVER done untill long after the particular threat from THAT PARTICULAR LEAK. What do you guys thin about THIS??

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.turnerradionetwork.com%2Fnews%2F323-pat
Tokx alu tawtute, Tirea Le Na'vi

Offline `Eylan Ayfalulukanä

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Actually, it was an order to pull this web page, and the poster was banned from creating web pages for 2 years (which is shaky on first amendment grounds). However, there is little good official information on this page, and a lot of 'fearmongering', so its pulling from the internet is justifiable on public panic grounds. At least, there is some information or radiation levels. The article states that 330 million Becquerels of radiation have been released. To put this in perspective, one gram of radium will create 37 billion Becquerels of radiation. That's more than 2 orders of magnitude more than what has apparently been released. Radium is much more active than plutonium, but (I think) plutonium is more harmful if it gets inside you. Still, this is a very tiny quantity that has escaped.

Yawey ngahu!
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Offline Niri Te

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Did you notice the part about the Federal Judge ordering the release of information that WIPP and their Federal overlords swept under the table?
Tokx alu tawtute, Tirea Le Na'vi

Offline `Eylan Ayfalulukanä

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Did you notice the part about the Federal Judge ordering the release of information that WIPP and their Federal overlords swept under the table?


I missed that part. I was concentrating on what was in the left sidebar. Some of the information in the article itself was so preposterous that I had trouble reading it.

One thing I need to research is how 'radioactive' is Plutonium 239 in terms of Becquerels.

Yawey ngahu!
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