Northwest Public Radio, NPR network, Mar. 3, 2014 (emphasis added): Dam operators are struggling to find a solution for a major underwater crack in the Wanapum Dam. It spans the Columbia River in central Washington [...] The worst-case scenario is if the spillway was to topple. But [Thomas Stredwick, Grant County Public Utility District] thinks other sections of the dam would hold on and downstream communities should be safe. >> Listen to the broadcast here
AP, Mar. 3, 2014: [...] Pressure caused a slight bowing in the dam that was first detected Feb. 24 by a staff member who noticed a curb on the road on top of the spillway was out of alignment. Engineers sent down divers who discovered the crack Thursday, 75-feet below the waterline. The crack extends all 65 feet across the monolith, which is 126 feet tall and 92 feet thick. Stredwick doesn’t think the crack extend all the way through the pier [...] about 20 miles downriver is the Priest Rapids dam, near the Hanford nuclear reservation.
KIMA-TV, Mar. 2, 2014:
KIMA: The Wanapum Dam built almost 50 years ago has a crack in it. Officials don’t know how it happened, and neighbors are worried.
Kyle Rosskelly: “The aging of these structures and we should be on top of it, so if there’s something we could have done to prevent it, it’s pretty surprising it hasn’t been done.”
Thomas Stredwick, Grant County Public Utility District: “That’s what they’re really inspecting at this time, so right now, we don’t have any information either way. What we’re doing is stabilizing” […]
KIMA: Kyle is still concerned about the worst-case scenario.
Kyle: “It’s pretty crazy. It’s one of the biggest dams in the state, and it’s going to be a catastrophe if something happens.”
Published: March 4th, 2014 at 1:02 am ET
- Emergency plan activated after ‘massive’ crack found in dam near nuclear site — Official: ‘Serious problem’; Failure risk ‘sufficiently high’ — NOAA: “Potential for rapid increase in flows” — Gov’t: Flooding could release radioactive waste from Hanford (VIDEO) March 2, 2014
- TV: Is cracked dam a ticking time bomb? “Next 24-48 Hours Critical” — “Preparing for worst-case scenario” — No ‘immediate’ threat — Feds monitor structure, ‘sudden release’ possible — “Very few have faced this” — NPR: New photo shows ‘pronounced curve’ — Docks near Hanford nuke site closed (VIDEO & PHOTO) March 5, 2014
- NPR: Rapidly unfolding situation at cracked dam has engineers scrambling — Experts troubled over ‘slip’ in structure — Official “didn’t answer question” about dam near Hanford nuclear site — Major employer in area obviously worried — “Spring snow melt will swell river” — NBC: “Crack in Dam Repairs Itself” March 7, 2014
- New data shows spike in babies born missing parts of brain around leaking US nuclear site — Official: We’re really concerned it remains so high, we hoped it would go away — NBC: Many locals say Hanford to blame — CDC Expert: Cases “not focused near Hanford” (VIDEO) April 24, 2014
- “Very significant” explosion at dam next to U.S. nuclear site — ‘Plasma’ created due to tremendous amount of heat — Same type of phenomenon as lightning — Nuclear site’s fire department responds to blast (VIDEO) December 1, 2015