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Hanford ...an update

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posted on Jul, 28 2018 @ 01:09 PM
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Among all of the events in the news today, few have the potential impact as does this topic and yet the topic itself is not part of any kind of national discussion. And likely, this thread too shall suffer a similar fate and soon be lost to the archives here at ATS, but it does make a nice break from the politically themed threads which have taken over much of the bandwidth here of late.

Looking at a selection of stories related to the site, we see a few things:


SPOKANE — Work to demolish the former nuclear-weapons-production factory on the Hanford nuclear reservation may resume in September, about six months after it was halted when workers were exposed to radioactive particles, the U.S. Department of Energy said Thursday.

The agency will implement extra safety measures for workers demolishing the Plutonium Finishing Plant at Hanford, which is near Richland. The plant was involved in producing much of the plutonium for the nation’s nuclear arsenal.

Hanford officials issued a report in late March that said 42 Hanford workers inhaled or ingested radioactive particles when they were exposed during contamination events in June and December of this past year. Radioactive contamination was also found outside plant offices and inside two dozen vehicles, the report said.


Work to demolish Hanford nuke-weapons plant may resume in September

Elsewhere:


In the December incident, private and government vehicles were contaminated with radiation, and some of them were driven into town.




What remains of the Hanford nuclear reservation’s highly contaminated Plutonium Finishing Plant is shown from the air this month. The blue color is from fixative sprayed to prevent radioactive contamination from becoming airborne.


42 workers were contaminated last year. Hanford contractor says it’ll be safer this time

Bechtel, the company overseeing the clean up operation was recently audited and it did not go well for them:


The federal government is reining in the power of Bechtel National Industries to spend taxpayer dollars at the Hanford site in Eastern Washington by requiring many subcontracts to first get reviewed by Energy Department officials.

The restrictions follow a nationwide audit of Bechtel National by the Defense Contract Management Agency that found “concerns and deficiencies”in Bechtel projects for the federal government in Kentucky, Colorado and Tennessee as well as Hanford, where the corporation is the main contractor in a $17 billion project to design, construct and commission a treatment plant for radioactive wastes.

Until the federal government restores approvals for Bechtel, corporate employees must get consent from federal oversight officials for any purchase agreement


After unfavorable audit, feds pare back Bechtel’s spending authority at Hanford

Leaks, not the kind in news stories lately:


Richland, WA

More of Hanford's newest waste storage tanks could be at risk of developing leaks, according to a new evaluation.

Tank farm contractor Washington River Protection Solutions compared the chemistry of the waste in the nuclear reservation's oldest double-shell tank, which was discovered to be leaking, to the waste in the nuclear reservation's other double-shell tanks.

The evaluation's conclusion and other findings about the condition of the Hanford Site's double-shell tanks suggest a need to build more waste storage tanks for 56 million gallons of waste, according to the Washington Department of Ecology.


More Hanford nuclear waste tanks at risk of leaking

It would seem as though the nuclear waste is much more corrosive than they had anticipated it being and as a result, there are leaks developing in the newer storage tanks.



A mosaic of images were fitted together to show the interior of the inner shell of Hanford Tank AY-102 after waste was removed to learn more about why the inner shell was leaking. Radioactive waste held in the tank is suspected of corroding the bottom of the inner shell and leaking into the space between the tank's shells. Courtesy Department of Energy


Still elsewhere at the site:


HANFORD, Wash. - The Department of Energy has announced Wednesday they plan to fill a Plutonium Uranium Extraction Plant (PUREX) tunnel on the Hanford Nuclear Site.

Tunnel 1 near PUREX had a partial collapse back in May of 2017 and engineers developed a plan to fill it with special grout, preventing another tunnel collapse.

Tunnel 2 is much longer, almost 1,700 feet long and filled with contaminated equipment.

That tunnel is also poised to possibly collapse soon. The DoE says it will take 5,000 truckloads of grout to fill that tunnel and prevent it from also collapsing.


DOE filling PUREX tunnel at Hanford to prevent another collapse

In one of the related threads linked at that end of this OP I asked a question as to what might be grown in the farms that could be seen in the area of the site on the other side of the Columbia River, one of the towns has the following on their Wikipedia page:


The Peach orchards were common in the area, and wheat was a major crop as well.[1]


So we know that historically, peaches and wheat were grown in the area. I wonder if there is any testing done of crops grown in this region for radioactive bioaccumulation?

The Hanford Site in Washington state presents us with the legacy of the United States nuclear weapons program and shows the hubris man can demonstrate when taking on a task which has ramifications beyond the immediate generation.

Related ATS threads:

“It was complete chaos" says Hanford worker who inhaled plutonium by shawmanfromny

Hanford, WA: Monunental Cleanup at Hanford Nuclear Waste Site by DontTreadOnMe

Hanford Nuclear tunnel collapases. by Violater1

And that is where we are at, as the saying goes...




posted on Jul, 28 2018 @ 01:17 PM
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a reply to: jadedANDcynical


Nice catch!


We can only wonder the bad results to the environment/life from this so called blunder?

Wonder how much other nuclear waste is leaking away somewhere.....



posted on Jul, 28 2018 @ 01:44 PM
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a reply to: jadedANDcynical

Grapes and apples mainly, but yes they have some good peaches too. Columbia Valley is one of the largest producers of wine in the country, comparable to Napa and Sonoma. Any radioactive seepage would be caught in the wine for those years as well, so it would be interesting to check the 2017 wines for the tunnel collapse signatures.

Also, a few years ago when the DOE found those tanks leaking they found that some have already leaked through both tanks and are now going into the rocks below it. Those rocks and the water running through them and over them all go to Columbia river. Columbia is used for drinking water, fishing and for recreation. If it were contaminated, that contamination could be moved down to more populated areas, including Portland, OR and Vancounver, WA.

Hanford is bad news. And I believe as the oldest one it's just an example of what will start happening with all the other ones across the States in the next decade or two. Nuclear fuel is bad business.



posted on Jul, 28 2018 @ 01:56 PM
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a reply to: jadedANDcynical

Having private contractors who's bottom line is in direct competition with doing the "right" thing is a recipe for more of the same piss poor operations that you thread mentions. For profit companies should have no business dealing with these monumental issues.
Next question is the govt able to do this job right?



posted on Jul, 28 2018 @ 02:00 PM
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a reply to: Kharron

So, the Department of Energy is tasked with oversight on this clean up as well as much of the rest of our nations energy needs. This is no small responsibility given the fragile nature of nuclear energy.
Thank God the oversight of this agency is in good hands.

Opps, my bad.

Indeed the man in charge of this agency, appointed by Trump is none other than a two time failed presidential candidate who when campaigning promised to abolish the Department of Energy. Worse than that, when asked what three cabinet level departments he would abolish, could not even remember the name of the department he now leads.
That would be Rick Perry,




www.businessinsider.com...



posted on Jul, 28 2018 @ 02:22 PM
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a reply to: TerryMcGuire

Rick Perry won't help the situation at all, but Trump and Perry only inherited this cluster#, this has been going on for decades and it's unavoidable. We just don't know how to deal with this and many people will suffer before anyone starts taking it seriously and real measures are created before all the other sites go the Hanford way -- belly up.

There are already conspiracy theories and cover-ups regarding this site and the health of people around it. Years back I was reading that the Hanford area, including the nearest city -- Richland -- already have some of the highest levels of thyroid cancer nation wide. Thyroid cancer can be gotten from the dangerous levels of Cesium-137 that is prevalent in this area. The tunnel collapse in 2017 recorded dangerous levels of Cesium-137 once again. This makes sense as heavier radioactive elements such as Uranium and Plutonium will decay into this Cesium isotope, and Cesium 139.

No one in government will start taking this seriously until people start dying en masse, quicker than cancer.



posted on Jul, 28 2018 @ 02:55 PM
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a reply to: jadedANDcynical

Excellent presentation, kudos.

I remember reading, recently, that DOE funds for these projects and oversight would be cut. I haven't found the article in a few minutes of searching but will continue the search to post.

This may be the worst site but there are many other's. Military sites are without effective oversight. Every Nuclear reactor stores their own spent fuel and waste as there is no place for it to go. So just imagine the potential for disaster.

Then under the EPA - all the other chemical sites needing clean-up - and the agency is undergoing a remarkable downsize.

What could go wrong.



posted on Jul, 29 2018 @ 06:30 AM
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a reply to: atsgrounded

And you think the federal government has a better chance of doing it properly...with their own personnel???

I will tell you the government openly admits they are in no way equipped to deal with this issue.

I happen to work for one of the contractors who is involved in correcting some of the problems found in the audit of the site.

It's a dangerous and technically complex (almost Biblically complex) undertaking.


edit on 7/29/2018 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 29 2018 @ 09:23 AM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

As I said in my post, I will quote it for you. "Next question is the govt able to do this job right? "

I agree with you on the issue of it being very difficult and unimaginably dangerous. Especially when you read that contaminates got out of the site and into cars and into the residential/business areas. There are obvious and HUGE flaws in the company's SOP's. Sounds to me like someone isn't following proven safety practices.



posted on Jul, 29 2018 @ 01:08 PM
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a reply to: Kharron

You are correct, Perry is an idiot; probably one of the worst picks.

But that has nothing to do with the reality on the ground at the site nor it's history, which as you say goes back decades.

One thing a lot of people don't realize about about "radioactive waste" is that it's not just the results of the reaction, ie spent fuel. It also encompasses all of the equipment used to process those materials along the process; everything from tongs to suits to railroad cars, etc etc.

Everything that becomes contaminated becomes "radioactive waste."

And since we can't feasibly rapidly increase the rate of radioactive decay, we are at the mercy of physics.

Hanford is (one of) America's Fukushima Daiichi, it just didn't have a flashy boom after a huge shake and tsunami, but it's going to play out on the same kind of time scale.

Longer than we have written history.



posted on Jul, 29 2018 @ 02:04 PM
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a reply to: jadedANDcynical

thank you for this thread. i live in the area refered to, and have been speaking the horrors of this energy for years.
the bi-product of nuclear energy is mind boggling scary because we dont know what to do with it.
ive met some nuclear power "enthusiasts" over the years, there are quite a number here on this site, and none of them seem to know what they are talking about other than its safe, its good, it creates cheap power.
in my opinion, this is the most stupid and diobolical way of generating power that man has ever come up with.
thanks again for the thread.



posted on Jul, 30 2018 @ 12:40 AM
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originally posted by: Kharron
a reply to: jadedANDcynical

Grapes and apples mainly, but yes they have some good peaches too. Columbia Valley is one of the largest producers of wine in the country, comparable to Napa and Sonoma. Any radioactive seepage would be caught in the wine for those years as well, so it would be interesting to check the 2017 wines for the tunnel collapse signatures.

Also, a few years ago when the DOE found those tanks leaking they found that some have already leaked through both tanks and are now going into the rocks below it. Those rocks and the water running through them and over them all go to Columbia river. Columbia is used for drinking water, fishing and for recreation. If it were contaminated, that contamination could be moved down to more populated areas, including Portland, OR and Vancounver, WA.

Hanford is bad news. And I believe as the oldest one it's just an example of what will start happening with all the other ones across the States in the next decade or two. Nuclear fuel is bad business.

After Fukushima, milk was tested for radiation in the Pacific NW, came up with high levels. Some sources attributed the radiation to Hanford rather than Fuku.

Also, did you hear of the babies born with are birth defects?
"Rare Birth Defects Still Spiking in Washington State"
Source
Report from 2014:

Medical records indicate low rates of folic acid vitamin supplementation in the region, which has been linked to anencephaly. Other studies have shown ties between the defect and exposure to molds and pesticides. Critics have said state and federal officials need to do detailed interviews and a thorough investigation of the central Washington cluster.
Many local residents are convinced that leaking tanks of nuclear waste from the region’s nearby Hanford nuclear plant must be to blame, but Dr. Edith Cheng, a University Washington Medicine expert on birth defects, said there has not been a good evaluation of the plant’s impact on anencephaly or other problems.


Fast forward:
2018 Still...No sole factor in the birth defects:

The possibility that radiation from Hanford or from the Fukushima nuclear disaster might have contributed to the cluster was similarly dismissed. Several other factors were also considered in the investigation.

Source
Makes one wonder if they are intentionally keeping a radiation factor a non issue. Even the pesticide drift.


----------------------------------------------------------------


For an update on the proposed cuts to cleanup money at Hanford:

"Senate’s Hanford cleanup budget rejects Trump’s cuts "

RICHLAND, Wash. — The U.S. Senate has proposed a Hanford budget that is $315 million higher than proposed by the Trump administration. It would restore all but $25 million of the cuts to current spending that were proposed by the administration.

So urce
edit on 30-7-2018 by dreamingawake because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 30 2018 @ 12:52 AM
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Scary stuff, I wonder how many more ticking timebombs like Hanford around?



posted on Aug, 4 2018 @ 08:35 AM
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Many industries produce hazardous and toxic waste. All toxic waste need to be dealt with safely, not just radioactive waste.

The radioactivity of nuclear waste naturally decays, and has a finite radiotoxic lifetime. Within a period of 1,000-10,000 years, the radioactivity of high level waste (HLW) decays to that of the originally mined ore. Its hazard then depends on how concentrated it is.

By comparison, other industrial wastes (e.g. heavy metals, such as cadmium and mercury) remain hazardous indefinitely.

Most nuclear waste produced is hazardous, due to its radioactivity, for only a few tens of years and is routinely disposed of in near-surface disposal facilities (i.e. WIPP). Only a small volume of nuclear waste (~3% of the total volume) is long-lived and highly radioactive and requires isolation from the environment for many thousands of years.



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