New information from the WIPP town hall meeting in Carlsbad, NM puts the strength of the Plutonium Cloud THREE TIMES higher at the epi-center of the radioactive release, as compared to the data we previously had from roughly 1/2 mile Northwest of the radioactive release. Hence, at TIME ZERO, GROUND ZERO, the Plutonium cloud measured approximately 330,000,000 Becquerels, all released within a 30 second time frame; comprising an estimated 10,000 cubic meters of contaminated air.
A proven reliable source with inside information on the internal happenings at the WIPP Plutonium disaster has provided us with radiation reading for Saturday 2/22/14, taken before and after HEPA filtration of the exhaust air from the WIPP mine shaft. Based on that information, and using risk mitigating assumptions, we calculated that Plutonium and Americium are CURRENTLY being RELEASED INTO THE OUTSIDE AIR at a rate of 400,000 Disintegrations Per Minute (DPM), for every single minute the ventilation system is running. For those more comfortable with the Becquerel as a unit of measure, that works out to the plant exhausting 6,667 Becquerels of Plutonium and Americium PER MINUTE into the outside air.
Our source informed us that at Station A (prior to HEPA filtration) that the small amount of air which is being sampled returned a reading of several hundred DPM's; and that the POST HEPA FILTERED AIR was reading approximately 20 DPM's.
WIPP planning documents indicated that their ventilation system has 3 fans, which which add up to at total ventilation capacity of 20,000 Cubic Meters of Air per minute. The ventilation system has 4 circuits. It is unclear which circuits are running, or at what rates. It is also unclear if there are even higher concentrated released going out of the other shafts at the plant. But given the information available, the wise risk mitigation based measurement for current releases is 400,000 DPM's every single minute.
It is also important to note that the sampling filters are tiny in comparison to the over all airflow, only a small subset of air is measured. The photos of the Station A sensors/ filters show a pipe roughly 1/2 inch in diameter as the air sample source. The actual exhaust pipe is tall enough for a person to walk in. The plant also has 4 ventilation zones, it is unclear which zones are currently being ventilated. Hence 400K DPM per minute is the MINIMUM Radiation release number on which a wise person would base risk mitigation decisions.
During the first 30 seconds of the disaster before HEPA filtration started, we calculate that a Plutonium + Americium cloud of 6.6 BILLION DPM's (110,000,000 Becquerels) passed by a radiation monitor 1/2 a mile North West of the Plant.
Those numbers do involve assumptions forced upon us by DOE and CERMC because they don't release the full context of the their detections (they prefer to use Bananas as a basis of radiation exposure). Our numbers are based on conservatively risk mitigating public health exposure, with context derived from WIPP data gleaned from the EPA permitting documents.
In that regard, understand that when WIPP and CERMC release this data in a few days, you can expect AT BEST they will only mention 20 DPM being measured. Don't expect them to deliver the truthful context of what that means, nor should you expect them to release the RAW DATA and info to check their calculation. It is of utmost importance to them that they control the narrative of what is happening at WIPP.
Sources:Photos of WIPP Station A & Radiation Measurement
Permitting Docs for WIPP