Skip to comments.6 tanks at Hanford nuclear site in Wash. leaking
Posted on 02/23/2013 5:13:02 AM PST by RummyChick
Six underground tanks that hold a brew of radioactive and toxic waste at the nation's most contaminated nuclear site are leaking, federal and state officials said Friday, prompting calls for an investigation from a key senator.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said the leaking material poses no immediate risk to public safety or the environment because it would take a while perhaps years to reach groundwater.
But the leaking tanks raise new concerns about delays for emptying them and strike another blow to federal efforts to clean up south-central Washington's Hanford nuclear reservation, where successes often are overshadowed by delays, budget overruns and technological challenges.
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.
Will this appease those of you around that site???
I know people on this site claim that all nuclear facilities are safe in the US.
THIS is an outrage!
Why hasn’t the government (EPA) shut down the government facility???
there is more info at the link
I don’t see a problem here....just hook up a water system, with a pipe leading from the affected area to Governor Inselee’s house. When the governor finally says he’s had enough....then we will know it’s time to get worried.
There are processes that will turn liquids and their contaminants into resins
Ike plastic beads. This vaslty reduces environmental contamination.
It’s not clear where the water is going by that article.
Inslee does say
“He also stressed the state would impose a “zero-tolerance” policy on radioactive waste leaking into the soil.”
Cleanup is expected to last decades and cost billions of dollars.
“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.”
I knew some people who worked on a remediation project for Leaking Underground Storage Tanks.
That was an interesting acronym.
And the contract will most likely go to the very same union that built and installed the tanks in the first place.
May take years...May not...But one thing is certain...It WILL reach groundwater...
Cancers among residents downwind of the Hanford, Washington, plutonium production site.
This article says it is leaking into the ground
“Before the last of the pumpable liquids were removed from single-shell tanks in 2004, an estimated 1 million gallons of waste leaked or spilled from the tanks and their distribution systems. Some of that has reached the groundwater, but movement from central Hanford to the Columbia River five miles away is slow.”
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 calls for annual budgets of as much as $3.5 billion during some years of the cleanup effort.
Scrub the emissions at the exhaust.
A one time increase in cost (to a car/truck) distributes the cost .. ummm ... fairly .. to the consumer consuming "fossil fuels"
Nukes for the navy ships and subs, solar for the high school science fair, wind to pump wells and let's get on with REAL progress ...
Like anti-gravity belts ... and skateboards and flux capacitors.
Hell, we've accomplished just about everything RODDENBERRY could dream up.
It will reach groundwater—
Not if we move the groundwater!
Dry up the Columbia or divert it. Dig a channel to the Rio Grande and give it to Mexico, that’s only fair. The US stole the Rio Grande Water I’m sure.
That will turn Eastern WA into a completely barren desert. It is Conservative anyway, and all it does is produce a lot of food-so what difference does it make?
Sounds shovel-ready to me. Contact the EPA.
OMAHA — A nuclear reactor, idled for almost two years by a laundry list of problems, is coming under increased regulatory scrutiny because of some bad math in its 40-year-old design and the use of Teflon, which tends to disintegrate when exposed to high radiation.
Help me here.... The Federal Government gets a free pass.
No problem here...
Let me tell you about how dangerous the leakage is. My sister and brother-in-law lived in Richland, Washington and they both worked for Hanford, he at the plant and she in town. They had four boys. My brother-in law worked in the building that had a leak, by the way. This was 50 yeaars ago.
But that wasn’t the beginning of exposure to radiation for my brother-in-law. During WW II he had fought across the Pacific and was waiting in the Phillipines to invade Japan when they dropped the atom bomb, and two weeks later he was in Nagasaki doing guard duty.
After the war they lived in Longview, Washington and he fished for salmon in the Columbia River, whose water was contaminated by a leak upstream at Hanford. And then of course he got the job at Hanford.
Neither of them got cancer, nor did their 4 boys who are still living. My sister and her husband died of natural causes in their 70s and 80s. Their thyroids didn’t work properly, but that is easily fixed. The little matter of them all glowing in the dark is now being studied
Washington is a liberal state, nuff said.
Well there you have it.
We must end all entitlements to illegal aliens, in order to fund the cleanup....unless they want to take it on (under the category of "jobs Americans don't want to do")
There is no such thing as clean up with this stuff. It can be stored, but never done away with.
The 9 counties in the northwestern part of the state that surround Seattle are liberal. The other three-quarters of the state is conservative, including where Hanford is located.
Seattle is the problem, not the whole of the state.
Don’t make me come down there and put a sarc-tag on that.
Glass like logs for secure storage.
Without Yucca Mountian will each household get one
to keep them warn in winter?
The price of Obama is too high by far.
Don’t get too excited, I don’t think that this “leaking” is exactly as described. After reading the idiotic statement by Governor Inslee about the narrow band of measuring vs a wider band of measuring, and the claim that the tanks had a twenty year life expectancy, I decided to do a little research into the issue.
From a WSJ article posted last September. The feds are going after Bechtel and are claiming that Bechtel is not competent to engineer the project. The feds stopped the project.
“Separately, the DOE last month discovered radioactive material between the walls of one of the site’s newer double-shelled waste-storage tanks, which are designed to be superior to older single-shell tanks. The threat of leaks has been a concern for decades: In the past, according to a project website, one-third of the 177 underground tanks have experienced leakage of toxic material.”
So, the second tanks, not the original tanks, are leaking between the walls of the double sided tanks, not into the ground. The project was intended to replace the tanks by turning the nuclear waste into some kind of glass-like substance, solid, not liquid, that could not “leak”.
There is a lot going on here. First the land is on an Indian reservation. The Indians willingly offered to house the project. Second, the Democrats in WA and Oregon are looking for an environmental issue to demagogue because they are losing ground over the coal exports that they want to transport through WA and Oregon. Gregoire lost her appointment as head of the EPA over her support of the coal and some of the other Democrats know that support of coal is a poison pill here in the Pacific Northwest. Thus, the Hanford clean-up becomes the issue of the day. It is another non-issue that the Democrats are creating for the mid-term elections.
No, Eva, Hanford is not on an Indian Reservation.
There are areas such as the summit of Rattlesnake Mountain and possible burial grounds near the river that are of special interest to the tribes, but Hanford is not on an Indian Reservation. The nearest Indian Reservation is probably the Yakama (spelled correctly). Been right here, on various sides of the Hanford Project, all my life.
Here is the WSJ article:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443819404577635700925553724.html
Here’s the FOX article on the subject:http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/02/23/6-underground-hanford-nuclear-tanks-leaking-washington-governor-says/
Thanks, for that information. It is interesting that it has been demagogued as an affront to the tribes at various times, when it was convenient, I suppose. There was also some controversy over a gigantic trash dump in the area, as well. That is on the reservation, right? or is that mis-information, also?
I found where I got that information about the nuclear site being on tribal land. The Yakama tribe is suing the government over the clean-up, or did sue. The article was 2003.
Yes, that is the history but it is not an “Indian Reservation”. It is a federal government reservation of a different kind. This designation was made in the 40s a little before my parents moved here. There is a great deal of deserved respect given to the tribes. Most of the laboratory and communications facilities on top of Rattlesnake Mountain recently were removed at their behest.
Still windy over here today.
It still makes the tribal connection to the clean-up a significant issue for the Democrats, especially since they are supporting the coal against the Lummi Nation’s opposition. The Democrats always want to appear as supporting the tribes, especially when support for the tribes is in conflict with the rural property owners, like on the water issue.
This whole Hanford issue is way too political for there to be any good solution, just like the sequestration. Just be aware that the tanks are not yet really leaking, only leaking into the double wall.
The wind ended here last night and the sun is shining, so you should be in for some good weather by tomorrow.
A little background on the connection between the tribes and the coal and the tribes at Hanford might be helpful. The contractor that was hired by Goldman Sachs to work on the terminal site, violated the permitting rules and began digging before any permit was granted. The contractor dug up an Indian burial ground, a Lummi Indian burial site. An outside official was brought in to study the issue and arbitrate a settlement. The Lummi turned down the money because the outside archeologist stated in his report that the site of terminal was of important historical significance to the Lummi because it was the site where the Lummis entered the land by boat. It was the gateway into the region, one of the few no bank sites along the coast. Anyway, the coal terminal would permanently destroy everything that the tribe values about the region. So, the tribe is opposing the terminal and the Democrats are supporting it. Inslee has said that he only supports it if it can be proven that it will not negatively impact the region environmentally. Weasel words.
So, that is why the Hanford mess is being demagogued, once again.
Because Hanford is an EPA Superfund Cleanup Site, fully funded through 2028.
The do-nothing jobs support liberal deadbeats in the whole Columbia Basin including the entire Tri-cities area, and most of the wastelands from Yakima to Ellensberg to Spokane.
That is true...you cannot destroy matter.
But you could mix it up with millions of tons of sand and clay and put it back in the earth. You could call it...."ore".
When I attended WWU often rode my bike around the Lummi penisula or whatever it’s called. That was a summer quarter activity only — too wet and cold the rest of the time. Sun’s out again here and wind has calmed down.