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Sun Feb 17, 2013, 08:35 PM

Hanford nuclear tank in Washington State is leaking liquids

Hanford nuclear tank in Washington State is leaking liquids
The long-delayed cleanup of the nation's most contaminated nuclear site became the subject of more bad news Friday, when it was announced that a radioactive waste tank is leaking.


By Mike Baker, Shannon Dininny, Associated Press / February 16, 2013
OLYMPIA, WASH.

The long-delayed cleanup of the nation's most contaminated nuclear site became the subject of more bad news Friday, when Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced that a radioactive waste tank there is leaking.

The news raises concerns about the integrity of similar tanks at south-central Washington's Hanford nuclear reservation and puts added pressure on the federal government to resolve construction problems with the plant being built to alleviate environmental and safety risks from the waste.

The tanks, which are already long past their intended 20-year life span, hold millions of gallons of a highly radioactive stew left from decades of plutonium production for nuclear weapons.

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Energy said liquid levels are decreasing in one of 177 underground tanks at the site. Monitoring wells near the tank have not detected higher radiation levels, but Gov. Inslee said the leak could be in the range of 150 gallons to 300 gallons over the course of a year and poses a potential long-term threat to groundwater and rivers.

"I am alarmed about this on many levels," Inslee said at a news conference...


http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Latest-News-Wires/2013/0216/Hanford-nuclear-tank-in-Washington-State-is-leaking-liquids

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Reply Hanford nuclear tank in Washington State is leaking liquids (Original post)
kristopher Feb 2013 OP
madokie Feb 2013 #1
AtheistCrusader Feb 2013 #7
madokie Feb 2013 #8
dixiegrrrrl Feb 2013 #2
freshwest Feb 2013 #3
chervilant Feb 2013 #4
kristopher Feb 2013 #5
chervilant Feb 2013 #9
pscot Feb 2013 #6

Response to kristopher (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 08:44 PM

1. I read about this in today paper

I have no answers but I do have a suggestion and that is to stop making the waste. We can do better as renewables, solar and wind is showing right now.
Too cheap to meter was a farce/lie from the word go.

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Response to madokie (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 11:22 PM

7. This is not related to power production at that site.

This is leftover bullshit from our crash course atomic weapons program.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 06:13 AM

8. I know

Even though what I said is still true

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 09:01 PM

2. Hanford has leaked dangerous waste for years and years.

And denied it.
Sadly, I do not expect any of the other nuke plants around the country to be open about their safety issues, either.

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 09:10 PM

3. I thought it'd been leaking for decade and par for the course.

I recall hearing about the problems at Hanford in the early seventies. I have a friend who finally succumbed from being an downwinder.

The oldest report I can find on the net is from April of 2010 before the Tea Party took over. Obama was trying to double the Super Fund as an additonal part of the stimulus program he'd begun.

Just think, the POTUS has to go begging to Congress, as if this was optional.

Hanford Nuclear Reservation: Big problems at nation's #1 dump, but stimulus funds speed cleanup


...Now, there's no doubt that Hanford is still a mess. The project is starting to look like it will cost roughly twice as much and take roughly twice as long as originally estimated, as Karen Dorn Steele established on our tour. There's been no shortage of screwups and missteps in the cleanup process. Radioactive waste is leaking into the only part of the Columbia River that still flows naturally, onto the spawning grounds for that so-very-rare commodity on the Columbia, a healthy salmon run.

And, of course, thereís the seemingly never-ending quest to build what has begun to sound like a figment of someoneís imagination: A plant that encases the worst of the wastes in a glass-like substance for longterm storage. Now itís supposed to be done in 2019. Iíll believe it when I see it.

Plus, letís not forget just how bad the damage was: 80 square miles of groundwater laced with the likes of strontium, tritium, uranium, hexavalent chromiumand uranium. Not to mention the non-radioactive hazardous waste. At the height of production of plutonium for nuclear bombs, Hanford was drawing 32,000 gallons of water per minute from the river, and dumping it back with basically no treatment, contaminated.

To give you an idea of how bad the problem is at Hanford today, look at the federal budget: Hanfordís normal $2 billion allocation Ė doubled this year by stimulus funds Ė dwarfs the entire Superfund budget, which President Obama is trying to raise from $605 to $1.3 billion. So, no, Iím not trying to say all is well at Hanford. Just that they are making some progress...


http://www.invw.org/node/1022

One may hope the GOP Congress might consider funding a clean-up of what has been going on for years, and the newest leak. Oops, what was I thinking?

The Tea Party wants to abolish the EPA, etc. Never mind...



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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 10:29 PM

4. hmm...

I wonder if PamW will load this OP with detailed descriptions of various types of nuclear reactors.

Nuclear power is TOTALLY safe, doncha know?

<---just in case ...

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Response to chervilant (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 10:50 PM

5. Hanford isn't associated with the civilian nuclear power program.

There are many problems with civilian nuclear power but Hanford is part of the nuclear weapons establishment.

Hanford Site
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Nuclear reactors line the riverbank at the Hanford Site along the Columbia River in January 1960. The N Reactor is in the foreground, with the twin KE and KW Reactors in the immediate background. The historic B Reactor, the world's first plutonium production reactor, is visible in the distance.
The Hanford Site is a mostly decommissioned nuclear production complex on the Columbia River in the U.S. state of Washington, operated by the United States federal government. The site has been known by many names, including Hanford Works, Hanford Engineer Works or HEW, Hanford Nuclear Reservation or HNR, and the Hanford Project. Established in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project in the town of Hanford in south-central Washington, the site was home to the B Reactor, the first full-scale plutonium production reactor in the world.[1] Plutonium manufactured at the site was used in the first nuclear bomb, tested at the Trinity site, and in Fat Man, the bomb detonated over Nagasaki, Japan.

During the Cold War, the project was expanded to include nine nuclear reactors and five large plutonium processing complexes, which produced plutonium for most of the 60,000 weapons in the U.S. nuclear arsenal.[2][3] Nuclear technology developed rapidly during this period, and Hanford scientists produced many notable technological achievements. Many of the early safety procedures and waste disposal practices were inadequate, and government documents have since confirmed that Hanford's operations released significant amounts of radioactive materials into the air and the Columbia River, which threatened the health of residents and ecosystems.[4]

The weapons production reactors were decommissioned at the end of the Cold War, but the decades of manufacturing left behind 53 million US gallons (200,000 m3) of high-level radioactive waste,[5] an additional 25 million cubic feet (710,000 m3) of solid radioactive waste, 200 square miles (520 km2) of contaminated groundwater beneath the site[6] and occasional discoveries of undocumented contaminations that slow the pace and raise the cost of cleanup.[7]

The Hanford site represents two-thirds of the nation's high-level radioactive waste by volume.[8] Today, Hanford is the most contaminated nuclear site in the United States[9][10] and is the focus of the nation's largest environmental cleanup.[2] While most of the current activity at the site is related to the cleanup project, Hanford also hosts a commercial nuclear power plant, the Columbia Generating Station, and various centers for scientific research and development, such as the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the LIGO Hanford Observatory.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanford_Site

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Response to kristopher (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:14 PM

9. While I appreciate

your informative efforts, I know about Hanford and its sordid history. I was being facetious (and, regrettably, sarcastic) about the off-topic, pedantic rants of a pro-nuke person on another thread.

I fully expected said person to pick up the pro-nuke gauntlet herewith.

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 10:54 PM

6. This is news?

This has been going on for 50 years. Probably a trilllion bucks in cost plus contracts. Three generations of technicians with gold plated job security pounding sand down a rathole. The biggest scam on the Treasury until Tarp.. They clean it up, they're out of work. This is PR. This is about protecting their cash cow from the sequester.

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