January 6, 2015

In new report, feds rip WIPP’s emergency plans -- The Santa Fe New Mexican

A new federal report about safety conditions at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad criticized the contractor that operates the below-ground nuclear waste repository for inadequate and unreliable information in the plans it developed to guide decision-makers during an emergency.

The report, based on a review conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Enterprise Assessments, which evaluates federal contractors, focused on WIPP’s recovery plan for operating diesel equipment with restricted airflows. airflows inside WIPP have been limited to about one-seventh of their normal level since a Feb. 14 radiation leak that began with the rupture of a drum of nuclear waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory. -- 1/5/2015


New Mexico land office postpones solar land auctions for Santa Teresa, Chaparral acreage -- El Paso Times

The New Mexico State Land Office indefinitely postponed two Monday auctions for state land leases for proposed solar projects on 2,770 acres near Chaparral and Santa Teresa.

The auctions, set by former New Mexico Land Commissioner Ray Powell, were postponed until further notice, reported Lilia Urrutia, a spokeswoman at the land office in Santa Fe. No reason was given for stopping the auctions. 1/6/2015