Current Events & Hot Topics

Featured Posts
cjsbmom
Largest nuclear waste site in US may have leaking storage tanks....
by cjsbmom
June 22, 2013 at 10:41 AM

So when we all start growing a third eyeball, we'll know why. *sigh*



Feds: Nuclear waste may be leaking into soil from Hanford site


 

Mark Ralston / AFP - Getty Images file

Government officials said radioactive waste might be leaking into the soil from a nuclear site in Hanford, Washington state. Governor Jay Inslee said the situation should be treated with the "utmost seriousness."

By Shannon Dininny, The Associated Press

An underground tank holding some of the worst radioactive waste at the nation's most contaminated nuclear site might be leaking into the soil.

The U.S. Energy Department said workers at Washington state's Hanford Nuclear Reservation detected higher radioactivity levels under tank AY-102 during a routine inspection Thursday.

Spokeswoman Lori Gamache said the department has notified Washington officials and is investigating the leak further. An engineering analysis team will conduct additional sampling and video inspection to determine the source of the contamination, she said.

State and federal officials have long said leaking tanks at Hanford do not pose an immediate threat to the environment or public health.

The largest waterway in the Pacific Northwest - the Columbia River - is still at least 5 miles away and the closest communities are several miles downstream.

However, if this dangerous waste escapes the tank into the soil, it raises concerns about it traveling to the groundwater and someday potentially reaching the river.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement that the situation "must be treated with the utmost seriousness."

Inslee said additional testing is expected to take several days.

"Our state experts confirm that there is no immediate public health threat. Given the relatively early detection of this potential leak, the river is not at immediate risk of contamination should it be determined that a leak has occurred outside the tank," he said.

Tom Carpenter, executive director of the Seattle-based advocacy group Hanford Challenge, said, "this is really, really bad. They are going to pollute the ground and the groundwater with some of the nastiest stuff, and they don't have a solution for it."

AY-102 is one of Hanford's 28 tanks with two walls, which were installed years ago when single-shell tanks began leaking. Some of the worst liquid in those tanks was pumped into the sturdier double-shell tanks.

The tanks are now beyond their intended life span. The Energy Department announced last year that AY-102 was leaking between its two walls, but it said then that no waste had escaped.

Two radionuclides comprise much of the radioactivity in Hanford's tanks: cesium-137 and strontium-90. Both take hundreds of years to decay, and exposure to either would increase a person's risk of developing cancer.

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, and it continued production through the Cold War.

Today, it is the nation's most contaminated nuclear site, with cleanup expected to last decades. The effort - with a price tag of about $2 billion annually - has cost taxpayers $40 billion to date and is estimated will cost $115 billion more.

The most challenging task so far has been the removal of highly radioactive waste from the 177 aging, underground tanks and construction of a plant to treat that waste.

The Energy Department recently notified Washington and Oregon that it may miss two upcoming deadlines to empty some tanks and to complete a key part of the plant to handle some of the worst waste.

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz visited the site Wednesday for the first time since being confirmed by the Senate in May. He said he intends to have a new plan by the end of the summer for resolving the technical problems with the waste treatment plant.

Replies

  • LucyMom08
    June 22, 2013 at 11:21 AM
    That is disgusting...and $115 billion?!?
  • babie113
    June 22, 2013 at 11:22 AM
    Yikes
  • Friday
    by Friday
    June 22, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    And some people still don't get why I oppose nuclear power. smh.

  • KGreen75
    June 22, 2013 at 1:32 PM
    I would be interested In seeing cancer statistics as well as birth deformities for the area surrounding the site.
  • TranquilMind
    June 22, 2013 at 1:32 PM

     Fabulous. 

  • cjsbmom
    by cjsbmom
    June 22, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    I get it and I agree. DH has passed on many good jobs in this area because they involved working for nuclear energy companies. He'd rather be out of work than to work for something he feels is a danger to everyone. 

    Quoting Friday:

    And some people still don't get why I oppose nuclear power. smh.


  • cjsbmom
    by cjsbmom
    June 22, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    BUMP!

  • Friday
    by Friday
    June 22, 2013 at 7:39 PM


    Quoting cjsbmom:

    I get it and I agree. DH has passed on many good jobs in this area because they involved working for nuclear energy companies. He'd rather be out of work than to work for something he feels is a danger to everyone. 

    Quoting Friday:

    And some people still don't get why I oppose nuclear power. smh.


    I live in Cali and just hope that San Onofre doesn't end up being more of a problem that we've been told. Stupid to have power plants using such unstable materials in earthquake country. Look at Japan.

    I remember Chernobyl and 3 Mile Island. Nuclear isn't a good choice IMO.

  • stormcris
    June 22, 2013 at 7:42 PM

    Love the meme.

    OMG @ the leak.

  • UpSheRises
    June 22, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    Investigators have discovered a half-inch long crack around a nozzle on one of the tanks of the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant, and have attributed the crack to the water leakage that spilled radioactive water into Lake Michigan on May 5.

    The plant, which is located on the shore of the great lake and operated by Entergy, was shut down after the water tank exceeded its site threshold and leaked. Authorities say the crack led to about 79 gallons of “slightly radioactive water” spilling from the Palisades plant into the lake, WOOD-TV reports.


    We've been dealing with this gem in Michigan for 3 or 4 years. Maybe it's why my boobs are so small?

Current Events & Hot Topics

Active Posts in All Groups
More Active Posts
Featured Posts in All Groups
More Featured Posts