This week on Earth Matters, host Allyson Siwik speaks with Don Hancock, Director of the Nuclear Waste Safety Program at the Albuquerque-based Southwest Research and Information Center about troubling developments at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)
On February 5 a salt haul truck caught fire underground at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), a deep geological repository for permanent disposal of transuranic waste left over from research and production of nuclear weapons. The WIPP is located approximately 26 miles east of Carlsbad, New Mexico in what is known as the southeastern New Mexico nuclear corridor. On February 14, 2014 a radiation leak was detected.
Since February 14, additional information has also leaked out to the public from the Department of Energy and Nuclear Waste Partnership – the contractor that manages the WIPP. How much radiation escaped the WIPP facility? What caused the radiation leak? Were workers and the general public exposed to health-threatening levels of radiation? Does the WIPP pose a long-term health risk to workers and the public? And should the WIPP ever reopen again?
Allyson Siwik is Executive Director of Gila Resources Information Project. Southwest Research and Information Center aka SRIC was founded in 1971 for the purpose of providing information to the public on the effects of energy development and resource exploitation on the people and their cultures, lands, water, and air of New Mexico and the Southwest.
More info on the WIPP can be found at:
- Southwest Research and Information Center – sric.org
- Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety – nuclearactive.org
- Department of Energy WIPP website – wipp.energy.gov/wipprecovery/recovery.html
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Earth Matters / Don Hancock on the Radiation Leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Project