TV: Leaking nuclear material at Hanford was white, “now yellow or light green” — Amount has increased ‘measurably’ — Expert: This waste actually gets worse as time goes on (VIDEO)
KING 5 Seattle: [...] The Leak Assessment Team estimated in October 2012 that between 190 and 520 gallons of waste had leaked into the annulus of AY-102. Last week [ Washington River Protection Solutions] media representatives Jerry Holloway and John Britton repeated those exact numbers to KING [TV] when asked how much had leaked so far. Holloway and Britton said that the tank was still leaking but that there has been “no appreciable change” since last year. In addition they wrote “a significant portion of the liquid has evaporated, leaving about 20 – 50 gallons of drying waste.” But KING 5 has obtained documents written this month by Washington Department of Ecology’s Michelle Hendrickson stating that the amount of waste has increased by a measurable amount. “The area within the annulus that waste occupies has increased approximately 25 percent since Ecology’s visit (to the tank farm) on December 27, 2012. This area increased vertically and horizontally where it extends outward in ‘finger channels’ and near the smaller piece of what appears to be orange insulation foam,” wrote Hendrickson in an April 3 letter. [...] “The edges of the waste material are very wet and are changing color. The waste material that was white (indicated dry waste) is now yellow or light green.” [...]
Marco Kaltofen, a civil engineer and veteran environmental scientist: Every day that you wait (to investigate a leak), it’s more material that you have to dispose of, more stuff gets contaminated and the problem gets worse and more expensive and harder to control. Time is not our friend. This waste actually gets worse as time goes on. It’s hot, it’s corrosive, it eats through its container. It can’t sit there, or it’s going into the Columbia River. There’s no other choice. If your alarm clock goes off, hey, it’s time to go to work. If your alarm in the tank goes off, apparently it’s time to wait another year.