New questions about radioactive leak at waste storage facility in New Mexico

Not exactly tidy

New questions are being raised about what was mixed with the waste that caused a radiation release from the government’s underground nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico.

The Albuquerque Journal reported Thursday that Los Alamos National Laboratory approved using products that some experts say are widely known to cause a heat reaction when mixed with other contents in the drums that were shipped to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad.

New Mexico Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn said the leading theory continues to be that the leak was caused by a reaction between nitrate salts and the organic cat litter packed with the waste to absorb moisture. However, emails posted online by the New Mexico Environment Department show Los Alamos approved using other organic ingredients known to be incompatible with nitrate salts in the waste.

Department chemist Cole Smith called the products “a bad combination.”

But, why waste time on sound chemistry when you can blame environmental controls? Especially when the accusations come from sources earning a lifelong income rationalizing nuclear weapons.

The emails show that Los Alamos approved the use of two products requested by contractor EnergySolutions to neutralize the pH balance of drums sent to the nuclear waste dump.

In one email asking for approval in August 2013 to use a new liquid, EnergySolutions industrial hygienist Zeke Wilmot noted “criticality safety issues are not my area of expertise,” using a term referring to nuclear engineering that focuses on preventing an inadvertent nuclear chain reaction.

Wilmot said “it may be advisable to have LANL personnel weight in on these issues as well…”…A subcontractor approved the change in September.,,

Flynn said…investigators are getting closer to figuring out what happened, but sampling still needs to be done on the materials inside the breached container.

Sometime in the next three years or so, DOE investigators may be able to acquire those samples and investigate the chemistry behind the reactions that caused the radioactive leak. Instead of relying on snap judgements from professional mouths.

I don’t pretend to sufficiently up-to-date knowledge of the chemistry involved. But, my involvement with the American nuclear industry dates back to the late 1950’s – including weapons designs so stupid as to be incongruous, as lethal to the military using them as they could be to any “enemy”.

Thanks, Mike

Tony Blair is recalled to give more evidence in Iraq Inquiry

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair is to be recalled to give evidence a second time to the Iraq Inquiry.

He is one of a number of key figures, including former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, asked to appear before the Chilcot committee again…

The inquiry said it wanted “more detail” in some key areas…

The BBC’s Diplomatic Correspondent Nicholas Witchell said it was not clear why Mr Blair had been asked to appear once more, but there must be significant details that the inquiry wished to clarify following its analysis of documentary evidence and a number of private hearings over the summer…

The committee has been holding hearings since November, in which it has questioned a host of former Labour Cabinet ministers, senior military commanders, civil servants and diplomats.

A number of former government lawyers have argued that the invasion was unlawful…

Sir John has stressed the final report, not expected to be published before March, will be “full, thorough, evidence-based and frank”.

“We are independent of government and will not shy away from criticising if we find fault or if we conclude that errors have been made. We are determined to produce a report that will be useful to future governments,” he added.

Anyone ever going to depose George W. Bush under oath? Not that he wouldn’t offer the same lies, half-truths and rationales that continue to be the heart of American foreign policy.

Do you think the United States Congress or the White House – now or in the future – would have sufficient integrity, courage, to peer behind the barbed-wire closet door at the former emperor’s collection of patent leather lies?

CIA torture designed by shrinks who never worked interrogation

Bruce Jessen – Jim Mitchell

As the secrets about the CIA’s interrogation techniques continue to come out, there’s new information about the frequency and severity of their use, contradicting an 2007 ABC News report, and a new focus on two private contractors who were apparently directing the brutal sessions that President Obama calls torture.

According to current and former government officials, the CIA’s secret waterboarding program was designed and assured to be safe by two well-paid psychologists now working out of an unmarked office building in Spokane, Washington.

Bruce Jessen and Jim Mitchell, former military officers, together founded Mitchell Jessen and Associates.

Both men declined to speak to ABC News citing non-disclosure agreements with the CIA. But sources say Jessen and Mitchell together designed and implemented the CIA’s interrogation program. Former U.S. officials say the two men were essentially the architects of the CIA’s 10-step interrogation plan that culminated in waterboarding.

Associates say the two made good money doing it, boasting of being paid a $1,000 a day by the CIA to oversee the use of the techniques on top al Qaeda suspects at CIA secret sites…

Both Mitchell and Jessen were previously involved in the U.S. military program to train pilots how to survive behind enemy lines and resist brutal tactics if captured.

But it turns out neither Mitchell nor Jessen had any experience in conducting actual interrogations before the CIA hired them…

A CIA spokesperson declined to comment for this report, except to note that the agency’s terrorist interrogation program was guided by legal opinions from the Department of Justice.

These creeps had no interest, inclination or experience in interrogation, no experience in results-driven information gathering. They were hired to develop means of torture that fit White House jive definitions. And they performed their unethical task for enough buck$ to be happy.