ALPS, DOE, Energy Capital Partners, Energy Solutions, EnergySolutions, Erwin Resin Solutions, Fukushima, Goldman Sachs, incompetence, Investment Bankers, Japan, nuclear waste, nuclear waste explosion, OIG WIPP, Tennessee, UK, US, water, WIPP
When “Investment” Bankers Deal in Nuclear Waste for Investment-Profit, we need to be very scared. Or, what do the WIPP, Fukushima, Sellafield, Stanford, Goldman Sachs and a death last October at Erwin Resin Solutions in Erwin Tennessee have in common? The answer is named “EnergySolutions” and its current owner “Energy Capital Partners”.
WIPP Nuclear Waste Fire-Explosion
Nuclear waste needs to be invested in, but not by investment bankers for profit!
The nuclear waste industry must be run by people who love and adore the waste – no joke – love it enough to invest time and money in it; to carefully number it and obsessively-compulsively monitor it for all of eternity. Care for it like the life and death matter it is.
Instead, we have former Goldman Sachs investment bankers running nuclear waste dump get-ups for profit like Energy Solutions. And, presumably they are in the business to make a killing – financial that is, which in the nuclear waste business can only translate into a real killing through radionuclides poisoning the earth – which is why investment bankers have no business dealing in nuclear waste.
EnergySolutions Nuclear Waste Dump in Utah
Was last October’s death at EnergySolution’s Resin Processing Plant, Erwin Resin Solutions, related to cutting financial corners for profit? They had owned this former Swedish Studsvik facility for “processing” ion exchange resin nuclear waste from nuclear reactors for less than one year.
From US NRC “Event-Status”:
“AGREEMENT STATE REPORT – INDIVIDUAL CONTAMINATED AFTER A FALL
The following was received via e-mail:
‘An individual at Erwin Resin Solutions (ERS) fell 20 feet into a contaminated storage vault. The individual suffered serious head injuries and was transported by ambulance to the Johnson City Medical Center in Johnson City, TN. Ambulance and hospital staff were notified of the possibility of radioactive contamination on the individual. ERS sent health physics technicians to the hospital to survey and assess for contamination. At approximately 1300 EDT, notification was made to the Tennessee Division of Radiological Health that the injured individual was deceased. The radiation safety officer at Johnson City Medical Center indicated that the individual’s maximum dose rate was 0.3 mR per hour. Emergency room staff were surveyed and found to have no contamination.
‘Some emergency workers did require decontamination prior to being released.’
Tennessee Report: TN-14-194” http://www.nrc. gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/event-status/event/2014/20141023en.html
“EnergySolutions Worker Dies After Accident at Erwin, Tenn., Facility Posted On: 10/15/2014 5:57 PM
An EnergySolutions worker died yesterday after suffering a fall of approximately 25 feet into a hole at the company’s Erwin, Tenn., facility. The incident is still under investigation, EnergySolutions spokesman Mark Walker said late yesterday, adding that Tennessee OSHA and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation had been notified of the accident. ‘Immediately following the accident standard emergency procedures were activated to expedite medial care,’ Walker said. He also called it an ‘industrial accident’ and said radiation levels are low among the employees who helped the injured employee.
Walker declined to provide the worker’s name or age, citing privacy concerns, but did say the worker had been employed at the facility for ‘a couple of years.’ Walker also emphasized that the worker’s death was not tied to radioactive material at the facility, which Energy Solutions bought from Studsvik earlier this year.”
The CEO of EnergySolutions since June of 2012 has been David Lockwood who was a former Managing Director at Goldman Sachs. He joined the board of Energy Solutions in November of 2010. The CEO, and most partners, of Energy Capital Partners (who currently own Energy Solutions) are former Goldman Sachs managing directors. The CEO, Doug Kimmelman, was a Goldman Sachs managing director and partner.
EnergySolutions at WIPP
According to the DOE- Office of Inspector General (OIG): “Notably, Los Alamos National Security, LLC and its subcontractor, Energy Solutions, added potentially incompatible materials to waste stored in drums during the waste remediation process at LANL’s Waste Characterization, Reduction and Repackaging Facility (WCRRF)…. As noted, the specific cause of the radioactive release at WIPP has not been determined. Yet, the addition of these potentially incompatible materials to nitrate bearing TRU waste drums during the waste remediation process has resulted in problems that the Department will ultimately need to address. Such actions, likely costly, will require additional efforts to examine the storage, relocation and processing of the remaining drums containing the potentially incompatible materials at LANL, WIPP and at a temporary waste storage facility the Department used when WIPP shipments were interrupted…. in September 2013, Los Alamos National Security, LLC and Energy Solutions began using a liquid acid neutralizer with an ingredient that was highly reactive with oxidizers and was, therefore, potentially incompatible with the nitrate salts. According to a Department official, the majority of the nitrate salt bearing drums that had liquids was neutralized with this particular liquid acid neutralizer.” http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/10/f18/DOE-IG-0922.pdf “MANAGEMENT ALERT Remediation of Selected Transuranic Waste Drums at Los Alamos National Laboratory – Potential Impact on the Shutdown of the Department’s Waste Isolation Plant, DOE/IG-0922 September 2014, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Inspector General, Office of Audits and Inspections” (Kitty Litter is also discussed as potentially incompatible material, but has also been widely discussed elsewhere).
While the DOE-OIG states that the Material Safety Data Sheet does not say that it is incompatible “The neutralizer’s material safety data sheet did not identify any incompatible materials“, the MSDS sheet for another product requested for use by EnergySolutions in May and listed as used after April 2013 (“Pig”), clearly states that it is incompatible with metallic nitrates and strong oxidizers. Thus it would be incompatible with plutonium nitrate since plutonium is a metal. (On the summary page it says “Pig” use was exclusively after April, but the e-mail request was May). The product used after September 2013 seems to be Spilfyter-Kolorsafe Acid Neutralizer which, according to the MSDS, without oxygen breaks down to ammonia and other products. The issue is seemingly ammonia plus nitrate giving ammonium nitrate, “used as explosives in mining… Heating or any ignition source may cause violent combustion or explosion“. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonium_nitrate – Yep, who needs terrorists when you have such grossly incompetent people in the nuclear industry getting paid to make dirty bombs or potential dirty bombs – plutonium plus ammonium nitrate?
The following links to the e-mails regarding neutralizers and the material safety data sheets show that on August 26, 2013 an Energy Solutions employee requested permission to use the Spilfyter neutralizer: http://www.nmenv.state.nm.us/NMED/Issues/documents/5.19.14-Combined-ESTransmittalofNeutralizersUsedinNSProcessin.pdf (The link has four dots between the last n and pdf, but it won’t show on this blog, so cut and paste and make certain there are four dots total between the n and the pdf. Alternatively, search for WIPP emails energy solutions, and go through the link at ENE news. This is at the New Mexico Department of the Environment and not the WIPP site, but not easy to find within the site).
This was only a few months after Energy Capital Partners officially merged into Energy Solutions (ca 24 May 2013). While ultimately, LANS holds the responsibility as the main contractor who approved the changes, the change request came from EnergySolutions. The first request for “Pig” neutralizer seems to have been in the transition period between old and new owners, but the one which seems to concern the OIG was requested in August.
From the August email: “I expect most of the cemented Pu waste we’ve handled is oxide” – Industrial Hygienist for Energy Solutions when requesting permission from LANL operations (LANS consortium) for new neutralizer. His name is at the link, but his title “Industrial Hygienist” and his company “Energy Solutions” are sufficient: http://www.nmenv.state.nm.us/NMED/Issues/documents/5.19.14-Combined-ESTransmittalofNeutralizersUsedinNSProcessin….pdf (His boss, EnergySolutions’ Lockwood allegedly taught Corporate Leadership at Stanford and was a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs).
Why did he “expect”? It is the cousin to “I reckon”, as in “I expect Daisy Mae will be at the barbecue”. Or “I expect it’s time for tea”. And, it essentially translates as “I guess”. Why didn’t he check? This indicates an inappropriately lazy or weak-minded attitude for work and especially for such important work.
The NRC tells us straight up that it is often plutonium nitrate: “The most common form of plutonium is plutonium oxide—a compound of plutonium bonded with oxygen… The next most common form is plutonium nitrate—a compound of plutonium, oxygen and nitrogen“. http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/fact-sheets/plutonium.html The recent cover emails appear to assume that the waste was nitrate! And, one of the “Pig” neutralizer Material Data Safety Sheet says that it is incompatible with metallic nitrates, so thus with plutonium nitrate.
Also, there is a warning, for the “Pig” neutralizer, regarding mixing with strong oxidizers and we are told that even in the plutonium oxide: “A significant portion of the DOE plutonium oxide inventory contains chloride. For example, the oxide product of oxalate precipitation can contain percent levels of chloride. The presence of even lower levels of chloride can catalyze stress corrosion cracking in stainless steel, the material specified in this Standard for the containers. The Standard does not impose a limit on chloride contamination because the extent of corrosion is limited by the available moisture, rather than the available chloride. The moisture content limitation in this Standard is considered sufficient to avoid significant corrosion.” http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2013/09/f2/std30132000.pdf
Chloride salts are strong oxidizers. http://www.dept.kent.edu/ORS/ORSContent/ORSWaste/Lab/TablesOfIncompatibilities.pdf
Even if the EnergySolutions “expert” didn’t know that and it IS his job as an Industrial Hygienist to know, then some of the other warnings might have set off questions-warning bells in his mind. Also, the mention of ammonia in the Spilfyter neutralizer.
But, the very fact that he said “I expect” rather than either saying 1) X percentage of our waste is oxide and X nitrate or 2) What kind of waste have we handled?, shows there is a problem. And, if he guessed that most is oxide, then the balance would still be nitrate, meaning there would be a problem.
Especially if Spilfyter is the cause of the accident, responsibility falls squarely upon Kimmelman et. al. of Energy Capital Partners, as well as David Lockwood, President and CEO of Energy Solutions since June 2012, and board member since November 2010. Energy Capital Partners became owners in May 2013. Kimmelman is a former Managing Director-Partner of Goldman Sachs. Lockwood is a former a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs and also taught “corporate leadership” at the Stanford Grad School of Business.
Energy Solutions at Fukushima
Recall that Energy Solutions has been left in place, largely failing to deal with the radioactive water situation at Fukushima, since March of 2012. This is perplexing. They should have been quickly shown the door. Instead, radioactive water builds up and gets dumped into the ocean for years now. Who manages Fukushima but Toshiba. Toshiba is part of the Mitsui “Keiretsu” conglomerate group, which centers around the Sumitomo Mitsui bank. Sumitomo Mitsui has repeatedly invested in Goldman Sachs going back to at least 1986, when Sumitomo bought a 12.5 percent stake in Goldman Sachs. Hence, one might suspect that a friendship exists between the former Goldman Sachs managing directors-partners and Sumitomo Mitsui bankers, which has led to too many chances given to Energy Solutions – an admission that their ALPS system failed would look really bad for them.
Regarding Energy Solutions at Fukushima since March of 2012: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/mar/14/energysolutions-fukushima-clean-up-contract
On the 21 of May, 2014, Reuters reported the following about the Energy Solutions ALPS (Advanced Liquid Processing System):
“A water treatment facility known as the Advanced Liquid Processing System, designed to remove the most dangerous nuclides, was completely shut down again this week. The system has not been fully operational since it was installed nearly two years ago.” http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/environment/~3/N5wi8D-D4cc/story01.htm
In March the Japanese Times reported:
“Tepco halts ALPS water cleanup system at Fukushima nuke plant“JIJI, MAR 18, 2014
“Tokyo Electric Power Co. halted the operations of all three advanced radioactive water cleanup systems, collectively called Advanced Liquid Processing System, or ALPS, at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant on Tuesday.” http://www.japantimes .co.jp/news/2014/03/18/national/tepco-halts-alps-water-cleanup-system-at-fukushima-nuke-plant
They state: “With its daily processing capacity of 750 tons, ALPS is regarded as a key element in containing the radioactive water crisis at the crippled plant. However, due to a series of problems, Tepco has yet to start full operations.” (Emphasis added)
Energy Solutions, Stanford U. and Woods Hole (WHOI)-MIT
Frighteningly, the CEO of Energy Capital Partners (Doug Kimmelman) serves on the Advisory Council of Stanford Woods Environmental Institute (Stanford University) and donated $5 million for environmental research, etc. at Stanford. Priscilla B. Woods who is on that Council with him (apparently she and her husband are the Woods in the name) also serves on the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, WHOI, (presumably she serves on the board). WHOI has had Ken Buesseler running around and telling everyone that Fukushima is like bananas and other misleading nonsense. Please banana growers hurry and file a lawsuit against WHOI, if you haven’t! WHOI is also affiliated with MIT, from whence comes the current head of the US Dept. of Energy, Moniz – ardent nuclear supporter. Stanford and MIT are still rated top US and world universities, so this environmental research will carry weight. In short, with this donation, Kimmelman bought major ideological clout, along with a tax write-off. This is the way of American universities. Stanford is well-known for its research for the US military-industrial complex, and as a top CIA university – no surprises that Condoleeza Rice was there.
Energy Solutions is also involved at Sellafield. As well, through FCC Environment and Waste Recycling Group, it is involved with putting radioactive waste in the Lillyhall Cumbria landfill, near a school. Juan del Rivero, former CEO of Goldman Sachs Spain was recruited by Omega Capital which manages Alicia Koplowitz’ money. Alicia is sister to Esther – owner of FCC. Energy Solutions also brought in German nuclear waste to burn in Tennessee. The EnergySolutions incinerators have been operating since around 1990 and reportedly never undergone a comprehensive environmental impact analysis, as of 2011. http://www.nonukesyall.org/stop_German_waste_import.html
Some journalists have tried to let the Energy Solutions Industrial Hygienist off the hook for WIPP and blame others, because he said he’s not a criticality expert, but that’s got nothing to do with it. First, why is he working there if he’s not a plutonium expert and secondly, you don’t even have to know what criticality is to know that explosive chemical combinations and radioactive waste don’t mix! Sure there are failures of supervision by the consortium running Los Alamos (LANS). Such a critical decision should have been taken in person, in a group meeting of experts. But, if the Energy Solutions guy didn’t know much of anything about the topic and appears too lazy to find out to boot, then why is Energy Solutions involved at all!? This is a failure of both an investment banker’s “corporate leadership”, and failed, corrupt universities where corporate donors run the agenda. Once again, it would be easy to figure out what university produced the joker “Industrial Hygienist”, but he is just a reflection of a larger problem. So too is investment bankers in nuclear waste a sign of a larger problem.
It is clear that Energy Solutions-Energy Capital Partners are responsible for staying at Fukushima, with an inoperable ALPS system, instead of gracefully bowing out and letting someone else do the job. So, the investment bankers at Energy Solutions – Energy Capital Partners are responsible for poisoning the Pacific. If they keep on and the phytoplankton die, then we will all die for lack of oxygen. More oxygen is produced by phytoplankton in the ocean, than in forests. If greed and arrogance continue to rule, we all die, just like the Energy Solutions worker in Erwin, Tennessee.
[Emphasis added in post throughout.]