TV: Leaking Strontium-90 is “boiling the material around it” at U.S. nuclear site — Eating through tank liners (VIDEO)

Published: May 12th, 2013 at 9:16 pm ET
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Title: No plan in place when leak alarm sounded at Hanford
Source: KING 5
Author: SUSANNAH FRAME
Date: May 11, 2013

[...] Quick action to address a leak in AY-102 was important given the nature of the high-level waste the tank contains, according to Bob Alvarez, a former nuclear policy adviser to President Clinton. Tank AY-102 contains massive amounts of the nuclear by-product Strontium-90 –- more than any other tank at Hanford. Strontium-90 sinks to the bottom of waste tanks and generates heat so hot it boils the material around it.

“It’s been known for over 50 years at Hanford that high heat loads at the bottom of tanks cause them to leak and crack. This is not unknown,” said Alvarez.

The contents of AY-102 will eat through the secondary tank liner -– the final barrier between the toxic sludge and the environment — faster than any other material at the site. [...]

Watch the video here

Published: May 12th, 2013 at 9:16 pm ET
By
Email Article Email Article
32 comments

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32 comments to TV: Leaking Strontium-90 is “boiling the material around it” at U.S. nuclear site — Eating through tank liners (VIDEO)

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    We'll never be able to relax with these increasing radiation leaks, Hanford, chernobyl, Fukushuma etc, and all unfixable …until proven otherwise.


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  • From the article:
    " It would take a full year for WRPS and the Department of Energy to confirm to the public that the tank had in fact cracked, allowing nuclear waste to ooze out." WRPS is "the private company hired by the U.S. Department of Energy to manage the underground waste tanks at Hanford — Washington River Protection Solutions (…)"

    Only one year? <smirk> Did WRPS get to charge extra for sitting on this tiny inconvenient factoid?

    If "Strontium-90 sinks to the bottom of waste tanks and generates heat so hot it boils the material around it," wouldn't that mean that a whole lotta fission is going on outside of a reactor? Where does all the steam go, then? Why put so much Strontium-90 in one tank that this happens?

    Nevermind. I think I already know the answers, and I don't like them.


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    • We Not They Finally

      The part about "if" and that it will "take a full year [from now]" is just the usual propaganda. They never admit that ANYTHING harmful is in the offing until it has ALREADY happened. Like maybe a few years from now, it will be announced that Fukushima might be contaminating the food supply some time in the future….


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  • getoutwhileyoustillcan

    So, what happens if this crap eats a really big hole, and everything starts pouring out all at once? Could it concentrate, and blow up?


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  • Lion76 Lion76

    This and Fukushima have really pissed on my life long dreams of moving West… =( All I got left is Australia.


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  • Flapdoodle Flapdoodle

    This raises several question in my mind.

    WHY were they saving it instead of storing it in hazardous waste facilities?

    Now that they waited, how are they going to pump it out?


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    • We Not They Finally

      "Hazardous waste facilities"? Oh, you mean those facilities that are STILL NOT THERE? Yucca Mountain was the last candidate to be vetoed for the job. The public should realize that nuclear waste is oftentimes stored ON SITE. Like there were FORTY YEARS worth of spent fuel at Fukushima before the various plants blew up and melted into the ground. True of MANY plants right here in the U.S. as well. So they simply "waited" on it? Not reality. Rather that the combination of evil-greedy-stupid took over from the start, and they thought someone's great-grandkids would solve this later while they were collecting the money now….


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  • timemachine2020 timemachine2020

    I see Hanford as more of an immediate danger to the US right now than FUKU is(which is a really frightning thought).If that tank happens to blow up, it will cause the others to chain react. The resulting fallout would devastate most of the continental US. 90Sr is a product of nuclear fission. It is present in significant amount in spent nuclear fuel and in radioactive waste from nuclear reactors and in nuclear fallout from nuclear tests. For thermal neutron fission as in today's nuclear power plants, the fission product yield from U-235 is 5.8%, from U-233 6.8%, and from Pu-239 it is 2.1%. Strontium-90 is a "bone seeker" that exhibits biochemical behavior similar to calcium, the next lighter group 2 element. After entering the organism, most often by ingestion with contaminated food or water, about 70–80% of the dose gets excreted. Virtually all remaining strontium-90 is deposited in bones and bone marrow, with the remaining 1% remaining in blood and soft tissues. Its presence in bones can cause bone cancer, cancer of nearby tissues, and leukemia. Exposure to 90Sr can be tested by a bioassay, most commonly by urinalysis. Strontium-90 is probably the most dangerous component of the radioactive fallout from a nuclear weapon.
    Natural strontium is nonradioactive and nontoxic, but 90Sr is a radioactivity hazard. 90Sr undergoes β− decay with a half-life of 28.79 years. 90Sr is only one of the many many deadly elements lurking below the ground in those tanks. Is this our…


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    • We Not They Finally

      Also don't forget that it concentrates heavily in DAIRY, which is now more unsafe than ever. But at least a minimal protection is supplementing with non-dairy calcium — calcium citrate or the like. Because strontium displaces calcium in the body. Something like taking natural iodine to prevent it from being displaced by RADIOACTIVE iodine. MANY of the radionuclides replace minerals in the body. so any mineral fortication is good. Unfortunately, it used to be that the best way to get overall mineral fortication was sea products, like seaweed or spirulina, but they are going unsafe, and no one knows by how much or at what rate. Chlorella raised in a greenhouse might be an alternative.


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      • pcjensen

        and mushrooms grown outdoors are big accumulators


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        • hogy

          Yeah—and one can never find out if mushrooms sold in grocery stores, even those labeled organic, were produced indoors or collected outdoors! The store food handlers who receive shipments and put them out don't know. If you can see a brand name on a box one might be able to contact the company to ask "OK, outdoors or in"?
          Me–I just refuse to eat them any more.


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      • We Not They Finally

        We really have no idea at this pt whats safe to eat drink and breathe..At least most of us i hope know to stay out of the rain.Even if it probably becomes our drinking water.This is actually is probably the beginning of the end.At least we wont need flashlights anymore. We will all glow in the dark eventually.


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  • dodge

    It's to difficult to find a safe storage place…
    It's to expensive to actually build and protect a safe place for storage
    It's to difficult to get permits to transport the materials for disposal

    So, obviously we just keep generating more waste – keeping it in temporary storage, and ignore the problem.

    Anything see wrong to you with this situation?


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    • We Not They Finally

      "Difficult" and "expensive" are just excuses offered by the nuclear industry from the start. Excuses that are just a by-product of criminal, callous indifference to human life from the start. It simply was not IMPORTANT enough to them in comparison with all the weapons and all the money to be made.


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    • We Not They Finally

      Whats wrong with the situation..Is its hopeless.Remember Jean Paul Sartre no exit?So many people live in total non understanding of the eventual finish of life on this planet…Sure its a gradual disintegration of the conditions that allow homeostasis of all cellular life the end of the food chain and the lost eventually of the 70& of all oxygen that comes from our seas.This is forever intensifying and becoming more and more toxic for the planet day by day year by year and decade by decade.so far three years and intesifying.With no end ever in sight.


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  • We Not They Finally

    Problem is that whenever the nuclear industry admits that something "can" happen, it generally ALREADY HAS. And here, where they admit that it "WILL" happen, it means that it ALREADY HAS FOR CERTAIN. Unless they have a sudden predisposition for advance warnings because they care so much about the population not getting nuked…..


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  • DeSwiss

    "In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way." – Franklin D. Roosevelt

    :-/


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  • Sol Man

    We are not much more than lemmings with a strong death wish as we pursue war and money. Too bad; we could have loved our children more.


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  • hogy

    The nuke industry & its takeover by the warmongers and weapons industry (aka governments around the world)has created such dangerous exigencies that calling humans lemmings really doesn't do it. How can hundreds of thousands of humans across the planet organise to stop the madness & maybe save a few acres?

    The informed humans and climate scientists in the USA cannot even get our govt to take climate change/global warming seriously!! So how can zillions of others do anything about it?

    I predict the rapid end to democracy as a political institution when things get much worse and mass hysteria results. Of course this is not an original idea–others have been saying it too.


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  • fill er up

    dont worry, the govt will find some ignorant third worlders to dump the so call civilized societies mess on like the people of the mariana islands who we keep in a concentration camp/toxic dump environment.


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  • combomelt combomelt

    When shall we three meet again….
    In thunder
    lightning
    Or in rain….
    ….fair is foul, and foul is fair
    Hover thru the fog and filthy air.

    Exeunt humanity


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  • haizedustrium-1234 haizedustrium-1234

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/37388341@N00/1490593417/

    I hope the officers don’t eat candy there while smoking


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