CBS News: Worry about explosion of unstable radioactive material at U.S. nuclear site — “We don’t understand the chemical reactions” -Safety Manager (VIDEO) #Hanford

Published: June 20th, 2013 at 1:14 pm ET


Title: Nuclear waste clean-up delayed and billions over budget
Source: CBS News
Reporter: Carter Evans
Date: June 19, 2013 7:43 PM
h/t Anonymous tip

Little is known about what was put in the tanks and how it’s changed since the 1940s. [Donna Busche, a manager of environmental and nuclear safety at Hanford,]  is worried it’s unstable and an explosion during clean-up could release radioactive material.

Asked how a treatment facility can be built when it’s unclear what is in the tanks, Busche says, “I think that is the fundamental issue. We don’t understand the chemical reactions, but yet we’re building the plant.”

Similar concerns were raised in a review by the Government Accountability Office, Congress’ investigative agency. It blamed the Department of Energy for building the plant before the design process was complete. As a result, parts of the facility “may not work and may not meet nuclear safety standards,” the report said.

Watch the broadcast here

Published: June 20th, 2013 at 1:14 pm ET


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13 comments to CBS News: Worry about explosion of unstable radioactive material at U.S. nuclear site — “We don’t understand the chemical reactions” -Safety Manager (VIDEO) #Hanford

  • razzz razzz

    I wonder how many fuel rods it would take to hold all the radioactive waste at Hanford for storage? But it sounds like the Hanford storage waste is worse than spent fuel radioactive waste. Concentrates from reprocessing.

  • jec jec

    Ever hear of a 'circular argument?' Its the old 'chicken or the egg' but in this case someone needs to try SOMETHING. And how come no one knows what was dumped? Was the government alsleep or taking bribes..wait don't answer that..too depressing. So how do we know ANYTHING dumped in the USA is what it is listed? Graft and corruption is alive and well. I hope the Contracting Officer's Representative (COR) for all the Hanford projects, especially the last few years, is ready to stand up and take responsibility for this mess(s). Jail time anyone?

    • RichardPerry

      My perspective:
      No, hanging time!
      The people have to unite with great numbers and take control of this industry, the governments are to close to the industries of nuclear and all are hiding the mistakes and covering up of bypassing safety features when cost over runs occur. They well never correct the errors that cost big money to solve, just like Japan and Chernobyl, how many years will it take to have a proper covering over Chernobyl (NEVER and it is falling apart), Japan needs to direct the ground water from flowing into the power plants (Cost will prevent it from being done properly). This seems to go on at all levels regardless of how bad the results of an accident can cause to life.

  • mairs mairs

    I was just wondering how you reprocess thousands of radioactive dog carcasses stuffed into drums and buried. I know that is not the worst of it there as far as radioactivity, but this seems so impossible.

    • Sickputer

      Re: dead plutonium infected beagles

      SP: They also kept the dog poop from 828 beagles for over 27 years at the University of California at Davis because it is dangerous for the next million years. Over 17 tons.

      No wonder the government is broke… They pay for insane technologies that end up costing millions just to guard Dr. Frankenstein poisons.

      Madness in Tokyo…Madness in Washington, D.C.

  • razzz razzz

    At Hanford the plan now is for glassification (vitrifaction) of the radioactive wastes into some sort of rods using a tremendous amount of heat to do the conversion. Once the cooking vat is completed to do the heating, any breakdowns in the process will not be able to be repaired due to high radiation output of the materials involved (all done automatically via robotics).

    This is at the Savannah River Site, where everything is wonderful while making radioactive waste suitable for long term storage. At Chernobyl, they are finding sand that mixed with melted fuel to form a sort of accidental glassification is breaking down leaving radioactive dust to contend with.

    • RichardPerry

      Vitrifaction has a problem with heat, the rods are stored at high temperature for many generations and if cooled to fast will cause it to deteriorate, all so how can any material last when the atoms of the material are bombarded by radiation. How much damage to the rods at Fort Calhoun when the river flowed throw the storage pools cooling it faster then the on site cooling system did.

  • snukey

    The St Louis Nuke dump from the same era has a newer addition that no one will admit too. Video at link

    • WindorSolarPlease

      Hi snukey

      Illegal dumping has been happening every since I can remember, and unfortunately will probably continue. We just have a lot more dangerous material now, that needs dumping.
      It's greedy insanity.

  • Sol Man

    For very obvious reasons this is the sight that is most at risk when considering the nation's or the world's security. It is too horrible to imagine.

  • norbu norbu

    "There's something on the order of 1,000 gallons a year that are leaking now from these six tanks," says Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.
    Say what? On the order of? One drop is to much.

  • WindorSolarPlease

    Quote…Waste will be leaking into the ground water, it will continue to leak. It's an urgent problem that must be solved.

    It's insanity to have something this dangerous, they can't control it. It's a killing machine. It kills our environment and the people.

    It's not a problem to be solved, it's a problem that needs to end!!!

  • Mack Mack

    Map of "Nuclear Facilities and Seismic Hazards in the U.S."×1455.png