The TAT’s overarching conclusion is that chemically incompatible contents of Drum 68660 from Los Alamos National Laboratory in combination with physical conditions (e.g., the configuration of the materials in the drum) supported exothermic chemical reactions leading to a thermal runaway; the consequent build-up of gases within the drum displaced the drum lid, venting radioactive materials and hot matter that further reacted with air or other materials outside the drum to cause the damage observed in WIPP P7R7.
The following key judgments led to and support that conclusion:
Key Judgment 1: Contents of Drum 68660 were chemically incompatible.
Key Judgment 2: Drum 68660 breached as the result of internal chemical reactions that generated heat and produced gases that built up pressure sufficient to overcome the drum vent and seal.
Key Judgment 3: Drum 68660 was the source of the radiological contamination in WIPP.
Key Judgment 4: Initiation of the thermal runaway was internal and not caused by phenomena outside Drum 68660.
Key Judgment 5: Thermal and pressure effects resulted in the movement of material during the release event and caused the damage observed in WIPP P7R7; the release did not result from a detonation.
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