Title: Sunday Spin: Helping to understand Hanford – Spin Control
Date: March 2, 2013
[... Hanford's] tanks are big. The largest are the size of a basketball court with a 75-foot wall around it. Inside the tanks are a “stew of different materials” that form a radioactive sludge, from which the liquid was supposed to have been pumped out years ago. [...]
Of the 177 tanks, 149 only have a single wall, or shell, and 67 of those were “suspected leakers”, but the rest were thought to be secure. Thought to be is a relative term, because in a container that big, a drop of even a fraction of an inch can represent many gallons of waste. You can’t just drop a giant dipstick into the tank.
As [Jane Hedges of Washington's Department of Ecology] explained, there’s no easy way to get an extremely accurate measurement because lowering cameras or instruments into the tanks isn’t practical. The stuff inside melts the instruments, and eats rubber and plastic. [...]
Published: March 3rd, 2013 at 1:11 am ET