CBS News: Mind-boggling mistakes at leaking U.S. nuclear site — “The chances of a catastrophic event are real” -Former Governor (VIDEO)

Published: March 3rd, 2013 at 9:01 pm ET


Title: A look back at a nuclear facility with fresh leaks
Source: 60 Minutes Overtime – CBS News
Author: Vidya Singh
Date: March 3, 2013 6:34 PM

Most people think “Chernobyl” when it comes to nuclear disaster sites. But outside of Russia, the most contaminated nuclear site in the world is right here on the beautiful Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest. At Hanford Nuclear Facility in Washington State, 56 million gallons of radioactive waste sit in underground storage tanks. Those tanks have already leaked more than one million gallons of a toxic brew of plutonium, enriched uranium, nitric acid, and solvents into the ground. […]

But news of the latest leaks isn’t surprising to the 60 Minutes team that reported in 2006 on Hanford’s problems, including the many construction errors made at the facility. Watch Lesley Stahl’s report […] about the mind-boggling mistakes made at the site […]

At 10:45 in

Stahl: I’m getting a little déjà vu here. Because when we were here in 2001 it was the same thing. [They told us,] ‘We figured it out, it’s better now, no problem anymore.’ [… Officials now say] leaking tanks have been stabilized and there’s virtually no chance of further leakage. […]

Gov. Christine Gregoire: In 1989 they told me there was zero chance there would be any leakage and groundwater contamination […] We are very vulnerable to a plume that we now have moving toward the Columbia River, which is the lifeline of the Pacific Northwest […] We’ve got an area that is contaminated in the groundwater and is migrating toward the Columbia River, and if it gets there Lesley we have an absolute disaster on our hands. […] The chances of a catastrophic event over there are real. Time is not on our side. We need to get going.

Watch the video here

Published: March 3rd, 2013 at 9:01 pm ET


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44 comments to CBS News: Mind-boggling mistakes at leaking U.S. nuclear site — “The chances of a catastrophic event are real” -Former Governor (VIDEO)

  • jec jec

    Let see, 2006…report of the problems..tick tick tick. What has been done to SEVEN YEARS, four at least in the new administration?? IGNORE the danger, coverup..and promote nuclear? Shame on the federal government for this disaster…how long does it take…..????

    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      Why all the publicity now, after all these years?

      The Pacific Northwest was the hardest hit in the US when Fukushima blew, and we will soon see massive numbers of health issues there (or, more accurately, more than what they're seeing now). Are they getting ready to blame it all on Hanford leakage, rather than Fukushima?

  • yogda yogda

    Longview/Kelso communities now get their drinking water from the Columbia.

    They said it was Sustainable.

  • jec jec

    Sustainable, as in glow in the dark with radiation "sustainable?" Let the people who have allowed this nuclear waste mess drink the sustainable water! In fact we should send them some nice bottled water taken directly from the Columbia near Hanford. Tons of it, pour it around all over Washington DC if its so 'sustainable.'

  • I discovered something very interesting, the 1871 "Chicago Fire" was not just a fire in Chicago, there were actually around 17 MAJOR fires across the Midwest over a period of days.

    This is undoubtedly an "asteroid attack". I just discovered this today, although others have combined The Chicago, the Peshtigo, and Michigan fires. At least I discovered that today after my own research.

    Check it out, this is cool, but a little scary.

    • Thad

      were there any craters?

      • I don't think so, but a lot of the crashes were in deep woods so maybe there were, they did find some 60 lb meteorites in Michigan. Not necessarily from that incident, somehow that upper midwest is on a "flight path" for meteorites.

  • yogda yogda

    And this little jewel 5 miles down river.

    With all that we understand now about NPP's it makes me wonder how bad Trojan really was for them to shut it down early…

    Quote from that wiki:
    "In December 1992, documents were leaked from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission showing that staff scientists believed that Trojan might be unsafe to operate."

    • Mack Mack

      Here's another gem —>

      There's a nuclear power plant, the Columbia Generating Station, on Hanford's site.

      "In 2010 a review by the industry-funded Institute of Nuclear Power Operations singled the plant out as one of two in the country most in need of improvements in operations and "human performance."

      "In March of 2011, it was discovered that officials a the Columbia Generating Station had been quietly discussing the use of mox fuel for at least two years."

      So a plant that the industry says is one of the two in most need of improvements is thinking of using MOX fuel!

      • We Not They Finally

        Use of MOX fuel at nuclear plants was supposed to be ILLEGAL in Japan, but they snuck it in. Yoichi Shimatsu did the research and said it came from America, routed through Dick Cheney. Then in 2010, it was claimed that Japan was going to start enriching uranium for IRAN. Which likely the American companies did not even CARE about, because their industry isn't peace, it's war. Traditionally, even in less complicated times, that's how arms dealers make their fortunes: Arm both sides. More profit for the arms dealers.

        • Time Is Short Time Is Short

          "More profit for the arms dealers."

          They're only brokers. The real money is in the financing.

        • gnomesang gnomesang

          WNTF i completely agree, and as much as i really try hard to be objective and not emotionally just jump to conclusions, when it comes to any type of evil involving the energy industry, i just find now it is easier to go straight to satan, er dick cheney. he seems to always be up to his tax payer funded piggy heart, as cold and dark that it is… i also think i posted this video earlier last year here, but having a hard time checking it, low on internet connection… if it is not right, i searched "x-37 b flight path earthquake"

  • GlowingRainSeattle

    Thought you might also be interested in this as well. Just posted today on Komo 4 news. Once you get past the Blue Angels (which btw, is sickening to think they may not be flying for our seafair) You'll read the Hanford money issue

    "The U.S. Energy Department is facing an estimated $1.9 billion is spending cuts including $400 million for the Office Of Environmental Management, which overseas the cleanup at Hanford."

    Here is the link to it ––194661371.html

    Too ironic. Stupid f**ker's! Nobody has ever gotten anywhere by pointing fingers and blaming the other side. Especially without compromise and solutions.

    • PavewayIII PavewayIII

      "…Nobody has ever gotten anywhere by pointing fingers and blaming the other side. Especially without compromise and solutions…"

      Want to bet? There WAS a compromise — two years ago. The solution was to make up an arbitrary deadline for tax hikes and spending cuts that (wink, wink) the government would be 'forced' to make.

      It's a mistake to think anyone was ever trying to get anywhere by finger-pointing and blaming the other side. That's simply the natural and expected reaction of federal family psychopaths to explain their behavior to constituents.

      The DOE knew perfectly well how much they would have to cut – for close to two years now. They knew what they wanted to cut and what they didn't. Nothing is 'emergency' or 'unexpected' here.

      The Energy Department has no interest in pleasing you or any other citizen of Washington State. They are really only interested in pleasing one of their most important privileged citizens: Bechtel. You and I are not even on their radar.

      • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication


        Thanks. I believe you have already noticed that the only cuts they are making are the ones that affect the people (Yellowstone will not open on time this year, guess why?). The cuts that need to be made will never be made. They have no intention of reducing the federal budget (if Obama ever gets around to producing one for the Republicans to inspect). They are refusing to approve spending until he brings them a budget which they say he has not done for several years.

        Real spending cuts need to be slashed and they are not the ones they are making. These are made for political reasons.

        The Columbia River is not only what Lewis and Clark used to reach what is now Fort Clatsop but what the Pacific northwest drinks. There can be no compromise there and they had better get off their duffs fast or we will have something worse than Fukushima (which is much worse than Chernobyl).

        • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

          Obama has already cut spending, issuing the executive orders last Friday. It is called "Sequester", but should just be called "Obama spending cuts". Obama spending cuts. I like the sound of that!

          Now that the Dems have gotten their tax increase on the rich, and Reps have gotten their spending cuts, some civility can surely be expected to return to public discourse. (Sarc).

          Much more needs to be done on both fronts, reduced spending, closing subsidies to the nuke industry and oil industry, if the growing debt is to be controlled, and social justice is to be established.

          • We Not They Finally

            There was no "tax increase" on the rich. It was a rollback of ill-advised, wartime tax cuts while we were waging disastrously expensive wars in the Middle East — at least one of them based on complete fraud. Meanwhile, corporations like General Electric still pay NO taxes, and oil companies still get obscene subsidies that should have been phased out decades ago. Then you were fed the lie that bad things happen when PUBLIC services are actually funded, or there are enough teachers and policemen to go around. Don't believe the propaganda! If you want a [so-called] "fair and balanced" pit of lies, go watch Fox News. Just don't believe it. Meanwhile, you're fine with labelling this "Obama spending cuts" because nothing matters except the person people are currently trained to hate? We have huge issues with Obama ourselves, but a lot of people pushing that agenda are racists. To the detriment of US ALL.

            • Time Is Short Time Is Short

              "He (Obama) spent four years benefiting bankers, war profiteers, other corporate favorites, and super-rich elites. He did so at the expense of middle America. Others most disadvantaged suffered more. His administration prioritizes austerity. He wants America's social contract destroyed. Straightaway in office he demanded it. He hasn't changed his mind. He plays hardball. He wants Republicans blamed for bad policies he supports. They caused enormous harm to millions. He's got much more in mind. He pretends otherwise. Read his policies, not his lips. His record reveals rogue leadership. He's mindless of human suffering. He wrecked America's economy. Poverty, unemployment, homelessness, and hunger increased on his watch. The worst is yet to come."


              It doesn't matter who's in office. The next one will be worse.

      • GlowingRainSeattle

        My comment about pointing fingers and compromise had to do with BOTH sides passing the buck and pointing fingers towards each other. Both/all parties need to take full responsibility for their actions on this whole entire sh*t fest. I was making a point that instead of pointing out dirty sh*t about the other party, everyone needs and has to compromise TOGETHER, collectively and responsibly. Placing blame on eachother and taking zero accountability is creating more of a massive problem & driving everyone's focus away from the ACTUAL issue and directing focus to their inability to work together as a whole. How in the crap are we to teach our younger generation how to accept responsibility for their actions -good & bad- if our own government makes a real choice to not work together, coexist and accept responsibility & actually compromise. It's just really a sad thing to watch everyone who's in some level of 'power', act worse than second graders. More concern is going into money than morals, dignity, respect and personal values.

        -that is just my views on all of it. Instead of us all b***hing about the problem & allowing it to get worse, we need to focus on a real solution and how to accomplish it, then set out to actually fixing it. Crying about it & finger pointing won't get anyone anywhere-

  • harengus_acidophilus

    > We are very vulnerable
    …to lies!


    • We Not They Finally

      Unfortunately libertarians seem to have part of whats going on…They are missing what might well kill them.

      We have been sold a bunch of goods.Peacefull nuclear energy…With maybe 10 yrs left for North America why worry about debt.Stop all this nonsense setup conditions that work for 10 yrs then get ready for the grand finale. There is very little time for North America the rest of the world will take time….Projections of on going radiation in the pacific predict that within 10 yrs the area between Japan and the west coast in the pacific will be totally contaminated by massive radiation….

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Cancer from nuclear radiation will effect us for thousands of years. And all for nothing.

    • Sol Man

      No, a few got fabulously rich in their process. In their eyes we are nothing.

    • We Not They Finally

      Yep. Fifty years of power, five hundred million years of nuclear waste. But Hanford was not even DESIGNED for "safe, clean, abundant peaceful energy" — it was a military installation from the start. Oh, they are ALL at the beck and call of the defense industry? Yes. And funded and insured by American tax dollars, to our shame. But Hanford did not even make a pretense of being for "peaceful purposes." And they knew that the storage tanks were designed for TWENTY years only. They planned no further ahead and this is what we now have.

  • irhologram

    Beam of light from the sky burns field in Tasmania. Seemed appropriate for the topic of the Chicago fire. Al last! Mrs. O'leary's cow exonerated! I was always pulling for her!

  • Mack Mack

    This is odd.

    Article linked below says DOE's Steven Chu told the Governor that only ONE tank was leaking at Hanford.

    Here's the direct quote:

    "…U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu had originally informed the governor of only one leaking tank, as opposed to the total six."

    • jec jec

      SIXTY SEVEN leaking tanks at Hanford..quite a bit more than one or the new number of SIX from Chu. Wonder when people were going to be told? What is the EPA up to? The Department of Energy is just a self licking ice cream cone. If this continues, the US Government will have a lot less citizens needing healthcare or "entitlements." They will have died off from various radiation caused diseases, none of them nice..
      Just saying…..

    • We Not They Finally

      Steven Chu also gave us as his "parting gift" (tail end of last year) an order letting tons of radioactive scrap metal be recycled into silverware, pots and pots, belt buckles, jewelry, etc. He also (before D.C.) had his main research grants coming from BP. These are bad people to be putting into government — just don't expect them to be telling you the truth. That's not their job.

  • Mack Mack

    "…56 million gallons of radioactive waste sit in underground storage tanks. Those tanks have already leaked more than one million gallons of a toxic brew of plutonium, enriched uranium, nitric acid, and solvents into the ground."

    • Mack Mack

      So far there are reports of these pollutants from Hanford:

      1. Plutonium
      2. Enriched uranium
      3. Nitric acid
      4. Solvents
      5. Europium-152
      6. Chromium
      7. Tritium, 2.5 to 13 Bq per litre found in Columbia River water
      8. 4 times more Uranium than Radium
      9. Strontium-90 in Columbia River fish
      10. Technetium-99
      11. Iodine-129
      12. It also released directly into the air Iodine-131, Ruthenium-106 and Plutonium-238 (but the iodine and ruthenium would have decayed by now)
      13. Carbon Tetrachloride

      Reposting this video which has excellent info on Hanford. @10:30

      • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication


        Thank you for all your postings. My education began with you, Sickputer, and MaidenHeaven. Anne has made substantial contributions as well.

        The only appropriate action for Steven Chu is to be shown the door…pronto! If he doesn't know how many are leaking, he should go. If he knows and is lying he should go.

        • Mack Mack

          Thank you very much, NoPrevarication. I learn a lot from your posts, too. I'm also very impressed that you make your own bread!

          • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication


            LOL because I have not made bread today and it is all gone. I have been watching the movie link you sent instead. I sent it to family, but found I was not permitted to send it to people who fight in the nuclear field who ought to be seeing this ASAP. It just won't go. CAN (Coalition against nuclear, Florida chapter) was one. The Ecology Party of Florida was another (they are the intervenors in the Levy County I and II under consideration by the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board as is NIRS). I've sent it to all I can.

            Until I saw that, I thought I knew a little about nuclear power. Thanks again. Everyone at enenews should watch this one.

  • irhologram

    A useful news "peg" (gives the reporter a timely reason to report) if you're interested in trying to raise consciousness by contacting reporters…is Dr. Helen Caldicott's symposium in New York City, March 11-12. For information and fact finding, go here:

    • We Not They Finally

      YES. Everyone needs to tun in to the Fukushima Symposium. You can log in for free, and in real time. The whole two days. Helen Caldicott is also a pediatrician so the grave danger to children is always highlighted. She says that Japan currently is the most "despicable" handling of medical crisis she has seen in her entire life. We are also currently quite upset that Obama and Kerry now want to send Caroline Kennedy to Tokyo to be U.S. Ambassador to Japan. The Obamas would never send their own First Daughters there. So they are sending the Kennedy First Daughter, that beautiful dignified woman who is a national icon? Is that the thanks the Kennedy family gets for supporting HIM? It's immoral and shameless.

  • @stock:..ya, good detective work….
    There were meteors seen in Turkey, San Fran, Japan & Cuba (some on Youtube) the day of the Magnetogörsk one.

    Your template choice for the blogspot sux…investigate the old simple template, or get into the css & nuke some of the 'child' inheriting – it crashed Operamobile on Android- takes 40 secs to get close to load even on Wifi…

    or copy the template here..

    best wishes

  • We Not They Finally

    One million gallons of poisonous crap sounds like (and is) a huge amount. But also consider that millions of gallons of highly radioactive water is being dumped into the Pacific DAILY from Fukushima. The only reason people are hearing about Hanford is because it is right here polluting Americans. But Fukushima is on the way, and it's both much worse, and it's ONGOING. I mean still fissioning, not even "safely [or unsafely] stored" somewhere. But Americans has been dumbed-down enough to think that the only radioactive danger would be a "boom!" — the rest is minimized into "leakage." Well, like Goebels said, if you are going to tell a lie, tell a huge one, and keep repeating it and people will believe it.