Ms. Bonneau received a B.S. in Journalism, University of Nebraska, 1969.

The DOE objected to all of Ms. Bonneau's testimony on the grounds that it was not technical testimony but should be public testimony instead. The DOE also objected to her intention to talk about facilities other than WIPP, which the DOE claimed had no relevance to WIPP. Ms. Bonneau said that accidents in other facilities illustrate what could happen at WIPP or with WIPP waste, so this topic is relevant. Also, some other sites Ms. Bonneau would describe were generator/storage sites for WIPP. The Hearing Officer allowed her testimony but limited her time to speak.

There is a possibility that cold fusion might neutralize radioactive waste in a short period of time, but the DOE has blocked experiments exploring this possibility.

Problems caused by gas generation at WIPP were thought to be great enough to lead to design changes or modification of the waste. The level of gas generated is 25 to 50 times more than what was originally considered acceptable. There have been explosions at Hanford and at Russian mixed-waste facilities. There were at least 2 accidents involving mixed waste in Russia. In 1993 at the Tompsk Plant in the former Soviet Union, design flaws led to an improper mixing of chemicals, which caused an explosion in the reprocessing plant. In the Hanford tanks, because of the effects of high radiation fields on the chemicals, pockets of hydrogen gas build up within the solids in the tanks. Sometimes inert gas must be pumped into a tank to preclude explosions when sampling from the bottom of a tank.

Steel containers of plutonium have ruptured spontaneously, driven by unexpected chemical reactions. More ruptures could occur in the future as stored plutonium ages. Officials at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) admit to having hundreds of containers of such waste.

The Pit Fabrication Facility at LANL will generate TRU waste under the Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program.

WIPP needs more radiation detection devices. Area G at LANL has more monitoring devices than are planned for WIPP.

There is great pressure for WIPP to open whether it is safe or not. WIPP is the DOE's answer for their transuranic waste problem, and they have developed no contingency plans to handle transuranic waste if WIPP does not open. The DOE's clean up and decontamination problems are enormous. Decontamination is needed at several thousand DOE facilities. The interiors of some buildings are too radioactive for unshielded workers to enter, and robotic technologies will have to be used for decontamination and dismantling of these structures.

Processing technologies are being evaluated to prepare plutonium residues and scrub alloy stored at Rocky Flats for disposal as transuranic waste at WIPP. Safeguard Termination Limits variances have been granted for some of these materials to allow them to have up to a 10% concentration of plutonium and still be shipped to WIPP for disposal.

There was no cross-examination of Ms. Bonneau.

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