67 tanks are ‘suspected leakers’ at U.S. nuclear site — “The stuff inside melts the instruments… eats rubber and plastic” (VIDEO)

Published: March 3rd, 2013 at 1:11 am ET
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Title: Sunday Spin: Helping to understand Hanford – Spin Control
Source: Spokesman-Review
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. [...]

Watch footage the presentation here

Published: March 3rd, 2013 at 1:11 am ET
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18 comments

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18 comments to 67 tanks are ‘suspected leakers’ at U.S. nuclear site — “The stuff inside melts the instruments… eats rubber and plastic” (VIDEO)

  • Sickputer

    "The stuff inside melts the instruments, and eats rubber and plastic. "

    SP: And we know now it eats carbon steel. Perhaps stainless steel would have fared better…but hey… Rosie the Riveter needed a lot of stainless steel for the 10,000 Lockheed P-38 fighter planes built from 1939-1945.

    Storing nuclear waste safely wasn't a priority for anyone in the US government because barely a handful of scientists knew of the dangers we would face from poorly stored nuclear waste.

    We defeated Mussolini's Fascists, Hitler's Nazis, and Tojo's Japanese troops. But in so doing our own weapons of mass destruction now bubble up from 70 years of slumber to kill unsuspecting Americans. Tragic irony.


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    • SnorkY2K

      I don't know about stainless' reaction with flourides. I remember having a problem with some weak acids in stainless. While alpha is viewed by many as harmless, it messes with chemistry since it aggressively acquires electrons then becomes noble leaving the electron donors to go react with something else.

      In our production facility, stainless was not immune to corrosion. We had to use plastics that would be ruled out if the sludge contained phosphorus or fluorine. That sludge is could contain process byproducts of uranium hexafloride and similar nasties.


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    • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication

      @Sickputer

      "Storing nuclear waste safely wasn't a priority for anyone in the US government because barely a handful of scientists knew of the dangers we would face from poorly stored nuclear waste.":

      They started more than 77 years ago and knew the half-life of elements on the periodic table didn't they? Look around the country at all the nuclear power plants–when have they ever attempted to deal with the nuclear waste? I believe they are still looking for gullible people upon whom they can foist those. Where did they ever think they would put them? Not a problem! They put them in the oceans and the Gulf of Mexico. This and toxic waste as well.

      They experimented on the effects of radiation on people (mostly black) in St. Louis in 1945 and the locals participated: Business, government, scientists, everyone but the people who didn't know their government was using them as guinea pigs. [Lisa Martino-Taylor, Doctoral Dissertation, 1945]. We have a right to expect the government to know what they are doing before they do anything as important as this. Even if it takes 50 years.


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      • SnorkY2K

        We knew some of the half-lives but had no idea of the number of isotopes and their isotopes/decay chains and metastates until more recent times. It has only been months since the half lives of all the bismuth isotopes have been discovered. Until recently it was not known that there were no stable bismuth isotopes. Physics research in the last 40 years exploded with the access to better computers.

        I can't remember when I first heard of meta-states but I know that I hadn't heard it thirty years ago when I was in college. The periodic chart is more of a summary usually showing an aggregate of the estimated atomic weights. There are resources like the "Handbook of Chemistry and Physics" where you can find more details on isotopes, decay change, and properties of the elements.


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    • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

      Hanford; Lethal And Leaking; A Race To Armageddon; via A Green Road http://agreenroad.blogspot.com/2012/03/hanford-lethal-and-leaking-race-to.html

      Hanford – Leaking Radioactive Fluids Into Columbia River Since 2002; via A Green Road
      http://agreenroad.blogspot.com/2013/02/hanford-leaking-radioactive-fluids-into.html


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  • weeman

    I have to quote shakespeare owe what a tangled web we weave, what do you think the engineers thought when they designed the tanks, let's see the waste will, be active for thousands of years, the life of the tanks 50 years, don't worry in fifty years we will have a solution to the waste, 50 years later guess what the engineers have been conned again, any engineer will tell you don't screw with what you do not comprehend.
    Ever think about where all that energy comes from in a atom, maybe you should this earth could be one.


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  • Mack Mack

    Here are the stats on Hanford:

    1. Hanford has 1.7 million gallons of radioactive sludge in unlined trenches

    2. There are an additional 177 huge underground tanks of which:

    (a) liquid waste is stored in 28 double-shelled tanks
    (b) hardened waste is stored in 149 single-shelled tanks

    3. These tanks are 70 years old and over 60 are leaking

    ——————————————-
    From notes taken on page 20 of "Nuclear Roulette" by Gar Smith


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  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Washington is a nice state, and it's being wrecked by nuclear right now.


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  • harengus_acidophilus

    "…it eats…"

    …and they call it: the blob?

    This is NOT a fairy tale.
    It's a man made desaster!

    h.


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    REPERCUSSIONS: Native Americans

    http://www.hanfordproject.com/indians.html

    Letter:Review of the Identification of Radionuclides From the Hanford Nuclear Reservation Facilities Into the Columbia River
    2002

    http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10399&page=5

    The contamination is not new.
    I would say something like..give us back our land and water.
    But the contamination will go on forever.

    More..'forever sadness' and sickness falls upon the people.


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  • markww markww

    OK WHO DROPPED THE F-ING BALL. WHO and when were supposed to drain the tanks and how someone is guilty of not doing their jobs from a safety standpoint OH I FORGOT back in the 80's companies fired and laid off all the safety people and killed many before that date NOT TO BE SAFE and or said WE ARE SAFE and do not need SAFETY cause i was one of them that was laid off when the company turned its back on the hole safety department and is still unsafe.

    “stew of different materials” that form a radioactive sludge, from which the liquid was supposed to have been pumped out years ago

    Markww


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  • Anthony Anthony

    I knew they were leading up to some kind of *reveal*.

    The shit-show is on in Washington, unfortunately.


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  • dodge

    A hole in an underground tank leaks. The liquid inside migrates outside – the water outside migrates inside the tank – measuring the levels tells you little about what is happening. The pressure on the tanks constantly changes due to the water table and ground water forces. Just slight changes in pressure allows the fluids to migrate back and forth – the ground then begins to be a real blending pool – any one care to guess what strange combinations might be created. Only one certainty in this situation. Small holes become big holes, the same forces eating away at one tank are doing their work on all the tanks. The costs of cleanup will be born by the public – perhaps the only thing more costly is doing nothing.


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    • Sickputer

      dodge typed these pixels of light:

      "Only one certainty in this situation. Small holes become big holes…"

      SP: +311. They can stall for decades, but the problems in Washington state were created by the feds to help win World War II. It's great to be the hero of the world and save the world from rabid dogs, but when you leave the fouled carcasses behind without proper burial, then you didn't do your grandchildren any favors.

      Unsecured nuclear waste is genocide and the guilty parties are sitting in Washington, D.C.


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  • We talked about Hanford's explosive risks last week on Nuked Radio: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXLQEq1JqD8


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  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Columbia river will bring radiation from the leaking Hanford tanks into Oregon as well. And beyond.


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