Officials discuss danger of ‘deflagration’ at leaking U.S. nuclear site — “In our common words, a ‘Boom'” (VIDEO)

Published: March 3rd, 2013 at 12:18 am ET


Title: Sunday Spin: Helping to understand Hanford – Spin Control
Source: Spokesman-Review
Date: March 2, 2013

[…] Thursday morning […] legislators got a briefing […]

Jane Hedges of the state Department of Ecology explained the
intricacies of nuclear waste tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation,
doing her best to calm the uproar over recent news that six of the
supposedly stable tanks are, in fact, leaking. […]

Getting the liquid out of the tanks is a problem. First, there’s no good place to put it right now, because the more secure double-shelled tanks are also pretty full. Second, there’s the danger of triggering evaporation of the liquid, which would cause a tank to heat up and create a deflagration.

“In our common words, a ‘Boom,’” Hedges said. Hanford was responsible for making things that could create the world’s biggest booms, but a boom in a tank is to be greatly avoided. […]

Watch footage the presentation here

Published: March 3rd, 2013 at 12:18 am ET


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23 comments to Officials discuss danger of ‘deflagration’ at leaking U.S. nuclear site — “In our common words, a ‘Boom'” (VIDEO)

  • Sickputer

    "First, there’s no good place to put it right now, because the more secure double-shelled tanks are also pretty full"

    SP: And whose fault is it no new tanks have been built? Here we are 24 YEARS into the 30 year cleanup consortium:

    "May 15, 2009 marked the twentieth anniversary of the signing of the Hanford Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order, most often referred to as the Tri-Party Agreement. The signing of the Tri- Party Agreement marked the formal beginning of cleanup of the Hanford nuclear site in Washington state. The agreement, signed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Washington Department of Ecology, established a 30-year timetable for cleaning up Hanford’s toxic wastes."

    SP: I watched Roy Hofheinz and his baseball team build the 8th Wonder of the World (the Houston Astrodome) in just over 3 years! For $35 million dollars which they tell me is $258 million in 2013 dollars.

    Bechtel is building the Hanford vitrification plant and it is unfinished (may not even work) and is approaching 12 billion dollars.

    What is wrong with this atomic waste game plan? Maybe that they still don't know if workers can even move out hot sludge from the leaky tanks into anything… Bechtel plant or new tanks. The stuff is so toxic that it indeed might go BOOM!

    Wake me up when the nucleocrats can afford a couple of new tanks at Hanford.

    • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication


      Thank you for posting. This is one of the most outrageous things I have ever heard or read.

      Do you have a nuclear power plant near you? Yes? How much spent fuel does it contain? How has it been stored? Is it in dry casks? I thought not.

      Do you have a Superfund site near you? Has it been cleaned up?

      Not yet? I thought not.

      In the meantime, trade agreements our government has made (and is presently making) transfer American jobs overseas. We now pay much more money for greatly inferior products and we don't make enough money to pay adequate taxes to support the size of the government we have. We are not only broke, we are deeply in debt and paying a lot of interest on borrowed money.

      There is no way to deal with the stored nuclear waste at Hanford. The last three administrations have been incompetent to deal with extremely serious matters. These plants are living proof of this.

      Where do they get the gall to foist off the continuing cleanup of nuclear waste on future generations? They went for nuclear power in a big way without giving it a thought. Now they are burning other countries nuclear waste here, so nuclear waste…

      • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication


        …is being moved around the world. Are the people protected? Did you see the YouTube video of a truck hauling nuclear waste on the interstate in St. Louis? Radiation is emanating from it and the driver is not even aware of what it is doing to him, much less the other cars. Someone was driving next to him with a geiger counter.

  • weeman

    Tell me even if we put all the waste is double walled containers, yes they give us more time, but the radioactive substances will far outlive the tanks, I wish I had a solution, how does nature deal with it in low constintrations, we need to dilute, small amounts spread out through out a wide area, i did not let the fire out of the ashes, I only want to return it

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      Nature has no way to deal with man-made radionuclides and never will. The solution of dilution is destroying the whole planet forever and destroying the human genome and killing off the entire ecosystem of the world and all life including all humans and all intelligence.

      • weeman

        All I am saying is we should not be storing radioactive waste in large dipositories, as if we have a problem and there will be it will lessen the impact, don't put all your eggs in one basket.
        Yes nature has a solution time, unfortunately we can not comprehend that vast amount of time.
        Insanity runs in the nuclear family and needs to be committed, we need three doctors to verify, I have not heard a word about this from the surgeon general, what is his job description, don't he care.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Nuclear must be abolished. It's unmanageable, to say the least.

  • dosdos dosdos

    "Second, there’s the danger of triggering evaporation of the liquid, which would cause a tank to heat up and create a deflagration."

    What in the world heats up during evaporation? Evaporation is a cooling process, a state change that absorbs heat. All I can imagine is something interacting with oxygen spontaneously in a gaseous state, and that causes heating to a kindling point.

    They need someone with a better background in physics explaining this.

  • irhologram

    Millions of gallons exploding in tanks = X? bombs on a plane or on ships or entire in the entire stockpile(?)
    "Hanford was responsible for making things that could create the world’s biggest booms, but a boom in a tank is to be greatly avoided. […]"

  • irhologram

    The breach may go both ways, compromising the internal storage with air, water. Soooo…it would appear this article points toward the tanks being explosions waiting to happen.

  • jec jec

    Remember the Fukushima steel wall around the plants..there you go..all one has to do..for miles and miles. Makes the Great Wall of China look like a minor project. BUT the US government is in charge–and need to fix it.
    Sadly, some families have paid and paid the Hanford "bills" with cancers, birth defects, autoimmune diseases. Last month it was pancreatic cancer that killed a family member..who oh by the way was the last of FIVE (Mom and three sons) in one home who all died. One family member in the home has thyroid cancer, a daughter of one of the deceased died of birth defects. Other children of the family have fatal birth defects (3 babies to one mother), sterility for some, reversed heart, abnormal facial bone development, autoimmune diseases, and autism. This is a downwinder the state of Washington. Thank you Hanford.

  • ftlt

    They have know of this thret for over a half of a century…

    What makes one think, they will really do anything about it…

    These folk are mad and stupid rolled up into one…

  • We talked about Hanford's explosive risks last week on Nuked Radio, as well as how one whistleblower has been banished to a basement office with no responsibilities as an 'example' to other would-be whistleblowers:

    And, how to make a homemade gas mask:

  • Jebus Jebus

    When it comes to Hanfords Legacy, we are the future generation left with the mess.
    And were not dealing with it…

  • Keen

    When asked by Sen. Doug Erickson "what is the hazard?" (regarding the finished vitrified nuclear waste in stainless steel canisters) and what is our time…the length…of protection we will get"? Russell Daniel (Bechtel "Vit." project Technical director) only answered the hazard part (regarding how safe it is to be in proximity of the finished product) but he did not answer the part regarding how long this vitrified material will serve to protect from contaminating the environment. He did not even ball park it. He did go on to say "the factor for leaching of gas is one fifth of what it is at the Savanna River site". What this means I am not sure but I think it is an indication that this vitrified material is still undergoing chemical breakdown or change. I wonder if this leaching of gas could be the same as the hydrogen production problem Christopher Busby has pointed out that brings to question the putting of large quantities of nuclear wast in closed unventilated containers and repositories for long periods of time? He did however indicate that this technology has been tried and is proven. That may be so, except it is only at this point proven for ten or twenty years at best on the most successful batches. I still would like to hear his answer to "what is the length of protection we will get?".

    I hope this all is not Pandora's box just waiting for its time to go "boom". I am sure those working on and who know this situation are hoping the same…

  • JoshuaNB

    'They' say there is no danger. I have lived here since 1979. Had radiation poisoning so severe my nerves were shattered. I was 'cured' by Quantum Physics. The world is governed by evilness, and 'they' knew what they were doing from the start. This, along with all the other destruction 'they' have inflicted upon an innocent planet, fits in perfectly with what God said would happen, in the end, in Rev. 6.

  • dave14139

    Build some double-walled above ground tanks and transfer the waste. Stop doing nothing and get moving!

  • Keen

    Does anyone know exactly what the statement "the factor for leaching of gas is one fifth of what it is at the Savanna River site" means. I am fairly certain this is in reference the finished (vitrified) treated waste. Does anyone have a better idea of this?

    • razzz razzz

      I can't help you on that one because I not sure what it is pertaining to. But keep in mind that when they heat up a batch of radioactive goop to turn it into radioactive molten glass to make logs or whatever that there is off gassing that has to be filtered (and then the filters have to be disposed of).

      How well the filters work I don't know. There is off gassing when they are pre-treating the goop with chemicals before heating and that process has to be filtered too. It's all radioactive gas, solids or liquids being processed and created.

      Reading material…

      • PavewayIII PavewayIII

        The filters only catch particulates, not gasses. They're just going to vent the residual gas into the atmosphere.

        Radioactive noble gasses can be separated out with some effort – not sure if that's in the plans at all.

        The gas everyone should be worried about is tritium. That has been vented out of the tanks for, oh… sixty years or more. 24×7.

        You're not suppose to know that radioactive tritium gas cannot be filtered out *at all*. They can't even separate tritium from regular hydrogen without enormous effort, much less any other gas. Even then, separation is only possible in tiny amounts in a lab. No filtering technology or molecular sieves or activated charcoal or anything easy like that.

        Reactor operators will claim tritium constantly produced by SFPs and secondary containment is not vented directly into the atmosphere. They will say they maintain negative pressure inside the reactor buildings, constantly collect the air and *scrub* it – with filters to remove anything harmful. Which is great if you were expecting to capture plutonium dust wafting around the building.

        The clean, filtered, tritium-filled gas after the filter? That's vented directly outside because it's harmless. You're breathing that if you're downwind.

        How is this related to Hanford? The tanks would blow themselves to bits if they didn't filter and vent them 24×7. They spew tons of tritium.

  • Keen

    Thanks razz, Interesting material. unfortunately I do not get through such things very quickly but I will look at it. I do find it interesting from the start.