The Albuquerque Journal has summarised this week’s news from Carlsbad’s nuclear waste “dump” in an excoriating editorial.

Albuquerque Journal Editorial Board

PUBLISHED: Sunday, February 22, 2015

“The U.S. Department of Energy seems to have forgotten one very significant fact: New Mexico has willingly played host to the nation’s only underground, permanent nuclear waste dump for nearly 16 years.

And not only that, the state had expressed interest in expanding it until federal contractors through sloppy oversight allowed a major permit violation to occur […]

This was an occurrence that the supposedly brightest minds said could virtually never happen, but it did.

And under the “you can’t make this up” category, one factor in the leak was the wrong word being written down when a Los Alamos National Laboratory team was deciding how to handle and package “difficult” waste for shipment to WIPP.

A note-taker mistakenly jotted down “an organic” instead of “inorganic,” […]

Astonishingly, the note-taker’s mistake was never caught and no high-level scientist with the right expertise was ever involved in the review process. […]

An arrogant Obama administration Energy Department seems to be ignoring the fact that the agreement that allowed WIPP to open also allows the state to fine the DOE in the event of violations. But the DOE, which oversees both LANL and WIPP, is refusing to pay at least $54 million in penalties the New Mexico Environment Department in December slapped on the federal government for numerous violations at LANL and at WIPP. […]

WIPP is the only solution to at least part of the nuclear waste disposal dilemma, and New Mexico is the only backyard that so far has been willing to step up and put the nation’s interests first by hosting it. […]

So the DOE should start paying up and playing fair with the only game in town.”

Read the FULL Albuquerque Journal editorial

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