Governor: “We received very disturbing news today” — Radioactive leak at U.S. nuclear site much larger than first reported — No ‘immediate’ health risks

Published: February 22nd, 2013 at 8:57 pm ET


AP: Six underground tanks that hold a brew of radioactive and toxic waste at the nation’s most contaminated nuclear site are leaking, federal and state officials said Friday. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said the leaking material poses no immediate risk to public safety or the environment  […] “We received very disturbing news today,” the governor said. “I think that we are going to have a course of new action and that will be vigorously pursued in the next several weeks.”

CNN: Six tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington state are leaking radioactive waste, the governor said Friday, calling the news “disturbing” even as he insisted there are “no immediate health risks.”

NYTimes: One tank was already known to have a leak, but the new revelation caught state officials by surprise, said David Postman, a spokesman for the governor. […] But Mr. Postman said it was also unclear how long the additional tanks have been leaking.

NBC News: Inslee said [Energy Secretary] Chu told him that evaluation system of the tank levels wasn’t used correctly, raising the prospect that there may be even more leaks. But he said he was told that there was no immediate threat, a point the Energy Department reiterated in a statement Friday evening.

Reuters: Inslee spokeswoman Jaime Smith said the U.S. Department of Energy received data the leaks were occurring but, because it was not analyzed properly, had not immediately been aware of its significance or notified state officials. “One of the frustrating things we have learned is that the Department of Energy had data that the leaks were going on – and had they analyzed it properly it would have told us much sooner that the leaks were occurring,” Smith said.

Watch: [intlink id=”tv-on-washington-nuclear-waste-leak-feds-just-trying-to-figure-out-exactly-whats-going-on-here-this-has-a-lot-of-people-saying-what-is-going-on-out-at-hanford-videos” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: February 22nd, 2013 at 8:57 pm ET


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30 comments to Governor: “We received very disturbing news today” — Radioactive leak at U.S. nuclear site much larger than first reported — No ‘immediate’ health risks

  • jec jec

    How does one PROVE no "immediate health risk." Where are the data points..or is it just a statement to keep the public quiet? The DOE officials who were responsible for the leak analyis should be fired..not furlowed. FIRE them! Make someone responsible. At least in other countries..if an official makes this kind of error..they are replaced if not put in prison. Its life and death when you deal with radioactive waste. Where is the US government who is supposed to be watching out for the public..not their own paychecks? No immediate danger..let them MOVE to Hanford WA, families and all..

    • 16Penny 16Penny

      Exactly, similar to the log of bs about methane exposure. Repeatedly I have heard officials say that long term methane exposure has no health risk. I have looked, maybe not exhaustively but for hours on google and the best I can find is that it has not been tested (no study exists). Same here, it won't be called an immediate health risk until people start dying or becoming so sick and it is proven that this source is the cause.

      Please do not be placated by their lies. If this is not an immediate threat to you, at least consider that it is an immediate threat to future generations.

    • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

      Actually, it has been 16 tanks leaking for quite awhile… not six, not one. Wouldn't be surprised if even that was low and that 100 are really leaking… much like FUKU.. everything minimized by 90%.

      UK Sellafield Nuclear Reprocessing Plant Loses $1.2 Billion Pounds, Then Closes; via A Green Road

      Hanford; Lethal And Leaking; A Race To Armageddon? via A Green Road

  • ftlt

    This has been going on for decades… In a small way, it is a good sign it is in the news

  • OhioBoy

    As if we should ever take the word of Govt. as being the truth. If these short-bus govt. window kickers aren't blatantly lying to or deceiving us, their incompetence and outright stupidity kick in to endanger our lives and humanity as a whole. Lets face it, half the people working in govt. today are either too stupid or lazy to work at their local WalMart.

  • OhioBoy

    Sorry, I meant to say short bus govt. window lickers in that last post and I do apologize to any mentally retarded people out there for comparing them to govt. employees.

  • OhioBoy

    O'k……I'm back…..and off my anger management medication.

    • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic


      • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic


      • Sickputer

        Screaming is good therapy, but in tight quarters when faced with a rabid wolf… A fire log to the head can restore nature's balance.

        This Dr. Frankenstein nuclear "industry" (a misnomer as we know it doesn't work) deserves a big surprise… millions of townfolks with figurative pitchforks and torches.

        Time to close down the extinction machines before they complete their hidden agenda. Yes, Skynet IS the enemy and not our friend. They will bury us if we don't bury their monsters first.

        They made a big mistake in giving us this world wide communication device. The pixel is mightier than the sword. This digital army of resistance will one day harness the power to throw out the politicians who live off the teat of the military industrial complex. The military will join in when they see their own families at risk. All that is missing right now are a few leaders who will rally the Facebook Billions. Sounds crazy, but the Digital Revolution has not yet even flexed a little finger muscle. Get ready for a new paradigm. Thomas Jefferson would be so proud of this new global invention.

        • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

          Fire log to the head! Yes! Made me laugh, which is also good therapy, thank you.

          Your words are profound, the rally is slow to start, occupy Wall street, needs to be occupy humanity, or occupy the planet, the ecosystem, occupy your damn DNA for shit sake! Get up, Stand up, shut those f**kers down!!!!

          The industry is rushing rushing rushing forward trying to beat the mass awakening, trying to get those damn small reactors to market and installed in everything before the sheeple veil is lifted. They can still make billions more tax dollars if they hurry. You can almost feel the panic in the push.

          Call your elected corporate puppets, tell them. Don't just send an email that will only get you a canned copy and pasted response, call someone, get mad, tell them they are morons to not protect the species. Educate them. Remind them it is not a good idea to drink milk, that has been measured by UC Berkley to be at times over 150% "allowable" contamination, still selling at the store or radiation bio-accumulates up the food chain, better not eat large mammals like cows, tell them not to let their children look up in the rain, it is more often than not, radioactive, even by the governments own sensors, remind them that their pets will be covered in rads when they come in out of the rain, too… in other words, time for the cattle prod, no more sleeping allowed. Truth is on our side, we just have to get it out to the sleeple.

  • Sickputer

    Yes there is an immediate danger. But the cleanup will take another 57 years if they are lucky…more likely Hanford Site will still be leaking plutonium poison underground in a hundred years.

    That still won't qualify as "immediate" to these bumbling nucleocrats. It's never dangerous on their watch.

  • nedlifromvermont

    The DOE and the NRC are the enemy … as Mochizuki says, "They are trying to kill us" … never any immediate frickin' danger … but you may not want to be around in a hundred years or less …

    Nuclear is a bastard technology … we never needed it to beat the Germans or the Japs … and only some perverted big money types insisted on commercializing the technology …

    Which brings us to the conclusion that they had enough money to buy their way through a compliant (stupid) (short bus) Congress …

    And now we need a Manhattan Project to put this heinous technology to bed for good and good riddance …

    and the nuclear work force (whores for the extra pay) can keep their blood money if they clean up the messes (spent fool pools)

    Keep pluggin' 'newsers …. the news is getting scarier, but our numbers are growing …

    peace! …

  • saltyfishlvr

    Not a hazard??? July 2006, the Oregon Department of Energy put out this report of the SEVERE risk from Hanford.

  • Sickputer

    The nucleocrats have been peddling that lame excuse everywhere in the world even when the science tells them you might drop dead. Case in point at Hanford in 2010:

    "Workers cleaning up the nation's most contaminated nuclear site have discovered an area of soil so radioactive it exceeds lethal limits tenfold, the U.S. Department of Energy announced Wednesday with its cleanup contractor…

    Even though it's highly radioactive, the contaminated soil does not pose an immediate risk to health or safety of workers or the environment, said Todd Nelson, spokesman for Washington Closure, the contractor hired to clean up this area of Hanford for the DOE."

    SP: Got that? It will kill you ten fold. But apparently Hanford workers have more lives than a cat…hence no immediate risk.

    And you thought the government madness was mostly in Japan. American nucleocrats taught them how to lie like a snake. In many ways Hanford Site is worse than Fukushima Daiichi. A lot more military grade nuclear poison in the ground and it is a huge toxic area leaking to the river and then onward to the Pacific.

  • Jebus Jebus

    They all knew that Hanford waste was contaminating the ground since the fifties.

    Hanford History

    As Cold War production pressures continued to build, the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 was enacted to build nuclear weapons in total secrecy, without any local, state or even congressional oversight. By the 1960s nine Hanford reactors were producing plutonium. Still there was no long-term plan for safe waste containment. Leakage of high-level radioactive wastes from the single-shelled tanks was already suspected by 1956. Low-level waste continued to be put into drums or open trenches, often mixed with other toxic wastes.

    They outright lie, and the core mass of society just blinks…

  • Jebus Jebus

    To be (ahem) fair, here is PNNL's version of history…


    Nine nuclear reactors and four reprocessing plants at Hanford produced nearly two-thirds
    of the plutonium used in the United States for government purposes2. These site
    operations also created large volumes of radioactive and chemical waste. Some
    contaminants were released into the environment, exposing people who lived downwind
    and downstream. Other contaminants were stored. The last reactor was shut down in
    1987, and the last reprocessing plant closed in 1990. Most of the human-made
    radioactivity and about half of the chemicals remaining onsite are kept in underground
    tanks and surface facilities. The rest exists in the soil, groundwater, and burial grounds.
    Hanford contains about 40% of all the radioactivity that exists across the nuclear
    weapons complex. Today, environmental restoration activities are under way.

    They've known about this for a half century…

    • 16Penny 16Penny

      And since we didn't sell ours to Russia and China but they both have nuclear arsenals, isn't it fair to guess they have their own Hanfords (or worse) as well?

      • Sickputer

        Oh yeah. Not quite as old as the inventors in America, but the Russians and Chinese definitely have many evil atomic secrets. Worse than the US some historians would attest.

  • amberlight amberlight

    The tremendous spike in cancers and other diseases over the last half century attest to the fact that our world has been poisoned beyond repair in our lifetime, especially since the deranged creatures in control are showing no signs of changing their modus operandi.

    There are other factors, such as agricultural chemicals and the recent proliferation of wireless technology that have contributed to our sickly world, but the nuclear waste alone would do the trick. If an alien race were to plan the extinction of mammals on this planet they could have not done a better job of it than we have done to ourselves.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Can't contain it. Can't monitor it. Can't openly be truthful about it. Can't trust anything about it.

  • Sol Man

    This signifies an endemic problem of crimes against, not just humanity, but the entire spectrum of life, everywhere.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Obama White House expands access to federally funded research
    Campaigners herald boost for accessibility of scientific information and say Aaron Swartz case gave momentum's on..

    Let's start with Cornell.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Slightly off topic…
    An Ivy League University Wants To Recruit Local Immigrants For An Interrogation Study

    This experimentation ..the effects of interrogation..on the human psyche..should be interesting…well paying.
    Wasn't this illegal/immoral when the Nazi's did this?

    It wouldn't take any stretch…in proving the US involved in experimentation on humans.
    Those contaminated by Hanford…will become yet another data gathering event.
    Gather the data..prepare to sue.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    PS.Can't leave out MIT..

    Exclusive: Obama considering MIT physicist Moniz for energy secretary – sources
    Feb 6 2013

    “Frackademia” – MIT’s Ernest Moniz, Obama’s Top Candidate for Energy Secretary, Oversees Pro-Industry-Funded Research

  • dosdos dosdos

    "If only we had been as diligent as we were paid to be…………"

  • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

    February 22, 2013. Act today. Tell President Obama: Don't appoint nuclear power advocate Dr. Moniz as Energy Secretary. The President can and must do better.

  • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

    It almost seems like nowadays, a pro local community, pro citizen bottoms up oriented person has about as much chance of being appointed or elected to anything important, as a horsefly being elected President of the USA.