ENENews: TV: Radioactive material reportedly now being released from massive gas blowout in LA — Byproduct of Uranium


(Photo Courtesy of LA Times/Al Seib)
TV: Radioactive material reportedly now being released from massive gas blowout in LA — Byproduct of Uranium — Expert: “A lot” has been detected in area… Very dangerous… May be coming up from ground into people’s homes — Official: Levels can cause “significant long-term health effects” (VIDEO)

Published: January 9th, 2016 at 4:05 pm ET
By ENENews
http://enenews.com/tv-reports-radioactive-material-being-released-massive-gas-blowout-la-byproduct-uranium-expert-lot-being-measured-area-very-dangerous-be-coming-ground-peoples-living-rooms-bedrooms-nurseries?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Jan 8, 2016: Their animals are dying… their fish are dying in their fish bowls, their dogs are dying, their cats are getting sick. And their children are getting sick — they’re suffering nose bleeds, they’re suffering terrible debilitating migraine headaches, asthma attacks, respiratory infections, eye infections, ear infections, stomach ailments… The health impact — it’s not just methane coming out of that hole… This is global crisis, more importantly this is a local crisis. Because not only do you have methane — you have benzene, toluene, xylene, which are carcinogenic. You have hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide — which are neurotoxic, which can injure your brain, affect memory, injure your kidneys, your liver, your other bodily organs. There’s also a lot of radon gas being measured in the area. People believe — we don’t know if this is true — the gas that is leaking at 2 miles deep is now coming out and pushing that radon up into people’s living rooms, their bedrooms, their nurseries.

https://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/articles/environment/Porter-Ranch-SoCal-Gas-Leak-Declared-State-of-Emergency-21177.html#.VpMM5fx0t4m
Lawyers and Settlements, Jan 7, 2016: The leak has caused a continuous flow of gases and fluids. Methane alone is leaking 100,000 pounds per hour, according to Los Angeles city attorney Mike Feuer. Along with that greenhouse gas is methyl mercaptans (odorants added to gas to aid in leak detection) and aromatic hydrocarbons. More concernedly, health officials have identified benzene and radon, both known carcinogens.

As Gas Leak Near Porter Ranch Enters Seventh Week, Doctor Weighs In On Health Risks


CBS LA, Dec 11, 2015: Dr. Cyrus Rangan, the Director of Toxicology and Assessment for the county, came to CBS2/KCAL9 to answer questions…. It’s been reported that radon is being released… “This is a theoretical possibility,” Dr. Rangan said, “and when you’re addressing a problem that might be several hundred or even several thousand feet deep, you might generate what are called preferential pathways for something like radon, beneath the Earth’s surface, to make its way up to the surface. So primarily our concern about radon is from the worker’s exposure, for the people actually doing the repair job. If we find radon there, we can address the situation. And if radon does exist in the work site then we may need to have to look at the residential community and monitor for it.”

Lawyers and Settlements, Dec 12, 2015: There is the issue of radon, a naturally occurring byproduct of uranium… as SoCalGas and its partners bore into the ground in an attempt to stem a leak that is unleashing a constant cloud of gas into the atmosphere, radon has crept into the conversation.

Robert Kennedy Jr, Dec 17, 2015: Public officials and the gas industry have a tricky and deceptive way of saying things. Methane itself is not dangerous… methane is an indicator that other gases are involved, including radon and benzene, both carcinogenic and very dangerous… gas can escape through any perforation in the earth and on the way up to the surface, it can encounter the aquifers underground, where it will leave behind chemicals, including benzene and radon.

http://ecowatch.com/2015/12/22/erin-brockovich-porter-ranch/
Erin Brockovich, Dec 22, 2015: [B]enzene and radon [are] the carcinogens that are commonly found in natural gas.

Los Angeles Daily News, Dec 2, 2015: [R]adon gas, which may potentially be released during repair operations, is also a concern [L.A. County Department of Public Health Interim Director Cynthia Harding] said.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-porter-ranch-lawsuit-20151202-story.html
Los Angeles Times, Dec 2, 2015: Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich said a new report by county public health officials had concluded that since the gas leak has continued for so long, emissions levels could produce “significant long-term health effects, including cancer.” Antonovich said the report had identified benzene as the “chemical of greatest concern,” because it is known to cause cancer. It also cited concerns about radon, another known carcinogen.

KPCC, Dec 9, 2015: Public Health Director Cynthia Harding told members of the Board of Supervisors in a Dec. 1 letter [that radon] could also be released as the leak is repaired.

Los Angeles Times, Dec 20, 2015: Health officials are also concerned that the company’s attempt to fix the leak by drilling into the ground to construct a relief well could release radon, a radioactive, naturally occurring and odorless gas that is found in geologic formations and causes lung cancer.

Watch an interview with Robert Kennedy here:

ENENews: Emergency Alert at US Nuclear Facility: Semi truck filled with uranium catches fire — Initial attempt to extinguish flames fails, blaze continued for over 30 minutes — Officials test for radioactive contamination — FEMA, Homeland Security, EPA notified

Emergency Alert at US Nuclear Facility: Semi truck filled with uranium catches fire — Initial attempt to extinguish flames fails, blaze continued for over 30 minutes — Officials test for radioactive contamination — FEMA, Homeland Security, EPA notified (VIDEO)
Published: September 24th, 2015 at 8:58 pm ET
By ENENews
http://enenews.com/emergency-alert-nuclear-facility-semi-truck-filled-uranium-catches-fire-officials-test-radioactive-contamination-blaze-continued-30-minutes-fema-homeland-security-epa-notified-video

US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Event Notification Report for Sep. 24, 2015 (emphasis added): HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL… URANIUM HEXAFLUORIDE PRODUCTION… METROPOLIS, IL… Emergency Class: ALERT… 10 CFR Section: 40.35(f) – EMERGENCY DECLARED… ALERT DECLARED DUE A FIRE GREATER THAN 15 MINUTES OUTSIDE OF THE FACILITY — At 2019 CDT, the licensee declared an Alert due to a truck fire, outside of the protected area, that lasted greater than 15 minutes. The truck was awaiting entry to the plant to deliver materials when the truck driver noticed smoke emanating from the dash. He attempted to put out the fire using a handheld extinguisher but was unsuccessful so he left the vehicle and notified licensee employees. The licensee contacted the Massac County and Metropolis Fire Departments who responded to the site… The licensee is awaiting clearance from the fire department to enable them to take swipes of the trailer to verify no contamination exists. At 2055 CDT, once they determined the fire was out, the licensee downgraded the Alert to a plant emergency. The licensee notified local authorities and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency of the event. Notified DHS SWO, FEMA Ops Center, USDA Ops Center, HHS Ops Center, DOE Ops Center, DHS NICC Watch Officer and the EPA EOC…

http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/emerg-preparedness/about-emerg-preparedness/emerg-classification.html

NRC ‘Alert’ Classification: Events are in progress or have occurred which involve an actual or potential substantial degradation of the level of safety of the plant or a security event that involves probable life threatening risk to site personnel or damage to site equipment because of HOSTILE ACTION.

http://wkms.org/post/truck-delivering-uranium-catches-fire-outside-honeywell-metropolis

WKMS, Sep 21, 2015: Truck Delivering Uranium Catches Fire Outside of Honeywell Metropolis — Honeywell officials say a truck delivering uranium ore caught fire last night outside of their Metropolis facility. According to Honeywell’s Peter Dalpe, there are no reports that the fire breached the trailer, which was carrying the uranium… The plant initially declared an alert and notified the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. They later downgraded the alert to a plant emergency…

WPSD, Sep 20, 2015: Semi truck carrying uranium catches fire near Honeywell — A semi truck caught on fire at the Honeywell Plant… The truck was transporting uranium at the time.

KFVS, Sep 21, 2015: Semi carrying uranium catches fire in Massac Co. — Fire crews responded to a report of a semi on fire… in front of the Honeywell plant in Metropolis.

Watch the KFVS broadcast here

Current Event Notification Report for September 30, 2015
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Operations Center
Event Reports For
09/29/2015 – 09/30/2015
** EVENT NUMBERS **

51382 51416 51417 51432

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Fuel Cycle Facility Event Number: 51382
Facility: AREVA NP INC RICHLAND
RX Type: URANIUM FUEL FABRICATION
Comments: LEU CONVERSION
FABRICATION & SCRAP
COMMERCIAL LWR FUEL
Region: 2
City: RICHLAND State: WA
County: PENTON
License #: SNM-1227
Agreement: Y
Docket: 07001257
NRC Notified By: CALVIN MANNING
HQ OPS Officer: DANIEL MILLS Notification Date: 09/09/2015
Notification Time: 18:42 [ET]
Event Date: 09/09/2015
Event Time: 11:02 [PDT]
Last Update Date: 09/29/2015
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
PART 70 APP A (c) – OFFSITE NOTIFICATION/NEWS REL
Person (Organization):
JAMES DRAKE (R4DO)
MICHELE SAMPSON (NMSS)
NMSS_EVENTS_NOTIFIC (EMAI)
SCOTT SHAEFFER (R2DO)
Event Text
POTENTIALLY CONTAMINATED EMPLOYEE TRANSPORTED OFFSITE FOR MEDICAL ASSISTANCE

“On Wednesday, September 9, 2015 at 1102 PDT, while trouble shooting process equipment in the ceramic area, an instrument technician got his right thumb caught between two pieces of equipment and severed the nail and part of the end of his thumb. The individual received first aid in the health and safety technician (HST) office and was surveyed for radioactive contamination and was found clean (the injured gloved hand was bandaged and was not surveyed). The injured individual, accompanied by an HST and survey instruments, was transported to a medical facility for treatment.

“After the injured individual was unbandaged by medical personnel, the HST surveyed the injured individual and portions of the medical facility and confirmed that no radioactive contamination was on the injured individual’s hand nor had any spread to the facility. The bandage and damaged glove was returned to the plant and laboratory instrumentation was used to confirm that it was also free from contamination.

“This report is being made under 10 CFR 70, Appendix A, Section C, ‘concurrent reporting,’ because the severed thumb requires a 24 hour report to Washington State Division of Occupational Safety & Health per Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 296-27-031. It is also conservatively being reported under 10 CFR 70.50 (b)(3), ‘treatment of an individual with radioactive contamination,’ because a small portion of the individual had not been surveyed and confirmed to not have any contamination prior to transporting the individual to a medical facility.”

The Licensee will notify NRC Region 4 during business hours on 9/10/15.

* * * UPDATE FROM CALVIN MANNING TO HOWIE CROUCH AT 1822 EDT ON 9/29/15 * * *

“On September 9, 2015, the AREVA Inc. Richland facility reported per the requirements of 10 CFR 70 Appendix A, section C, that an employee doing maintenance work severed the nail and part of the end of their thumb which required reporting to the Washington State Division of Occupational Safety & Health per Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 296-27-031.

“AREVA also conservatively reported, under 10 CFR 70.50(b)(3), treatment of an individual with radioactive contamination, because although the employee was surveyed for radioactive contamination and found to be free from such contamination prior to transport to a medical facility, a small portion of the individual had not been surveyed due to bandages on the injured hand. A Radiation Technician porting a radiation detection instrument accompanied the individual to the medical facility and when the bandage was removed confirmed that the hand, the bandage material and the medical facility room were all free from radioactive contamination. Based on this finding, AREVA retracts the portion of the report dealing pertaining to 10 CFR 70.50(b)(3).

“It is noted that a 60-day follow-up report is not required by 10 CFR 70 Appendix A for concurrent reporting (section C), therefore AREVA does not anticipate further correspondence with the NRC regarding this matter.”

Notified R4DO (Vasquez), R2DO (Ayres), NMSS EO (Guttman), NMSS Events Resource (email).

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Agreement State Event Number: 51416
Rep Org: CALIFORNIA RADIATION CONTROL PRGM
Licensee: EXXONMOBIL OIL CORPORATION
Region: 4
City: TORRANCE State: CA
County:
License #: 0113-19
Agreement: Y
Docket:
NRC Notified By: JOJI ORTEGO
HQ OPS Officer: JOHN SHOEMAKER Notification Date: 09/22/2015
Notification Time: 15:03 [ET]
Event Date: 09/21/2015
Event Time: [PDT]
Last Update Date: 09/23/2015
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
AGREEMENT STATE
Person (Organization):
GREG PICK (R4DO)
NMSS_EVENTS_NOTIFIC (EMAI)
Event Text
AGREEMENT STATE REPORT – DAMAGED SOURCE HOUSING

The following report was received from the State of California via email:

“On Sept. 21, 2015, [the] RSO [Radiation Safety Officer for] ExxonMobil contacted Los Angeles County Radiation Management regarding an equipment malfunction to one of the two sources in Vessel #5C31, found during routine maintenance. [Source information]; cesium-137, Model 7063 K-ray; SN: 29456B; 500 milliCuries. Per [the RSO], the source housing was damaged and was left in its normal operating position. Using a Ludlum Model 3, 44-6 beta gamma probe, the background radiation was measured at approx. 0.02 mR/hr and the radiation rate at 1 meter from the source is 0.06 mR/hr. The service company has been contacted and repair/replacement will be performed as soon as possible.”

California Report 5010#: 092115

* * * UPDATE FROM JOSEPHINE ORTEGA TO JOHN SHOEMAKER AT 1437 EDT ON 9/23/15 * * *

The following information was excerpted from a updated report received from the State of California via email:

“The shutter was stuck in the open position as used during its normal operating position. Using a Ludlum Model 3, 44-6 beta gamma probe, the background radiation was measured at approx. 0.02 mR/hr and the dose rate at 1 meter in areas outside of the vessel that could be occupied is approx. 0.06 mR/hr. The dose rate obtained in the path of the beam after passing thru two vessel walls is approx. 0.6 mR/hr. The vessel walls are 1 inch thick steel and the vessel diameter is approximately 8 feet.”

Notified R4DO (Pick) and NMSS_Events_Notification via email.

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Agreement State Event Number: 51417
Rep Org: COLORADO DEPT OF HEALTH
Licensee: ST. THOMAS MORE HOSPITAL AND PROGRESSIVE CARE
Region: 4
City: CANON CITY State: CO
County:
License #: CO 397-01
Agreement: Y
Docket:
NRC Notified By: PHILLIP PETERSON
HQ OPS Officer: JOHN SHOEMAKER Notification Date: 09/22/2015
Notification Time: 17:22 [ET]
Event Date: 09/22/2015
Event Time: [MDT]
Last Update Date: 09/22/2015
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
AGREEMENT STATE
Person (Organization):
GREG PICK (R4DO)
NMSS_EVENTS_NOTIFIC (EMAI)
Event Text
AGREEMENT STATE REPORT – UNPLANNED CONTAMINATION EVENT

The following report was received from the State of Colorado via email:

“On September 22, 2015, during a routine inspection at Colorado licensee St. Thomas More Hospital and Progressive Care (license CO 397-01), [Colorado State] inspectors noted multiple areas with contamination. Upon further investigation, the inspectors learned a patient earlier in the day was undergoing a diagnostic test involving nebulized Tc-99m DTPA for a lung scan. The patient began coughing and pulled off the mask during administration and coughed, spreading the contamination in the diagnostic area. The patient began to require elevated levels of medical care and nursing staff and nuclear medicine staff may have been contaminated while caring for the patient. Arrangements were made to transfer the patient to a different medical facility via helicopter. The second facility was notified and nuclear medicine technologists surveyed the helicopter and patient upon arrival with no contamination found.

“Reporting requirement: 10 CFR 30.50(b)(3); Colorado Part 4, Section 4.52.2.4

“Cause and corrective action: patient intervention. St. Thomas More has closed the affected areas to allow for decay. Surveys will be performed in affected areas prior to re-opening for additional patients.

“A full report of investigation and evaluations will follow within the next 30 days.

“Incident identification: CO15-I15-27”

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Power Reactor Event Number: 51432
Facility: SUSQUEHANNA
Region: 1 State: PA
Unit: [1] [ ] [ ]
RX Type: [1] GE-4,[2] GE-4
NRC Notified By: CARL YOUNG
HQ OPS Officer: CHARLES TEAL Notification Date: 09/29/2015
Notification Time: 14:56 [ET]
Event Date: 09/29/2015
Event Time: 10:30 [EDT]
Last Update Date: 09/29/2015
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
50.72(b)(3)(v)(C) – POT UNCNTRL RAD REL
Person (Organization):
FRED BOWER (R1DO)

Unit SCRAM Code RX CRIT Initial PWR Initial RX Mode Current PWR Current RX Mode
1 N Y 100 Power Operation 100 Power Operation
Event Text
BOTH TRAINS OF THE STANDBY GAS TREATMENT SYSTEM DECLARED INOPERABLE

“On 9/29/15 at 1020 EDT, the ‘B’ train of Standby Gas Treatment System was declared inoperable for planned testing. On 9/29/15 at 1030 EDT, during performance of a surveillance on Unit 1 Reactor Pressure Vessel water level instrumentation, one channel was found to not meet acceptance criteria. The failed level channel is part of the initiation logic for the ‘A’ train of Standby Gas Treatment. This resulted in a loss of safety function for the Standby Gas Treatment System. On 9/29/15 at 1145 EDT, the ‘B’ train of Standby Gas Treatment was restored to operable by restoring from the planned testing.

“This event is being reported under 10 CFR 50.72(b)(3)(v)(c) and per the guidance of NUREG 1022 Rev 3 section 3.2.7 as a loss of a Safety Function.”

The NRC Resident Inspector has been informed.