Deep Politics Forum

Full Version: Radioactive Sludge Continues to Leak at Nuclear Site, Posing 'Unacceptable Threat'
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.

These tanks have been known to leak for years and the contamination is slowly getting closer to the "Big River".

Published on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 by Common Dreams

Radioactive Sludge Continues to Leak at Nuclear Site, Posing 'Unacceptable Threat'

Senator, governor, environmental groups sound alarm as environmental disaster looms

- Andrea Germanos, staff writer

As radioactive sludge continues to leak from a storage tank at the Hanford nuclear reservation in Washington, one senator is slamming the site for posing "unacceptable threat" to the public.

[Image: hanfordsite.jpg] (Photo: Tony Case)

On Friday, the Energy Department announced that one of the 177 storage tanks at Hanford is leaking up to 300 gallons of radioactive waste a year, prompting Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), new chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, to visit the site on Tuesday.

After touring the site, Wyden said, "This should represent an unacceptable threat to the Pacific Northwest for everybody," the Associated Press reports.
Columbia Riverkeeper[/URL], an environmental and watchdog group that works to restore the Columbia basin, reacted to news of the leak with alarm.

"The great concern is these tanks have the most dangerous waste of all," said Brett VandenHeuvel, executive director of the group, Bloomberg reports. "They were constantly reassuring us that there is no leaking. This announcement is alarming."

When news of the leak was announced, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said he was "alarmed" and warned, "We can't just leave 149 single-shell tanks with high-level radioactive liquid and sludge sitting in the ground for decades after their design life."

"This news is a sharp remindera wakeup callthat we can't be complacent, or waver in any way, on our nation's commitment to clean up Hanford. I know this is a time of tight budgets, but with an active leak of high-level radioactive material into the environment, money can't be an excuse for inaction," stated Inslee.

"There are problems that have to be solved," added Wyden, "and right now the Department of Energy cannot say what changes are needed, when they will be completed and what they will cost."

In an interview with PressTV, nuclear scientist Behrad Nakhai said that Hanford "is leaking and it has been leaking for many years. In fact, it is estimated that it has leaked over a million gallons of contaminated radioactive sludge" and produces "one of the most contaminated radioactive materials in the United States that causes alarm for the habitat and environment surrounding this place."

The B Reactor at Hanford produced the plutonium for the Fat Man atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan in 1945, and legislation has been submitted to make it part of a three-site Manhattan Project National Historical Park. Wyden supports the park proposal, saying, "This is history we ought to preserve" and is "a story that just shouldn't be shunted aside."

Grate post, yer old Deadhead!


Here's some more Kafka for you:

If it had been possible to build the Tower of Babel without ascending it, the work would have been permitted.
Quote: Manhattan Project National Historical Park
Hmmm.....maybe Disney will buy into that! Spy Hey, they won't need lights at will glow due to the Cherenkov radiation. Confusedhock: We really can all be SO VERY PROUD of the Manhattan Project and all the civilian People it vaporized, killed, made ill due to radiation sickness, cancers, birth defects, and otherwise crippled, etc. :nono:
They must be using Tepco's PR firm.........Confusedhock:

Published on Saturday, February 23, 2013 by Common Dreams

Now Six - Not One - Hanford Tanks Leaking Radioactive Waste

Governor: "This is disturbing news"

- Craig Brown, staff writer

Six aging, single-walled underground storage tanks are leaking radioactive waste, threatening groundwater below the Hanford nuclear site, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee announced on Friday afternoon.

[Image: hanford_nuclear-300.jpg]

Workers at the Hanford nuclear reservation work around a a tank farm where highly radioactive waste is stored underground near Richland, Wash. Six underground radioactive waste tanks at the hemisphere's most contaminated nuclear dump are leaking, Gov. Jay Inslee said Friday, Feb. 22, 2013 (AP Photo/Shannon Dininny)

The seeping waste adds to decades of soil contamination caused by leaking storage tanks at Hanford in the past and threatens to further taint groundwater below the Columbia River, officials said.

The newly disclosed leaking tanks were revealed by Inslee just a week after the U.S. Energy Department disclosed that radioactive waste was found to be escaping from only one tank at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

"This is disturbing news for all Washingtonians," Inslee said in a statement released by his office. "This certainly raises serious questions about the integrity of all 149 single-shell tanks with radioactive liquid and sludge at Hanford... We received very disturbing news today. I think that we are going to have a course of new action and that will be vigorously pursued in the next several weeks."

The Energy Department issued a brief statement acknowledging that six waste tanks were found to be leaking and adding that there was no "immediate" public health risk."
The Energy Department said a week ago that declining liquid levels in just one tank at Hanford showed it was leaking at a rate of 150 to 300 gallons per year.

The US government built Hanford during World War II as part of the Manhattan Project to build the nuclear bomb. The site produced plutonium for the bomb dropped on the Japanese city Nagasaki and continued producing plutonium for the US nuclear arsenal for years.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License
The cost of cleaning up this horror is obscene.

My emphasis in bold.

Quote:SIX tanks are discovered to be leaking toxic sludge at America's most contaminated nuclear site as officials push for billion dollar clean-up

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 04:58, 23 February 2013 | UPDATED: 10:43, 23 February 2013

What was already viewed as a desperate situation has become even worse as it's been revealed that six underground radioactive waste tanks in America's most contaminated nuclear site in Washington are leaking.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee discussed the leaks Friday, but said the leaking toxic brew posed no immediate risk to either public safety or the environment.

Inslee traveled to Washington D.C. last week to discuss news that one tank located at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, was leaking 150 to 300 gallons per year of the dangerous fluids.

Six underground radioactive waste tanks at the nation's most contaminated nuclear site are leaking, Gov. Jay Inslee said Friday

The 'tank farm' to store nuclear waste on the Hanford nuclear reservation was built in 1944

The Hanford site was chosen at the height of World War II as part of the Manhattan Project to build the atomic bomb

'We received very disturbing news today,' Inslee said Friday. 'I think that we are going to have a course of new action and that will be vigorously pursued in the next several weeks.'

At the time the initial week was reported, Inslee described it as 'is an extremely toxic substance, and we have to have a zero-tolerance policy for leaks of radioactive material into the ground and potentially groundwater of the state of Washington.'

Inslee said the six tanks dropping levels were not detected sooner because only a narrow band of measurements was used as opposed to a wider band that would have shown the levels changing over time.

'Its like if you're trying to determine if climate change is happening, only looking at the data for today,' he said, according to CBS News. 'Perhaps human error, the protocol did not call for it. But that's not the most important thing at the moment. The important thing now is to find and address the leakers.'

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., left, said he supports legislation to recognize the reactor as part of a national park to honor the top-secret Manhattan Project to build the atomic bomb

Wyden said he was concerned that a long-planned plant to treat that waste is behind schedule and over budget

There are legal, moral and ethical considerations to cleaning up the Hanford site at the national level, Inslee said, adding that he will continue to insist that the Energy Department completely clean up the site.

Department of Energy spokeswoman Lindsey Geisler said there was no immediate health risk and said federal officials would work with Washington state to address the matter.

Regardless, Tom Towslee, a spokesman for Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said the senator will be asking the Government Accountability Office to investigate Hanford's tank monitoring and maintenance program.

Wyden is the new chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

Inslee called the latest news of leaks 'disturbing' after meeting with officials in Washington D.C. last week

Inslee said he would continue to fight for the Energy Department to undergo a total clean-up a the site, and impose a zero-tolerance policy on any radioactive waste leaking into the soil.

'We have been assured by people that I do trust that this poses no immediate threat to ... health. It would be quite some time before these leaks could breach groundwater or the Columbia River,' he said at the time the first leak was detected.


Tanks on the site were put in place in the 1940s but are long past their 20-year life span

That tank, which stores millions of gallons of extremely radioactive sludge, is already well beyond its 20-year-life span having been built in the 1940s.

The federal government already spends $2 billion each year on Hanford cleanup one-third of its entire budget for nuclear cleanup nationally.

The Energy Department has said it expects funding levels to remain the same for the foreseeable future, but a new Energy Department report released this week includes annual budgets of as much as $3.5 billion during some years of the cleanup effort.

Much of that money goes toward construction of a plant to convert the underground waste into glasslike logs for safe, secure storage. The plant, last estimated at more than $12.3 billion, is billions of dollars over budget and behind schedule. It isn't expected to being operating until at least 2019.

Given those delays, the federal government will have to show that there is adequate storage for the waste in the meantime, Inslee said.

Inslee said that the leaks had yet to cause any groundwater contamination or serious threat to public health

'We are not convinced of this,' he said. 'There will be a robust exchange of information in the coming weeks to get to the bottom of this.'

Inslee and Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber have championed building additional tanks to ensure safe storage of the waste until the plant is completed.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said earlier this week that he shares their concerns about the integrity of the tanks but he wants more scientific information to determine it's the correct way to spend scarce money.

The toxic stew is a byproduct of plutonium production for nuclear weapons.

Inquiries began after it was discovered one tank was leaking at the Hanford nuclear site, but the full extent of the problem was yet to be discovered

At the height of World War II, the federal government created Hanford in the remote sagebrush of eastern Washington as part of a hush-hush project to build the atomic bomb.

The site ultimately produced plutonium for the world's first atomic blast and for one of two atomic bombs dropped on Japan, effectively ending the war.

Plutonium production continued there through the Cold War. Today, Hanford is the nation's most contaminated nuclear site. Cleanup will cost billions of dollars and last decades.

Keith Phillips, energy policy adviser to Gov. Jay Inslee, noted that the U.S. Department of Energy said liquid levels are decreasing in one of 177 underground tanks, but that higher radiation levels have not been detected

Central to that cleanup is the removal of millions of gallons of a highly toxic, radioactive stewenough to fill dozens of Olympic-size swimming poolsfrom 177 aging, underground tanks.

Many of those tanks have leaked over timean estimated 1 million gallons of wastethreatening the groundwater and the neighboring Columbia River, the largest waterway in the Pacific Northwest.

The first report of a leaking tank noted that the container held 447,000 gallons of the sludge and is known to have leaked in the past.

It was stabilized in 1995 and all the liquids that could be pumped out of it were removed.

None have leaked since 2005.

Tom Carpenter of Hanford Challenge, a Hanford watchdog group, said Friday it's disappointing that the Energy Department is not further along on the waste treatment plant and that there aren't new tanks to transfer waste into.

'None of these tanks would be acceptable for use today. They are all beyond their design life. None of them should be in service," he said. "And yet, they're holding two-thirds of the nation's high-level nuclear waste.'

Wyden noted the nation's most contaminated nuclear site and the challenges associated with ridding it of its toxic legacy will be a subject of upcoming hearings and a higher priority in Washington, D.C.
And the Tories are busy pushing for more nuclear in the UK? Meanwhile Germany is dismantling them and there is the example of Fukushima. Even France is having a rethink. Total lack of imagination. And total lack of responsibility to generations to come. Criminal. Even to the point of using the police to infiltrate and persecute environmental groups opposed to being poisoned and their children mutated.
This is not looking good.....Pullhair

Published on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 by Common Dreams

Nuclear Waste Site at Risk of Hydrogen Explosion, Report Warns

Following report of leaks, nuclear safety board finds dangerous hydrogen build up in waste holding tanks

- Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, which sits on the Columbia River in Benton County, Washington face dangerous risk of hydrogen build up which could trigger an explosion of radioactive materials, a nuclear safety board announced on Monday.

[Image: 1958996660_84f8661912.jpg]
Storage tanks at Hanford Nuclear Reservation (Photo: Philo Nordlund via Flickr)

The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board expressed these concerns in a briefing letter to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, who sought the board's review ahead of next week's confirmation hearing for President Obama's Energy Secretary nominee Ernest J. Moniza known nuclear-hawk.

The board expressed concern over the potential for hydrogen gas buildup within the underground tanks, particularly those "double wall" tanks which contain the highly radioactive material that was previously pumped out of leaking single-shell tanks.

"All the double-shell tanks contain waste that continuously generates some flammable gas," the board said. "This gas will eventually reach flammable conditions if adequate ventilation is not provided."

Earlier this year, investigators found six single-shelled underground storage tanks leaking up to 1,000 gallons of radioactive sludge each yeara situation that noted theoretical physicist Michio Kaku called a "ticking time bomb."
According[/URL] to the Associated Press, officials have known about the explosive potential of the hydrogen gas build up and last fall the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board recommended additional monitoring and ventilation of the tanks, which federal officials have been working to implement.

Federal officials have thus far evaded any long term, sustainable clean up of the 56 million gallons of highly radioactive material currently held at the former Manhattan Project site.
During their review, the board also noted that the waste treatment plant, which is currently being constructed for long-term waste disposal, faces serious technical problems which could lead to "chemical explosions, inadvertent nuclear reactions and mechanical breakdowns," the New York Times reports.

In an interview Tuesday, Wyden said that the board's experts had raised "a serious question as to whether this plant is going to work at all."

"The next Secretary of Energy - Dr. Moniz - needs to understand that a major part of his job is going to be to get the Hanford cleanup back on track, and I plan to stress that at his confirmation hearing next week," Wyden added.
Quote:In an interview Tuesday, Wyden said that the board's experts had raised "a serious question as to whether this plant is going to work at all."

Perhaps Homer Simpson can save the day.....
Jan Klimkowski Wrote:
Quote:In an interview Tuesday, Wyden said that the board's experts had raised "a serious question as to whether this plant is going to work at all."

Perhaps Homer Simpson can save the day.....
Sounds like Homer is already at the wheel.....