Who Needs Water?
Besides future radioactive nuclear waste disposal, large boreholes have risks to stakeholders. The U.S. NUCLEAR WASTE TECHNICAL REVIEW BOARD recommended safety improvements such as Independent expert review of the drilling program design and implementation. DOE declined the NWTRB improvement recommendations.
Keep in mind that the Borehole Project is an experiment. No one, I mean no one, knows what may happen.
While the Department of Energy contractor TerranearPMC talks about two boreholes and a maximum size of 17” the fact is that the DOE contract allows any number of holes and any diameter hole. There are no limits in the legal agreement. See HERE. see page 41 under “H.11 PROPERTY USE-DEEP BOREHOLE”.
Also of interest is clean up liability. Contract states:, “Government and the Contractor agree that the Government’s authorization is a complete equitable adjustment for the site’s improvements and the use of them. The Contractor assumes all future liability for the site and its improvements and hereby releases the Government from any and all liability for further equitable adjustments or monetary damages of any kind or amount attributable to such facts or circumstances giving rise to the site and any of its improvements. This includes releasing the Government of any and all liability, including any liability for site usage, clean up, restoration, etc., of the site and its improvements.”
The Department of Energy contractor TerranearPMC claims experience in borehole drilling. However, their experience is very limited (monitoring wells in Los Alamos, NM). The have no experience in large diameter, 3 mile deep borehole drilling. Area residents with experience in oil field drilling dispute TerranearPMC’s rosy picture of the project. These independent experts claim that there is significant risk of cross contamination in such a hole. Keep in mind that the DOE has refused to allow independent oversight of the drilling.
Who will have responsibility and accountability for incidents? . . . DOE?
The site is close to old faults and volcanic activity. If earth quakes start in five years who will have responsibility? If the aquifer is damaged who is responsible? Who pays damages?
Again this is an experiment, anything could happen. The Project people will just go back to Pennsylvania or Los Alamos should there be a major incident, leaving the rest of us with the problem.