Sunday, February 23, 2014

Plutonium from Carlsbad New Mexico

I just read the warnings by Optimal Prediction and Potrblog about the plutonium release in New Mexico:

The story about the plutonium leak at Carlsbad nuclear waste site explains those high radiation levels so consistently detected by the EPA there. I always thought the jet stream must dip down there and deposit Fukushima fallout, which probably happens, but now I realize that the waste site there must be consistently contaminating the atmosphere. Whatever is going wrong there must have worsened substantially on Feb 12 when the alarm sounded.

I don’t know if releases are ongoing, but my guess is that they’ve not ceased altogether.

I am seriously trying to assess the risk to my family. We live in the Phoenix area of Arizona. Although the jet stream flows east, high above us, our lower-level wind patterns sometimes are westerly blowing, coming out of the local north east (New Mexico and Colorado). I don’t want my family to be exposed to another great genotoxic assault.

Plutonium is chemically toxic as well as being radioactive. The alpha particles shed by decaying Plutonium atoms are very effective missiles that can destroy cells and shatter DNA bindings. Beagle dogs injected with plutonium did not fare well. Read The Plutonium Files to learn all about all the ‘scientific’ injections of plutonium in prisoners and laboratory animals. 

On March 25, 2011, Dr. Yablokov, author of Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, warned of the potential scale of the Fukushima disaster given plutonium fuel was involved :

We are seeing something that has never happened – a multiple reactor catastrophe including one using plutonium fuel as well as spent fuel pool accidents, all happening within 200 kilometers of a metropolis of 30 million people. Because the area is far more densely populated than around Chernobyl, the human toll could eventually be far worse in Japan… I am not optimistic about the situation at Fukushima. . .It’s especially dangerous if plutonium is released as inhalation of plutonium results in a high probability of cancer. A release of plutonium will contaminate that area forever and it is impossible to clean up. [end]

Also speaking at the press conference was Cindy Folkers, radiation and health specialist at Beyond Nuclear:

At Fukushima, our concern is not just the immediate exposures, but exposures that occur over the long term, from radioactive particles that are inhaled or ingested. . . These particles can fall on soil and in water and end up in the food supply for many years. We are worried that officials are measuring only the radiation that is the easiest to detect – gamma rays. Testing people for radiation on their skin or clothing is necessary, but it tells us little or nothing about what they could have breathed in or eaten—which results in internal exposure and long-term risk. [end]

Dr. Yablokov concluded  “When you hear ‘no immediate danger’ then you should run away as far and as fast as you can.

Majia Here: Dr. Yablokov's greatest concern was for plutonium. All alpha emitters are very bad for our health when ingested/inhaled, including Uranium, Polonium, Astatine, etc.

Alpha particles are comprised of two protons and two neutrons. They are emitted from unstable elements such as polonium, uranium, and plutonium, among others. You can read about their properties at Wikipedia

Alpha particles can be blocked by paper and are not thought capable of penetrating skin (although who knows given the surprises of biology).

Ingestion or inhalation of alpha emitters can be very destructive of health.  

William F. Morgan. Non-targeted and Delayed Effects of Exposure to  Ionizing Radiation: I. Radiation Induced Genomic Instability and Bystander Effects In Vitro writes.

a single α [alpha] particle can induce genomic damage in cells that were not Irradiated. Since a cell cannot receive a lower dose of radiation during exposure to α particles than a single traversal, these data suggest that at very low radiation doses the genotoxic risk  may be significantly underestimated” (Morgan, 573).

Majia here: Alpha particles can break your DNA and kill cells. They can also impact cells that were not even directly hit by the particle.Two of the most important exposure effects recently explicated are “bystander effects” and “delayed effects.” 

Both of these effects can produce genomic instability. These effects were discovered as laboratory analysis examined the effects of ionizing radiation on both DNA repair and cell death.

 It was discovered that “bystander” cells not directly irradiated by radiation were often impacted nonetheless.  The effects on bystander cells also could take time to develop and were therefore “delayed effects.”

Genomic instability results from these bystander and delayed effects:

Genomic instability is an all-embracing term to describe the increased rate of acquisition of alternations in the genome. Radiation-induced instability is observed in cells at delayed times after irradiation and manifests in the progeny of exposed cells multiple generations after the initial insult. Instability is measured as chromosomal alterations, changes in ploidy, micronucleus formations, gene mutations and amplifications, microsatellite instabilities, and or decreased plating efficiency. . . . there are multiple pathways for initiating and perpetuating induced instability."  (Morgan, Non-Targeted and Delayed Effects, p. 567).

In effect, the researchers discovered that cells that initially survive irradiation are often unstable. New cells produced by the unstable cells can also be affected. 

Thus, radiation-induced genomic instability can result in a “cascade of genomic events that increase the rate of mutation and chromosomal change in the progeny of that irradiated cell”; however, the precise signaling events between cells that initiate and perpetuate the instability remain undisclosed.

Research on the bystander effect has also revealed that the signaling system between cells can also stimulate DNA repair mechanisms.  Corrective cell-repair action stimulated by ionizing radiation is called “hormesis.” Unfortunately, no hormesis effects were found in the research on the effects of alpha particles I examined (and I examined quite a lot of scientific literature)

What relevance do the bystander and delayed effects have on current dose estimates given a single alpha particle can produce genomic instability? This question is relatively taboo in the scientific literature on the biological effects of radiation and it is noteworthy that it was taken up by Morgan in his review of non-targeted effects.

Unfortunately, all of this knowledge about plutonium and alpha particles offers me little protection against an un-announced plume over my home.


  1. I'm being actively blocked from Bobby1's blog.
    It's occurring from my end.
    Am able to proxy in, yet not able to complete my train of thought.
    Reports that it is "just me".

    Somebody apparently can't handle the truth right now, IMHO.

    I know not what to suggest for those downwind. Remember the hard lessons of Katrina, Sandy, etc. When disaster strikes, governance is immediately nowhere to be found, let alone relied upon. Do what you can to learn and know fact. Make preparation for the worst, and hope for the best. Remember from where all Blessings and Wisdom flows.

    Those with mindsets of children are indeed leading... :(
    Except here on this and similar blogs. :)

    1. Quote: "When taken in by mouth, plutonium is less poisonous (except for risk of causing cancer) than several common substances including caffeine, acetaminophen, some vitamins, pseudoephedrine, and any number of plants and fungi. It is perhaps somewhat more poisonous than pure ethanol, but less so than tobacco; and many illegal drugs. From a purely chemical standpoint, it is about as poisonous as lead and other heavy metals. Not surprisingly, it has a metallic taste."

      No doubt this is not experience speaking! Note the entire "Toxicity" section is entirely devoid of supporting citation. "Less so than tobacco"??? "From a purely chemical standpoint," they are unambiguously "Nucking Futs!"
      Won't this substance (et al) become more "interesting" once the fungi "find out" about it?. Put that in your pipe and smoke it (once again) "ewworldencyclomedia".

      Quote: "Approximately 0.008 microcuries absorbed in bone marrow is the maximum withstandable dose. Anything more is considered toxic. Extremely fine particles of plutonium (on the order of micrograms) can cause lung cancer if inhaled."

      Is this closer to fact? I don't expect much from anything "new world" (tend to lower my expectations so as not to be disappointed), yet might it be that one can glean some facts.

      Quote: "One proposal to dispose of surplus weapons-grade plutonium is to mix it with highly radioactive isotopes (e.g., spent reactor fuel) to deter handling by potential thieves or terrorists. Another is to mix it with uranium and use it to fuel nuclear power reactors (the mixed oxide or MOX approach). This would not only fission (and thereby destroy) much of the Pu-239, but also transmute a significant fraction of the remainder into Pu-240 and heavier isotopes that would make the resulting mixture useless for nuclear weapons."

      This brings up the most pertinent question: "What isotopes of what elements are involved in the release(s)?"

      Quote: "Metallic plutonium is also a fire hazard, especially if the material is finely divided. It reacts chemically with oxygen and water which may result in an accumulation of plutonium hydride, a pyrophoric substance; that is, a material that will ignite in air at room temperature.

      Plutonium expands considerably in size as it oxidizes and thus may break its container.

      The radioactivity of the burning material is an additional hazard. Magnesium oxide sand is the most effective material for extinguishing a plutonium fire. It cools the burning material, acting as a heat sink, and also blocks off oxygen. There was a major plutonium-initiated fire at the Rocky Flats Plant near Boulder, Colorado in 1957. To avoid these problems, special precautions are necessary to store or handle plutonium in any form; generally a dry inert atmosphere is required."

    2. The preceding two replies are a continuation of quotes & opinion originally meant for Bobby1's article titled "Plutonium release from the WIPP radioactive waste facility." from @ February 23, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    3. I had trouble even pasting your comments into my blog. WTF?

    4. Something has happened on my end too.

    5. In hindsight, maybe "plutocratium" would have been more "Politically Correct".

      Still feel censored, but not by this or your blog.
      Goggle's new theme song by Metallica: "Am I evil? (yes i am)"

      Since am still unable to reach your site, other than by proxy (whereas i cannot reply), in order to prevent trouble on your blog, i will simply post some info here.

      That seemed kind of unusual, the reply by a WIPP representative. All that spent fuel has to go somewhere while we still (hopefully) have the blessing of foresight. Where, how & when, though?
      Our Continent, and others, need real solutions now, before we are all incontinent.

      So far, it seems that our collective futures have been as irrationally, exuberantly and financially "quantitatively eased" as the value of our respective national numismatic denominations! Our children cannot eat tainted promises.

  2. Two replies - there WERE two replies! WTF???

  3. I split the reply in two. Here is the second half, if it remains:

    The most telling examples of incompetence at that site seem to come from the variance granted from original procedures to theoretically encapsulate those wastes.

    Quote: "A search of documentation indicates that the WIPP site was trying to remove EPA requirements that they test for the presence of Hydrogen, Methane, and VOC's. On top of that, the WIPP site was trying to implement a cheaper way of sealing up the radioactive tombs (referred to as PANELS by WIPP) using loose salt and steel doors; as opposed to the giant concrete plug which their site approval was based upon. It appears to us that that Panel Closure design, known as "ROMPCS" (see below) could potential trap hydrogen in the loose salt used to "seal' the tunnels to the tombs.

    It just so happens that one such tomb, Panel Closure 6, had just been completely filled up with transuranic waste and was either recently sealed or in the processes of being sealed; as a result PANEL #7 had just been opened for business. Just prior to the "event" at WIPP the following document trail occurred. Note the Item in Blue was requested 3 days prior to the "radiological event""
    quoted from Link provided by Bobby1:

    My own conclusion: This was no "accident". This was (and is at least possibly still) inevitable.

    PS: Whatever became of the 135 or so souls that were ordered to shelter in place at the facility?

  4. I have no means of verifying the following video.
    However, if the persons witnessing to this diet are truthful it is a good thing to know.
    Also this information is useful.
    The pilots story in the video is quite convincing. Since we may not have any choice but to experience an influx of radiation some day having this information may save lives. Also the woman who was a child near Chernobyl has good data.

  5. Some good stuff, real analysis at NukePro, facts and calcs.

    1. Quote of Stock: "I was kind of hoping that the "scientists" would release the data Station 106, about 325 feet north of the Station B exhaust port, by Monday 2-24-14.

      That filter at Station 106 was collected on February 18, 2014. It is likely the most telling data that we know exists to show plume strength into the public airspace. It is now 6 days later.

      If they released the information, then we would have more data to assess the dangers."
      "It is very hard to measure Plutonium on a Geiger."

      "I wouldn't want to be the worker they send to take the first samples, regardless of Personal Protective Equipment."

      Nor would i, indeed. There are likely some very brave and selfless individuals that may have risked (at minimum) paying the ultimate price for a chance at saving innocent lives from the corrupt and improperly compensated few, in my humble opinion.

      PS: Long have loved your posts, Stock! :)

  6. Thank you for this disturbing news

    Netc may be our only warning

  7. Quote of ChargedBarticle: "Someone sent me a link to a technical paper describing the geology of this site. I have placed a copy on Dropbox: "
    "There were known flaws in the ground long before the site was constructed."

    quotes above & below start from:

    Response of jec: "Boy eye opening Chargedarticle! Note that the requirements for casks–NOTHING! Idea is saltdome will make a cocoon.See this:
    "..WIPP project, because there is no commitment to use robust engineered barriers for disposal of the TRU waste. Ninety-seven percent (by volume) of the waste to be disposed at WIPP will be contained in ordinary mild carbon steel 55 gallon drums with an expected life ofonly 20 years, or in Standard Waste Boxes made of plywood or metal. The containers are expected to get crushed and corroded in a few years in the corrosive briny environment of a repository in salt beds and saltcreep is expected to close the openings and form a cocoon around the waste"
    Can someone say STUPID???
    Plywood or mild carbon steel drums!!? Bet plastic covered cardboard was also used! Guess the great idea..didn't work well did it? Was it even TESTED before they started dumping? Like for a few years to see if the 'cocoon' would form? Brainacs they are NOT!!"

    Response of Heart Of The Rose: "Wasting Away
    Aug 30 1992

    "In 1981, crew members drilling a test well at a site known as WIPP 12, about a mile north of the center of the repository, narrowly escaped serious injuries when they punctured a reservoir and the pressurized brine blew out their rig. The incident, which was not widely publicized, illustrates a major weakness in the repository's location. If knowledge of WIPP's existence should fade — a certainty, given the shortness of human memory and given the repository's design life of more than 240,000 years — future generations drilling the area for oil or gas or for other uses could penetrate the pressurized brine reservoir beneath the repository.

    Evidence of water seeping into a repository designed to be bone dry became apparent as early as 1984, but construction work continued. Government scientists also found that the salt walls were closing in at a rate three times faster than expected. Cracks in the ceilings and walls began to appear in 1989, but were not noted in an environmental- impact statement published that year meant for Congress and the public. A year later, a roof in an experimental room collapsed; five other collapses have occurred since.""

  8. Quote of AirSepTech (February 24, 2014 at 7:31 pm): "Somewhere I read about nuclear reactions actually separating oxygen and hydrogen from water. Maybe this is what made Fuku go boom? At least some of it.
    So, O2 and H2 are not friends, at all.
    H2 will spontaneously ignite on depressurization in air
    At some point, O2 saturation will enable anything to burn, solid steel included.
    Add a little H2, and O2, and friction, heat, or compression,take your pick, and boom.
    They did know this, right? They are smart, right?"

    Quote of Charged Barticle (February 24, 2014 at 1:47 pm): "Current update can be found here:
    They say 10 filters have been removed, but test results are not yet in. They expect to send workers down in a few days. Any volunteers?"

    see Quote of jec below that for whom to credit.

    immediately below that, Quote of SadieDog: "Calvert Cliffs nuclear plant, Maryland, unexpected shutdown of 2 reactors-"

    & below Quote of Nick (February 24, 2014 at 2:34 pm): "February 14 , 2014 – The New Mexico Environment Department is begining a 60 day public comment period for a DRAFT Class 3 Permit Modification."

    Does this latest event jeopardize the Class 3 Permit Modification?

    Will the public comment during this 60 day period?

    Guess they had better check those filters real quick."

    Quote of hbjon (February 24, 2014 at 4:40 pm): "Spontaneous fission ejects neutrons with much more penetrating power than the alpha particle. Plutonium will fission into two unstable isotopes that are also lethal and very unstable. Chemical forces are very strong and disruptive to surrounding tissues. Cesium is like "peaches and cream" compared to plutonium."

    & Quote of Time Is Short (February 24, 2014 at 6:13 pm): "Are you saying there might have been a fire down there, which might have led to some kind of larger conflagration, and they would lie to us about it? And maybe not tell us it's still burning out of control? Does a nuclear waste fire even need oxygen to burn?

    No, that couldn't be it . . ."

    1. Quote of Sol Man: "I feel real marvelous now; we have experts with us that are from the company!

      Do tell, how do people recover from Pu exposure?"

      Reply by ENENews: "Apparently no recovery needed.
      If you haven't yet, try to watch the question about inhaling plutonium particles — Starts at 1 hr 50 min 30 sec
      Resident: "What are the effects of inhaling a plutonium particle, for example — the ones that were blowing out in the wind?"

      'Health' Physicist: "Roughly equivalent to the dose you've already received while we've been in the town hall from natural sources"

      Resident: "So you're saying it's OK to breath plutonium particles?"

      'Health' Physicist: "Exposure is exposure.""

      quoted from:

      Quote of applepie: "LOL

      "When they get the reports from the facilities and the experts that have been there, that know the situation, they need to believe them. No one is trying to fool anyone"
      "There was no evidence that any of the radiation actually escaped the facility itself"
      "We learned from the lessons of the Soviets after Chernobyl and the Japanese after Fukushima that you have to be very open with the public, you can't hide anything"
      "No one is going to try and hide the truth from the public and anyone that does that would have severe repercussions in their jobs for doing so""

      Quote from the article linked by applepie: "LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

      After seeing an outpouring of concern about radiation from the nuclear waste facility in Carlsbad, New Mexico, KCBD sought out expert opinion from Dr. Rob Chesser, a professor at Texas Tech University, on Monday.
      Chesser is the Director for Environmental Radiation Studies at the Texas Tech and has studied nuclear issues for decades.

      When asked if people are in danger from this leak, Chesser said, "Absolutely not.""

      Reply by Heart of the Rose: "Professor- Behavioral Ecology, Population Dynamics and Evolution of Social Systems
      Director- Center for Environmental Radiation Studies
      Director- Interdisciplinary Program in Biological Informatics

      Ph.D., Zoology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (1981)
      M.S., Zoology, Memphis State University, Memphis, TN (1976)
      B.S., Zoology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (1973)

      A zoologist.. !

      Under the tab ..Center for Environmental Radiation Studies
      Potential sources of Funding

      "United States Department of Energy • United States Department of Health and Human Services • United States Department of Homeland Security • National Institutes of Health • International Atomic Energy Agency • National Science Foundation

      Odd.. how we are labeled conspirators ..yet with the pro-nuke camp ..'all roads lead to Rome' to speak?"

      quoted from:

  9. Clearly Americans have an exaggerated impression of scientists' capabilities and intelligence. Nuclear waste is non-disposable. That is something middle school children can grasp. So any program for its temporary placement will be susceptible to surprises. This is not news. This was known as far back as the 1940's and perhaps even earlier. So each new plan for disposal is an attempt to fool the public so more power plants can be built. Now we are seeing a place that worked for a while and is now becoming dysfunctional.
    We also need to keep in mind that there is a shift between expert knowledge and its corporate implementation. How often do the CEO's over-rule the scientist and the engineer?
    It now looks like the place near Carlsbad has failed in an irreparable way.

  10. DOE info on "dose" = 3 Mrem Feb 15. Went way down after that. Only three hours of this would exceed EPA limit of 10 Mrem for airborne particulate. Most airflow went north and east. The sampling stations are south and west. (Annual NESHAP limit of 10 mrem/yr (0.1 mSv/yr). See:

  11. The cyber attack on my blog continues. WIPP threads on Facebook are now disappearing.

    1. I find it frightening and outrageous that online discussion of this ONGOING plutonium leak is being stifled. Today the Wall Street Journal reported that 'more airborne radiation' was detected. See my post for today 2-25-2014

    2. also of note.

      Quote of rakingmuck: "I was locked out of ENE along with 5 people I know on Twitter for a week. It was not till I complained and others starting chiming in that I was able to get in directly. What you are saying is correct."
      quoted from:

  12. Stock's admin issue is apparently ongoing.

  13. Hi, Thank you for sharing this valuable info with us. I think we continue the series entitled, "New Mexico Joins the Nuclear Renaissance," and discover New Mexican lawmakers want a nuclear reactor in their state. How popular is this idea?

    carlsbad new mexico | carlsbad nm

  14. If you’re looking for things to do in Carlsbad, New Mexico for an upcoming visit, look no further! There’s something for everyone in Carlsbad, whether you’re visiting with young children or are an avid outdoorsman eager to crawl through caves and hike treacherous mountain trails.carlsbad new mexico | carlsbad caverns national park


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.