NPR: Newly leaked report warns plutonium levels at Hanford may be much higher than claimed — “The Columbia River is at stake, all of that area and its vitality” says Washington Governor

Published: January 18th, 2012 at 8:35 am ET
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Title: Gregoire Reacts To Leaked Hanford Waste Report
Source: NPR
Author: Austin Jenkins
Date: January 17, 2012

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire says construction on a waste treatment plant at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation must continue. This despite serious safety concerns raised by two high-level whistleblowers. There’s also a newly leaked report that warns plutonium levels in Hanford tank waste could be much higher than previously thought. [...]

“If there’s a good and valid reason for us to stop, to slow down, we will listen to any legitimate concern,” Gregoire says. “But in the meantime I cannot continue to allow US Department of Energy to delay and delay and delay. The Columbia River is at stake, all of that area and its vitality.”

The concern is sludge in aging underground tanks could seep into the Columbia [...]

Read the report here

See yesterday’s report: Coverup? Safety manager at Washington nuclear site: Criticality could be probable -- Worried about hydrogen explosion -- Up to 13 times more plutonium than thought, like 20+ Nagasaki bombs

Published: January 18th, 2012 at 8:35 am ET
By
Email Article Email Article
15 comments

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  1. 89 sieverts per hour measured in soil near Columbia River in Washington — Worst contamination just feet from groundwater February 6, 2012
  2. High-level whistleblower: Plutonium may cause explosion at Washington nuclear facility — Design manager warns of ‘dire’ consequences November 22, 2011
  3. Coverup? Safety manager at Washington nuclear site: Criticality could be probable — Worried about hydrogen explosion — Up to 13 times more plutonium than thought, like 20+ Nagasaki bombs January 17, 2012
  4. AP: Radiation-contaminated groundwater feared moving toward 4th largest river in US — Over 200 miles inland — Posing danger to fish, people December 12, 2011
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15 comments to NPR: Newly leaked report warns plutonium levels at Hanford may be much higher than claimed — “The Columbia River is at stake, all of that area and its vitality” says Washington Governor

  • This nuke stuff proves again and again, it is too dangerous to mess with.


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  • Sickputer

    Yes, Hanford is a time bomb waiting to go off in the river. Way to go Governor! Stand up to the bureacrsts from hell you have set in motion the environmental death of your beautiful state! We need your voice and you can mention the F word also (Fukushima).


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  • Sickputer

    Speaking of the taboo F word in US political circles… Notice how all the presidential candidates avoid any mention of the Fukushima subject. Their back pockets are flush with money from such generous campaign contributors who so appreciate their silence.

    As a new voter I voted against Nixon twice and in the 2012 election if nobody will stand against the nuclear poison I will for the first time vote for None of the Above.


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    • Bones Bones

      Vote Paul if it would be possible. lol I don’t think one singular candidate says ANYTHING about the negatives of nuclear power. Not one. So if our only choice is Paul, it is still a good choice. Hopefully, if he is elected he will let the local and state governments take back their power. If that happens, then it will be possible to shut these plants down. As of now, we are fighting a monolithic government and industry and the stated scenario would be our only shot of taking these cancer machines off line.


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      • gr81 gr81

        I agree with you Bones!


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      • HoTaters HoTaters

        At least Ron Paul seems like a rational human being who would at least consider the facts on nuclear if presented with them. He has caught a LOT of flack at his website for having said he thinks nuclear energy is clean energy. I’m guessing the people who handle his campaign have probably informed him about it.


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    • xstatic

      @sickp

      if you are going throw your vote away here’s a guy to throw it away to.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFXXAuDK1Ao

      Vermin Supreme in 2012!


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  • chrisk9

    Hanford and the other old Manhattan bomb sites are a huge problem somewhere down the road. But Hanford is probably the worst since it produced plutonium in large quantities with ancient techniques.

    I worked there in 1977 as a subcontractor and our small crew cleaned out some concrete tanks filled with sludge containing AM 241, and other delightful isotopes. The amazing thing was we filled 55 gallon drums with the sludge, poured some absorbent on top of the sludge and sealed the drums up. This was pretty high level stuff as the drums had dose rates of several hundred milli rem to over 1 rem. When we were finishing up we saw the drums transported across the road and put into a plain old unlined dirt ditch with hundreds of other barrels. Seemed amazing to me!

    Hanford will be a nuclear wasteland forever, any cleanup will only be mitigating and no where near complete. They have a history of releases into the Columbia River that is documented. They have no idea where stuff is even buried. The most amazing story i heard a number of times is how safety workers would find tumbleweed that had dose rates of several rem each just blowing across the reservation.

    Our commitment to building a bomb as fast as possible left no room for safety considerations at the time or in the future and has left us with a few uninhabitable nuclear monuments that will never be rectified.


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    • Bones Bones

      Awesome story chrisk9! Glad you weren’t affect by the waste (I hope. lol) You are so right on all points. I wish more people from the industry would speak out like you. Thanks for the information about how contaminated the area is already.


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  • Bones Bones

    Well talk about stuck between two rocks. On one hand, the containers can, and probably are already, leak radioactive sludge into the ground and groundwater. Ok, so the reprocessing plant would be great since it would harden the waste into glass structures so it can be stored more safely than the big pools. Well, the building was designed poorly, and one can guess “CHEAPLY”, and raises many new questions about accidents after the plant is operational.

    What to do, what to do. Nuclear technology is just not mature enough for large centralized power generation. Business will not fundamentally redesign the cycle because it costs too much time and money. (I.E. Safety is not profitable) Reactor designs will always use the uranium cycle and produce waste as well as meltdown risk and risk of radionuclides being released. (Here’s lookin at you AP1000) Won’t be fixed, it won’t be safe…Ever. Too much cost and too much money to be made now. So, regardless of if this plant is finished or not, the environment will continue to be contaminated there and the rivers and underground aquifers will be full of radionuclides.

    p.s. I think the reason that humans only live 60-100 years is because any human who lived long enough with a heart would kill himself after being exposed to the psychopaths in power, because of greed and profit at any cost, and the idiots (usually because of their own greed, or “I have a family I need this job so all other families can die for all I care.”) who believe them and bend over in society.


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    • Pallas89juno Pallas89juno

      It costs too much to fix, as a problem, as long as our economy is based on money, instead of on cooperation and having basic needs met. A sea change of geometric proportions is immediately needed.


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  • StillJill StillJill

    Yes Bones,…I wonder too.
    I wonder if THIS is simply , “the ME generation”, coming home to roost.


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  • labmonkeywithagun labmonkeywithagun

    Ok,they need to be able to run it through screens to get every run the basically same size particles. I gold mine, heavy metals act a certain way.
    This shit worries me


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    • labmonkeywithagun labmonkeywithagun

      figuring out how to clean your screens every so often. Oil refineries have a setup for gas, liquid shouldn’t be that hard.
      Put I can stir my stuff by hand, even though black sand does have uranium oxide in there


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  • stopnp stopnp

    Awesome! Shut it down!


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