CBS News: U.S. nuclear waste leak a “major emergency problem” — Most dangerous substances known to science — “A ticking time bomb” (VIDEO)

Published: February 26th, 2013 at 1:18 pm ET
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25 comments


Title: Nuclear waste leak in Wash. “scandalous,” expert says
Source: CBS News
Date: Feb. 26, 2013

CBS News contributor Michio Kaku, a physics professor at the City University of New York: It is scandalous […] we’re leaking nuclear waste dating all the way back to the Nagaski bomb […]

A toxic witches brew of chemicals, the most dangerous known to science like plutonium, enriched uranium, nitric acid and solvents. […] We have 56 million gallons worth of this toxic stuff. To get this into perspective, to get your head around this, imagine 80 Olympic-sized swimming pools containing the most toxic substance known to science of which two Olympic-size swimming pools have leaked right into the ground and eventually into the water table and, perhaps, even into people’s drinking water.

We have to immediate realize that this is a major emergency problem. The government promised 10 years ago that it’s under control. Now we realize it’s not. They have to take the waste, put it into new vats that are double, triple lined. They have to drill to assess how far the waste is. And it’s a ticking time bomb. In 15, 50 years — we don’t know when — it’s going to hit the ground table. When it hits the ground table, it will go right into the Columbia River, and remember, that’s one of the major rivers in the entire Pacific Northwest.

Watch the video here

Published: February 26th, 2013 at 1:18 pm ET
By

25 comments

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25 comments to CBS News: U.S. nuclear waste leak a “major emergency problem” — Most dangerous substances known to science — “A ticking time bomb” (VIDEO)

  • Time Is Short Time Is Short

    "In 15, 50 years — we don’t know when — it’s going to hit the ground table. When it hits the ground table, it will go right into the Columbia River…"

    What a jerk. It's been leaking into the Columbia River since the late '40's:

    "As historian Michelle Gerber writes in On the Home Front: The Cold War Legacy of the Hanford Nuclear Site, "In 1959, Hanford biologists reported that the number of chinook salmon spawning in the vicinity was only about 19 percent of 1958." Gerber adds that nearby towns along the Columbia were also affected, "In mid-1947, river water at Pasco and sanitary (city) water at Kennewick first showed detectable levels of gross beta-emitting radiation…Values in the river water at Richland were even higher, reaching up to four times that at Pasco by late 1948.""

    http://socialistworker.org/2009/09/21/worlds-most-toxic-nuclear-site

    Ask any of the people who live up there how far back the 'cancer clusters' go. Now we know who signs his paychecks.

    • PavewayIII PavewayIII

      Wow. Great work exposing Kaku as a paid shill for the nuclear industry. Who would have thought? Besides that, he needs a haircut.

      But then again, he was talking about drilling inspection wells so they could map the latest underground plume of high-level waste so we would know for sure where exactly it was and when it would hit the river.

      Your link to Joshua Frank's article is specifically about Reactor B and the nearly boiling hot plutonium pellet cooling water that had been discharged directly into the Columbia River for years during and after the war. They didn't put that in the tanks – they needed tons of it a day. That was the primary source of the river contamination back then.

      They had a few above-ground waste tanks back then but eventually ran out of room and started building the tank graves. Those presumably were not leaking right after they were built, but I'm skeptical that they even lasted their 20-year engineered lifetime.

      Nonetheless, Kaku wasn't suggesting they never leaked and the groundwater was never polluted until now. He's simply saying that we can't wait around for Bechtel to build their questionable magic glass machine to do something about the immediate problem. Nobody want's to pay for the underground plume mapping now because they were hoping Bechtel's contraption would be working. Nobody is even thinking about it – when they do, it will be a two-year debate over who pays.

      • AFTERSHOCK AFTERSHOCK

        excellent posts Time Is Short and PavewayIII…

      • Time Is Short Time Is Short

        In the meantime, they can just dump some of it on the ground:

        "The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) is re-issuing a permit that allows the U.S. Department of Energy (Energy) to dump millions of gallons of maintenance and construction wastewater, cooling water, condensate, and industrial stormwater onto the ground at Hanford on a daily basis…

        The permit would allow Energy to dump more than 2.1 million gallons of industrial wastewater onto the ground every day…"

        http://columbiariverkeeper.org/?s=dumping+wastewater

        Of course, it won't go into the Columbia River, and there is no 'immediate health threat'. Smile.

      • We Not They Finally

        Kaku has done more than most. Who said he was a shill? Don't people know who their friends are? He's been outspoken from the start.

    • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

      Agreed, the leaks have been going on a LONG, LONG time. And it is over 50 tanks that are leaking, not 1, not 6.

      As usual, 'no immediate effects on health'…

      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

      • We Not They Finally

        lets look at it this way….The oceans of earth produce 70& of all its oxygen.That a fact.If we continue to contaminate the oceans with radioactivity we will kill the oceans…We will kill the food chain and we will eventually go back to an atmosphere which will be primarily methane…Is there intelligent methane breathing life out there? If so Earth may become its new home????
        Just an idea? Maybe they will be kinder to earth than we were?

    • Just a guy

      This guy has been tireless in his quest to tell people the truth about nuclear energy, and also warning people of the danger involved, especially with Fukushima and the Indian Point plant in NY, and you call him a jerk. I guess I could ask you how much activism YOU are involved in right now??

  • bwoodfield bwoodfield

    This is the same guy who was predicting an alien landing to occur in 2012. Give him enough cash and he'll parrot anything you want.

    • PavewayIII PavewayIII

      He just got it backwards – we *have* used a rather excessive amount of mind-control rays on that chap. I'm surprised his head hasn't burst into flames by now.

      Us aliens were originally suppose to DEPART in 2012. We seriously didn't figure you humanoids were going to last this long. Can't you do anything right?

  • moonshellblue moonshellblue

    Personal attacks aside he is correct in stating how dire this contamination is to our drinking water and hence the environment. NO NUKES

    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      You can argue that half a truth is better than no truth at all. Or you can argue that he's a liar collecting nuke paychecks while he knows families have been dying for decades, and all he's doing is helping kick the can down the road so more people will die before anything is done about it, while his paymasters can build more death plants.

      Either one works, I suppose.

  • Dogleg Dogleg

    Are they preparing to cover the Fuku sickness about to hit the N.W.?

  • Sol Man

    MSM, you are missing in action in reporting truths of the ruling corroptos. You remember, those that have hung us out to dry. You are part of us. Your connectedness shows what you love.

  • dave14139

    When is the environment EVER an emergency in this country. People are cowed and jaded. Nobody seems to care about anything except whether the stock market is going up. We are brain-dead as a nation.

  • timeofreason

    "… The leaks officials say , pose no immediate risk to the public health or safety… " We've all heard this one before. Just like there is just a " minimal " risk of cancer from fukushima. Clearly , other than those who have kept up on this issue, the general public is completely in the dark on how dangerous and how serious these problems are.

    Can you imagine putting nuclear waste next to one of THE most important fresh water sources in the USA ? What FUCKING genius thought this one up ?

  • timeofreason

    Maybe the same genius who put Nuke reactors on top of some of the most active fault zones in the world … Wow .. if it wasn't for the GENIUS of nuclear weaponry/power, the planet might stand a fighting chance at survival .. Sometimes you grow to big for your environment, and it looks like we humans are racing right for that outcome …