KING 5 News, May 5, 2016 (emphasis added): Record number of Hanford workers sickened by toxic vapors — An unprecedented number of workers at Hanford have been exposed to dangerous chemical vapors since Thursday, April 28. In one week’s time a total of 47 people either sought medical attention… Symptoms reported by workers include a headache, burning nose and throat, nausea, a metallic taste in the mouth, elevated blood pressure, and dizziness… [T]hose familiar with the nuclear site cannot remember so many people falling victim in such a short period… On May 4, two more evacuations were enacted at the site after workers smelled odors and experienced symptoms… “Forty-two employees have been evaluated as a precautionary measure due to reported odors or symptoms at the on-site medical facility since Thursday. Thirty-one employees reported health symptoms while 11 went for cautionary reasons. All have been released to return to work” said Rob Roxburgh of the Dept. of Energy, in a statement sent to KING 5 on Wednesday. Chemical vapor releases at Hanford come from underground nuclear waste storage tanks that vent the gasses without warning.
RT, May 7, 2016: Spike in radiation levels after toxic waste leak at Washington nuclear site — Radiation levels at the Hanford, Washington nuclear waste site have spiked to “elevated risk” after thousands of gallons of toxic waste leaked in April… The recent readings from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) obtained by RT have revealed that a sharp spike in the radiation level had been registered in Richland on the morning of May 5. The readings show the random jump when the toxic fume rates briefly reached around 410 CPM (counts per minute), nearly the highest possible level… As of Friday afternoon, there have been no media reports suggesting that an evacuation or other measures and guidance have been ordered for Richland… The most recent radiation spike comes less than a month after a massive leak was first detected…
RT transcript, May 5, 2016: On Thursday last week at least 19 workers at the Hanford nuclear site were hospitalized after inhaling poisonous fumes, from tasting metal in their mouth to bleeding ulcers and burned lungs.
RT transcript, May 3, 2016: At the Hanford nuclear site in Washington state… more workers sought medical attention after inhaling radioactive fumes. This adds to 19 workers hospitalized last week for the same reason — reinforcing burning concerns about the facility as it’s been reportedly leaking huge amounts of radioactive materials for more than 2 weeks… [Tom Carpenter, Executive Director of Hanford Challenge:] “It’s an environmental disaster, at some point the [Columbia] River becomes so contaminated that you can’t use the river.”… Ecologists say the situation can always get worse. They hate to think what would happen in case of even a minor earthquake in a geologically unstable area that it is. But even in the current state of things with tanks leaking nuclear poison into the environment, Hanford is already way past the ticking time bomb stage.
RT transcript, May 2, 2016: [Tom Carpenter, Executive Director of Hanford Challenge:] “A second double-shelled nuclear waste tank is showing signs of having failed, you find that out because there’s high radiation levels in between the two shells of the tank. There should be no radiation in that space… but instruments they have deployed there show high radiation levels, plutonium, cesium, strontium-90, etc. – well where did that come from? It probably came from the tank, meaning there’s a hole.”… So we’re looking at potentially a catastrophe, a disastrous catastrophe? [Carpenter:] “Every day we’re looking at that at Hanford – I’m totally serious.”
RT transcript, Apr 21, 2016: ‘Washington state nuke plant leaks thousands of gallons of toxic waste‘… Experts say it’s time for every American to be worried.
Published: May 7th, 2016 at 2:40 pm ET