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As despicable as US Dept. of Energy Secretary Moniz generally is, he actually asked for something intelligent: what are the options to the Areva-Shaw MOX production facility, which is late, overpriced, and dangerous.

To head this mission, he appointed an apparently blinkered Canadian graduate of lower tier universities, Thom Mason, who must have cleaned his room at home by cramming as much into his closet as possible and hoping no one opened the closet door. This is, in essence, his proposal for getting rid of US plutonium. It’s virtually impossible to cram in more into WIPP, and this cramming is what has made the collapse upon waste drums even more difficult to manage. Furthermore, WIPP has not even re-opened since it suffered an apparent explosion of “diluted” plutonium-americium waste! At the beginning of August 2015 (a little over a month ago), they found radiation in a filter, but then decided it was defective equipment… Are they really overzealous or are they lying? It took time for them to decide that plutonium and americium had escaped after last year’s radioactive waste drum explosion. It’s not very helpful for people to be notified weeks, months, years, or even decades later that they’ve been exposed to radiation. Plutonium and americium stay in the body with half-lives of 20 to 50 years – in short, a life-time.

How can this be crammed more than it is? It already violates EPA rules for hazardous waste, which say “Drums must have proper labeling, sufficient aisle space, and be stored no more than two tiers high
WIPP crowding
WIPP 10 May 2014 6
WIPP 10 May 2014 1
Says dumb and dumber Canadian Thom Mason regarding New Mexico’s WIPP: “It is imperative that WIPP be used as efficiently as possible. The Department should ensure that waste placed in WIPP be as densely packed as practical to minimize volumetric use as well as shipping.” (p. 7)
WIPP 22 May 2014
WIPP is already in stark violation of the EPA rule for hazardous waste drums. What is more hazardous than plutonium and americium?
Hazardous waste drums stored improperly at an industrial waste facility. Drums must have proper labeling, sufficient aisle space, and be stored no more than two tiers high./. RCRA requires that drums be handled and stored in a manner that prevents leakage, deterioration or release of hazardous waste.http://www2.epa.gov/enforcement/waste-chemical-and-cleanup-enforcement

WIPP is made in salt and actually is supposed to be slowly collapsing. However, it has been leaking brine and collapsing from the beginning. This would be hard to manage even if it weren’t crammed full. Whatever WIPP leaks into the air will be blown with the wind and fall with the rain: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/03/27/the-weeping-wipp-road-wipp-leaking-from-the-get-go/

Perhaps Thom Mason thinks that Nova Scotia, where he went to undergrad, and from which he probably hails, will be less impacted by plutonium and americium spewing out of WIPP, than a disaster at Savannah River Site in South Carolina? If the US was going to hire a Canadian to deal with Plutonium, shouldn’t they have taken from Rutherford’s lab at McGill, which is also better ranked?

Why was this group called the “Red Team” and why are they so concerned about what Russia-former KGB officer Putin thinks?
Red Star

Isn’t the US supposedly at odds with Russia over its invasion of Crimea? WHY IS THE “RED TEAM” KOW-TOWING TO PUTIN-RUSSIA? Are they dumb, evil, or have they been smoking something potent? Or what? Are they counting on evacuating to Russia?
Wellcome Library, London, Creative Commons

There aren’t enough nuts in the US already without hiring yet another foreign nut to finish off North America? He has nutty American underlings, but he’s the head man and his name is on this “official use” dangerous piece of crap.
Final Report of the Plutonium Disposition Red Team       Thom Mason, Chair  Cover
Final Report of the Plutonium Disposition Red Team       Thom Mason, Chair  p. ix
Final Report of the Plutonium Disposition Red Team       Thom Mason, Chair , p. x
Final Report of the Plutonium Disposition Red Team       Thom Mason, Chair  , p. xi
Final Report of the Plutonium Disposition Red Team       Thom Mason, Chair  p. xii
Final Report of the Plutonium Disposition Red Team       Thom Mason, Chair   p. 1
Final Report of the Plutonium Disposition Red Team       Thom Mason, Chair  , p. 2
Final Report of the Plutonium Disposition Red Team       Thom Mason, Chair, p. 7
Final Report of the Plutonium Disposition Red Team       Thom Mason, Chair  p. 15
Final Report of the Plutonium Disposition Red Team       Thom Mason, Chair  , p. 24
Notice the back and forth, which increases danger! Pantex in Texas, Savannah River Site in South Carolina, Y-12, the one the Nun and here buddies broke into, in Tennessee, and LANL in New Mexico, and WIPP across New Mexico.
From SRS to WIPP ca 1999
Final Report of the Plutonium Disposition Red Team       Thom Mason, Chair  , p. 26
Moniz letter to Tom Mason p. A-3
Final Report of the Plutonium Disposition Red Team       Thom Mason, Chair , p. B-1

Excerpts. Emphasis our own. See full original here: http://www.srswatch.org/uploads/2/7/5/8/27584045/final_pu_disposition_red_team_report_8-13-15.pdf

This is a more intelligent organization of the radioactive waste than at WIPP. If the MOX building is safe enough to make MOX plutonium fuel, it should be safe enough to store the waste! Or, perhaps they should put it in some Cold War bunker? There is almost certainly one in Virginia. Isn’t it strange that Thom Mason is jumping over himself to kow-tow, kiss-ass Putin! Treaty violation you say? The US violates, and has violated more important laws and treaties – legally and morally. If it suits them they don’t mind breaking either moral law or legal laws and treaties.
THIS IS LESS CRAMMED THAN WIPP! That is why they could see the leaks and repair them.
nuclear waste drums metal shed zoom
Nuclear Waste drum leak, protective gear, metal shed
Office of Environmental Management: Safety Alert Radioactive Liquid Release from Drums, June 2011
http://operatingexperience. doe-hss.wikispaces.net/file/view/EM+Safety+Alert+Radioactive+Liquid+Release+from+Drums+6-30-2011.pdf

This is but one of their communications about the leak.
WIPP radiation leak?  August 4th
http://www.wipp.energy.gov/pr/2015/8_4_15_Event%20Release%201.pdf
They also had a problem with a defective interim ventilation system:
interim ventilation WIPP defective
http://www.wipp.energy.gov/wipprecovery/Presentations/Town_Hall_Slides_5_7_15.pdf

Photo Credit of “kow-towing” via Wikipedia:
V0015171 Credit: Wellcome Library, London
Three people ‘kowtowing’ to an altar, one woman crying, others smoking opium in paying their last respects to a chinese merchant’s wife. Wood engraving.
Published: [Illustrated London News][London] :
Collection: Iconographic Collections
Library reference no.: ICV No 15478
Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Final Report of the Plutonium Disposition Red Team
Thom Mason, Chair Oak Ridge, Tennessee 13 August 2015
OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-6283 Managed by UT-BATTELLE, LLC For the U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Under contract DE-AC05-00OR22725