Workers found contaminants in higher quantities as they moved into part of a Western nuclear-waste site vacated in February, the Associated Press reports.
Crews would need to re-enter the subterranean corridors of New Mexico’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant a fifth time to isolate the source of airborne radioactive materials detected there, according to Thursday remarks by Tammy Reynolds, deputy recovery chief for the U.S. Energy Department. Underground portions of the site have been off-limits to personnel following a contamination incident, which came days after a vehicle caught fire inside the facility.
Reynolds said U.S. personnel hope to obtain further details next week. Crew members had to end their most recent venture into the site after five hours on Wednesday, as temperatures rose inside their protective clothing and power for their breathing apparatus dwindled, AP reported.
The Energy Department official said the entry team investigated both of the facility’s waste rooms that had not previously been permanently closed off. Waste is entombed in five additional storage “panels,” but workers rendered the airtight chambers permanently inaccessible after they reached capacity.
“It doesn’t seem to us that the contamination came from Panel 6, that the source came from Panel 7,” Reynolds said. Panel 6 had been completely filled but not closed off, making the latter chamber the only area receiving waste at the time of the incident.
Personnel might receive help from robotic equipment as they attempt to determine the source of the escaped contaminants, according to AP. Suspected culprits include a waste barrel possibly punctured by moving equipment, or by or a ceiling that may have fallen.
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Rep. Dave Young can't even refuse his own paycheck. The Iowa Republican is trying to make a point that if Congress can't pass a budget (it's already missed the April 15 deadline) then it shouldn't be paid. But, he's been informed, the 27th Amendment prohibits him from refusing his own pay. "Young’s efforts to dock his own pay, however, are duck soup compared to his larger goal: docking the pay of every lawmaker when Congress drops the budget ball." His bill to stiff his colleagues has only mustered the support of three of them. Another bill, sponsored by Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN), has about three dozen co-sponsors.
Sixty miles away, in Sandusky, Ohio. "We're pretty bitter about that," said Harmeet Dhillon, vice chairwoman of the California Republican Party. "It sucks to be California, we're like the ugly stepchild. They need us for our cash and our donors, they don't need us for anything else."
Anyone looking forward to seeing some boldfaced names on the client list of the late Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the "DC Madam," will have to wait a little longer. "The Supreme Court announced Monday it would not intervene to allow" the release of her phone records, "despite one of her former attorneys claiming the records are “very relevant” to the presidential election. Though he has repeatedly threatened to release the records if courts do not modify a 2007 restraining order, Montgomery Blair Sibley tells U.S. News he’s not quite sure what he now will do."
Hillary Clinton may have the Democratic nomination sewn up, but Bernie Sanders apparently isn't buying it. Buoyed by a poll showing them in a "virtual tie," Sanders is "holding three rallies on the final day before the state primary and hoping to pull off a win after a tough week of election losses and campaign layoffs."
As unbound delegates pledged to Ted Cruz watch him "struggle to tread water in a primary increasingly dominated by Trump, many of them, wary of a bitter convention battle that could rend the party at its seams, are rethinking their commitment to the Texas senator."