WIPP & Environmental Risks
Why WIPP is doomed to fail:
The plan at WIPP is to dispose of nuclear waste and hazardous chemicals in salt, but salt is a hydrophilic medium - this means that any increase in temperature attracts moisture, rather than driving it away as would occur with stone.
The heat that will unavoidably result from decomposing organic materials, uncontrolled chemical reactions, and radioactive emissions in the waste will attract groundwater to the disposal area.
DOE scientists have claimed that the WIPP Site is bone dry, but in fact there is a pressurized brine reservoir below the disposal area and an aquifer above it. The aquifer feeds the Pecos River and ultimately the Rio Grande, waterways vital to the inhabitants of New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico.
Although the salt has been dry and undisturbed for millions of years, human intrusion has now altered the balance.
We all know that salt water will quickly disintegrate 55-gallon metal drums. The mixture of metal, waste and salt water at WIPP will create volumes of gases and the pressure will accelerate the fracturing of the delicate anhydrite layers (clay strata) already badly weakened by the excavation of WIPP. Decomposing, still-radioactive waste, with heavy metals, chemicals and toxins, salt water, pressurized gas, and ever-increasing temperatures could very well turn WIPP from a containment facility into a sieve, full of radioactive slurry.
There will be numerous pathways for waste to travel to the land and water that give life to the region and its inhabitants.
WIPP is doomed to be added to the list of DOE nuclear weapons facilities that severely contaminate our environment.
Please read the CCNS WIPP SEIS II Review for a detailed exploration of the environmental risks posed by WIPP, and how it fails to safely dispose of nuclear waste.
Check out '10 Reasons Why WIPP is a Bad Place for Nuclear Waste' for a real eye-opener on this issue.