The state issued an order to a New Mexico nuclear waste repository for crafting a plan in order to speed up with the sealing of vaults in the underground where Los Alamos National Laboratory refuse tainted with toxic plutonium that is responsible for a radiation release.
A directive by Ryan Flynn, the state Environment Secretary stated that the drums which are stored around 0.5 mile underground near Carlsbad town at a Waste Isolation Pilot Plant – “may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to health or the environment”. This repository is the sole facility of its kind in the country and has been shut since the 14th of Feb. when there was a detection of radiations in unsafe levels.
The facility’s worst ever incident occurred when a small amount of the harmful radiation escaped away from the facility to the top where 22 workers were exposed to it; this made a huge blemish in its list of other more minor blemishes in the safety record since its opening in the year 1999.
The managers in the U.S. Energy Department facility were ordered by Flynn to make a submission of schedules by the 30th of May for the closure that is “expedited” of both disposal chambers which collectively hold around 368 containers of inappropriately packaged waste from the lab, Los Alamos.
The operators of the plant feel that the organic kitty litter and nitrate salts which are used for absorbing liquids in the drums of hazardous waste from Los Alamos was what caused the chemical reaction which got through the waste containers making them release radiation.
On Monday, Flynn ordered Los Alamos which is located all of 300 miles all across the state which is northwest of Santa Fe in order to submit the plan before Wednesday afternoon giving a proposal on how it intends to isolate 57 of such similar drums that are located still in the complex of the lab to reduce safety hazards in that location.
Lab officials informed in an email on Tuesday to Reuters that Los Alamos has stored he drums with the exact same mix of kitty litter and nitrate salts in a dome that is specially protected and has been monitored for increase in temperature; this was done after doing some additional packing.
Yet another bunch of 25 such drums with the very same materials were shipped in a month from April 1st to May 1st to Texas in a commercial nuclear waste facility for temporary storage. And, currently situation looks quite dangerous.