US Dept of Energy targets NM WIPP site as dump for 50 TONS of “excess” plutonium; piecemeal hearings disguise DOE’s true WIPP expansion intent, start May 17. Public input crucial!

New Mexico Nuclear Nightmare SPECIAL:  DOE wants Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)
to get a new “ventilation” shaft – but activists point to long range plans by DOE

to expand the site to take 50+ TONS of plutonium – enough to make over 15,000 bombs
Hearings start May 17; details on how to join below.


This Week’s Featured Interviews on Nuclear Hotseat:

New Mexico Nuclear Nightmares – this one dealing with hearings that hide the planned expansion of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant to hold more than 50 TONS of “excess” plutonium – the most deadly radioactive substance on earth.  And all that plutonium will have to be trucked and trained across the United States, meaning communities at distance from WIPP will still be at risk.

Two interviews with genuine experts on what we face – and what we can do about it.   

  • Don Hancock is the director of the Nuclear Waste Safety program and administrator at Southwest Research and Information Center in Albuquerque, where he has worked since 1975.  He is the #1 watchdog on WIPP.
  • Joni Arends is co-founder and executive director of Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety. She and her group have been monitoring and fighting against WIPP for more than 20 years. Here, she gives more of a citizen-activist perspective and provides concrete steps that any of us can take to help support the fight against WIPP’s expansion.

LINKS and CONTACT INFORMATION mentioned during the interviews:

  • Tell the Hearing Officer through Hearing Clerk to deny the permit change!  Talking points in this document:

Public Comments:

    Please enter “HWB21-02 WIPP SHAFT” in the email subject heading.


The virtual public hearing will begin Monday, May 17, 2021 at 12:00 PM MDT. The Hearing will run during the following hours, on this day and on subsequent days, until complete, unless otherwise ordered by the Hearing Officer: 12:00 – 4:00 PM and 6:00 – 9:00 PM MDT DAILY.

Join Virtual Public Hearing on Zoom:

  • Meeting ID: 917 2894 5523
  • Passcode: 050223

According to DOE:  “The public hearing will provide interested persons a reasonable opportunity to present data, views, and arguments, as well as to examine witnesses. The hearing will also afford an opportunity for all persons to present comments. The public hearing will be conducted remotely using an internet video conferencing platform (Zoom) and telephone.”




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