“U.S. state on alert after nuclear waste leak” — Governor: “This is most disturbing news”… No ‘immediate’ public health threat #Hanford
US state on alert after nuclear waste leak […] HEIGHTENED radioactivity levels have been found outside a nuclear waste tank in the US state of Washington, officials say, in a new alert about a site used to make Cold War-era bombs. Governor Jay Inslee said there was no immediate public health threat […] A spokeswoman for Washington state’s Ecology Department explained why the new finding was so disturbing. “Until last night, it was thought the leak was contained in the outer shell, but workers detected elevated radioactivity levels within the leak detection pit,” Erica Holmes said.
The elevated reading, however, doesn’t pose an immediate public health threat, [Washington Gov. Jay Inslee] said. “This is most disturbing news for Washington,” the governor said in a statement. […]
KING 5 News
[…] It appears the most dangerous material on earth is out of its tank and out of their control, and there’s no immediate plan on how to solve the problem. […]
Now it appears the worst case scenario has happened, the waste has eaten through the outer tank wall. […]
But no one expected this […]
A crew working on the leak detection pit pulled a piece of equipment from it and measured a whopping contamination reading — 800,000 dpm,or disintegrations per minute. […]
The [uranium] tailings made Moab [Utah] glow — and not in a good way. For nearly 30 years, the various companies that operated the facility dumped ton after ton of the radioactive sandy byproduct into an unlined impoundment area located 750 feet from the river. Over the decades, this Geiger-hot waste, which ultimately totaled 12 million cubic yards, was spread over 130 acres at a depth of more than 80 feet. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), which took over remediation of the site, the tailings “have an average radioactivity of 665 picocuries per gram of radium-226,” and because the center of the monstrous pile has a “high water content…excess water in the pile drains into underlying soils, contaminating the ground water.”
Some the deleterious consequences are revealed in “The American West at Risk,” an illuminating book whose authors pay special attention to the Moab mill. It’s hard to dispute their claim that it ranks “high in the annals of indiscriminate disposal,” for the tailings each day continue to release “an estimated 28,000 gallons of radioactive pollutants and toxic chemicals into the only major river draining the southwestern United States.” […]
U.S. nuclear site “a true horror story” — Officials should be screaming at top of their lungs in outrage — “Problems could lead to explosions or nuclear reactions” #Hanford
In February, officials announced that six single-shell tanks were leaking. These are not the first leaks; there have been decades of earth contamination.
The decision was made to begin construction of the plant before the design had been vetted. Consequently, there are design problems that could lead to explosions or nuclear reactions.
Senators Murray and Cantwell, et al., should be screaming at the tops of their lungs in outrage. Instead, it appears it’s up to us to make our voices heard. Surely they’d all want to hear from their constituents.
German journalists have discovered barrels of radioactive waste on the floor of the English Channel, just a handful of thousands dumped there decades ago. It was previously thought the material had dissipated. Now politicians are calling for the removal of the potentially harmful containers.
Some 28,500 containers of radioactive waste were dropped into the English Channel between 1950 and 1963. Experts have assumed that the containers had long since rusted open, spreading the radioactivity throughout the ocean and thus rendering it innocuous. But a new investigative report from the joint French-German public broadcaster ARTE has concluded that the waste is still intact at the bottom of the sea.
As part of an investigative report set to air on April 23, affiliated German public broadcaster SWR sent an unmanned, remote-controlled submarine into the canal’s depths, where they discovered two nuclear waste barrels at a depth of 124 meters (406 feet) just kilometers from the French coast.
Jettisoned by both the British and the Belgians, the containers hold some of the estimated 17,224 metric tons of low-level radioactive waste dumped in the English Channel’s underwater valley known as Hurd’s Deep, just north of the isle of Alderney, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The British barrels are estimated to have contained 58 trillion becquerels (units of radioactivity), while the Belgian barrels held some 2.4 trillion bequerels. By way of comparison, the European Union’s limit for drinking water is 10 becquerels per liter.
“We think that there are still many more undamaged barrels below,” SWR journalist Thomas Reutter told SPIEGEL ONLINE, adding that it was very unlikely that the broadcaster’s expedition uncovered the only intact containers in existence.
‘High Potential for Danger’
In response to the discovery, members of Germany’s environmentalist Green Party have called for the barrels to be removed from the channel, SWR reports. “I believe that at such shallow depths these barrels pose a high potential for danger,” Green Party parliamentarian and nuclear policy spokesperson Sylvia Kotting-Uhl told the broadcaster. “And it’s not for nothing that dumping in the ocean has been forbidden for 20 years.”
Hartmut Nies, a German oceanic expert for the IAEA, is also in favor of removing the waste. “If it’s not too complex, then of course they should be removed,” he told SWR.
In response to a parliamentary inquiry from the Green Party in August 2012, entitled “Final Disposal Site Ocean Floor,” the German federal government stated: “The Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH), as part of its radioactivity monitoring in the North Sea, regularly carries out monitoring runs, which went into the British Channel Most recently in August 2009. The monitoring data contained no indication of emissions from dumping areas.”