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New Leak at Hanford Nuclear Site is 'Catastrophic,' Worker Warns


#1

New Leak at Hanford Nuclear Site is 'Catastrophic,' Worker Warns

Nadia Prupis, staff writer

A leak at the Hanford nuclear site in Washington state has prompted warnings of "catastrophic" consequences, as workers attempt to clean up more than eight inches of toxic waste from one of 28 underground tanks holding radioactive materials leftover from plutonium production.

Alarms on the site began sounding on Sunday, leading workers to discover 8.4 inches of toxic waste in between the inner and outer walls of tank AY-102, which has been slowly leaking since 2011 but has never accumulated that amount of waste before.


#5

The trouble, of course, is that cleaning up an event such as this is not that simple. As is well known, iron rusts. Probably the best container, say a coated beer can, might make it through ten years. Dealing with stuff with a life time of ten of thousands of years will require replacing the bottle now and then. We only have one periodic chart, and, if you think about, iron burns (reacts with oxygen) just like methane, but at a far slower rate. The Hanford team has a very tough assignment.


#6

Today's events become tomorrow's mythology; and what a myth is coming to life here! Granted, one must be capable of thinking in metaphorical terms to appreciate the cautionary tale so profoundly unfolding.

Nuclear weapons were promoted as the ultimate ARM of DEFENSE.

Some of the detritus of nuclear power plants goes into the production of nuclear weapons so there is a sickening symbiotic relationship between the weapons and nuclear power plants.

Currently, the one spot in the world that was the unfortunate recipient of nuclear bombs (Japan) is the place where an open radioactive wound has been slowly and silently operating like the most efficient weapon on earth--through absolute stealth--in sending its lethal emanations BACK across the Pacific Ocean towards the plant that generated this Frankenstein beast in the first place.

And now there's Hanford. Here again, a place that played a role in beefing up all this alleged National Security via nuclear weapons will prove to be the lethal wound that contrary to Defense, puts thousands, perhaps millions at risk.

Very seldom is Fukushima in the news. And there's this memory hole condition that leads many people to the seductive conclusion that the problem is no longer a problem... or it would be in the news.

There are independent researchers checking the health of marine life along the Pacific Coast and also testing radiation levels.

Cancers take years to develop.

A deluge of Cancer-causing radiations are now spilling out from multiple sources. This is very dangerous and anything BUT indicative of National Defense.

Here, playing with something lethal and arguably opening a genuine Pandora's Box led to consequences that are the opposite of what they were purported to be.

Danger, Will Robinson... Danger!


#7

About 2 years ago I introduced the premise that most people today would find themselves feeling like "The New Natives" as they worked to protect their lands and livelihoods against the 21st century conquistadors: The corporations.

Weapons' producers arguably are high on the list of corporate overlords given the FACT that the MIC budget at $700 billion a year represents a LOT of Blood Profits for those who produce all the diabolical war gear and countless incendiary products.

With the Koch Brothers' hit team so "successful" in leading the way to the deregulation of toxic industries and the reciprocal weakening of the EPA... more and more citizens will be wrestling with filthy toxic Fracking operations' chemicals in their drinking water, coal slurry, oil train derailments, oil pipeline spills, Monsanto's gen-tech aberrations tainting their gardens when the deluge of pesticides/herbicides/insecticides/fertilizers isn't flooding (see Houston now) their communities... and on and on.

Just as Monsanto put the legal burden on the Vietnamese to PROVE that Agent Orange was responsible for their burgeoning Cancer rates; these corporate trespassers will likewise turn the burden of proof around so that innocent people will increasingly lose their health, lives, livelihoods, and real estate equity to the 21st century's robber barons.

Sickening... to say the least (both literally and figuratively).

Oh, and the Koch Brothers, ALEC, The Chambers of Commerce and other "business" friendly types insist that all this is just FREEDOM in process. (It's freedom for those intent upon doing harm and content to hide their dark deeds behind the legal presumption of innocence.)


#8

That's why Earth Mother kept this stuff so deeply buried inside the bosom of the Earth.

When the white man first came and began digging up the Uranium, the Native Americans knew that horrors would come of that. In fact, there were prophecies related to this very thing kept alive by and through oral traditions.

Many posters recognize that the War ON Terror has arguably produced more of it.

Similarly, when entities like The Carlyle Group (composed of former heads of state and such) go around the world brokering arms trades and arms deals (to unstable nations led by ruthless tyrants), are they diminishing the threat of war and terror or augmenting it?

(I can hear Marlon Brando take on his Godfather persona to add here: It's just business.)

Then, too, all this emphasis on using such deadly ordnance to build bombs ends up crippling those who built them... and by those I mean, the nation responsible for bringing radioactive death to citizens of Japan and learning NOTHING from that. (Karmic blow-back in action!)

I know that many good people learned plenty. However, the individuals who identified with militarism and turned Defense into their career calling learned nothing. And since the weapons (and their usage) fall under THEIR purview, as I explained in an earlier post, it's come down to a karmic lesson full of mythological implications.


#9

Money has no conscience...
We are continually "crapping" on our doorstep.....


#10

"It's past time to get the waste out of the unsafe tanks." Sounds good but when it gets out, it's like Martha said, "No place to run, baby, no place to hide" because there's no safe place to put it.


#11

Damn it! The dwindling number of atomic veterans have been warning for decades now about the dangers of nuclear weaponry and the nuclear industry in general.
* There aren't that many of us left and the nuclear industry is just waiting for us all to die off. Meanwhile, they use it all for power and staggering profits. Of course they skimp on cleanup and removal of waste. That costs them money!
* I wrote this about Fukushima and Japan, but it can be applied to Hanford, the Columbia River, or any other pending nuclear disaster, whether by failure, explosion, or just leakage into rivers and ground water.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Dragon that Will Not Die

Fukushima, the Dragon that will not die;
I’ve watched it spit its venom into the sky,
And dump its excrement upon the ground
Where generations will expire without a sound.

Dig it up, bury it, filter the air.
The Dragon will spew more poison without care,
Until the ground, water, air, are filled with its foul scent.
And malformed babies abound, with bodies bent.

Always remember, while bucks, shekels, yen and yuan rule,
War, nukes and biogenetics will be just a tool,
For gathering the wealth of their choice;
As they keep billions of souls from having a voice.

Perhaps the People are beginning to awaken,
As they gather to Occupy and steps are taken,
To dismantle the Wealthy and their endless greed.
To plant, in their place, a fresh and viable seed.

Steve Osborn
24 Oct. 2011
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* It is going to take We the People, not bought and paid for legislators and executives, to bring this whole sorry mess to a halt.
* Bernie can't do it alone, they'll eat him alive. We have got to stand behind him, and insist on getting our nation back from the profiteers and bottom feeders that now control it!
;-})


#12

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#13

"Some of the detritus of nuclear power plants goes into the production of nuclear weapons"

No nuclear power waste goes into the production of nuclear weapons.

"so there is a sickening symbiotic relationship between the weapons and nuclear power plants."

Nuclear power and uranium nuclear bombs both enrich their fuels from natural uranium, which makes them natural competitors. Any amount diverted for power use becomes unavailable for bomb use. However, nuclear power plants can consume nuclear bomb fuel, and in fact have already consumed enough weapons-grade uranium to make more than 17,000 ICBM-class warheads--making them a particularly effective anti-proliferation tool.

Nuclear power has no relation to the plutonium used in bombs, but if you mix reactor grade plutonium (extracted from spent fuel) with weapons grade plutonium (which is created in special bomb breeder reactors--like the ones at Hanford) the resulting mix becomes unusable for bombs. Current reactors can ruin weapons-grade plutonium, but are not efficient consumers of it. But reactors are in development which would be able to consume uranium bomb fuel, plutonium bomb fuel, depleted uranium, and current stockpiles of spent fuel.


#14

or as they say in the military...shittin' our own mess kit.


#15

As Portland sings "Fukushima to the left of me, Hanford to the right, here I am..."


#19

And of course this is an old struggle for the First Nations:

http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/the-stream/the-stream-officialblog/2013/8/23/a-radioactive-legacyonnativeamericanland.html

https://www.culturalsurvival.org/publications/cultural-survival-quarterly/united-states/uranium-mining-navajo-indian-land


#20

For those interested in more reliable information about this situation take a look at:

http://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/hanford/article72452207.html

Mike Geffre has a long history of claiming that there are great hazards at Hanford. Check him out by doing a google search.


#21

All the containment will go long before the materials become safe.

They've done all sorts of things, including lots of metal things that crush under water or rust. I believe that Hanford and Oak Ridge are the plants that have or had containment cells that have no bottom, so that the materials leach out into the watershed. Look at half-lives and consider what happens to buildings in thousands and thousands of years.


#22

And then there is that HUGE underrated and seriously under exaggerated MESS named Fukushima-
These FUCKS are rolling the dice with our lives and Oceans- And Obama has signed off on new plants to be built-Unfknbelievable I say!!!!!
We are being led into the Abyss by A bunch of flunky and worthless Reptillian brained low life scum critters in Washington D.C.-
A REVOLUTION is on it's way and it is about time- A REVOLUTION to save this Beautiful Blue ORB and all that lives upon it!!!


#23

Hello Trog,
* You must be a troll pal of Finston. I see he's surfaced again.
;-})


#25

You are nothing short of an idiot and A purveyor of ignorance and stupidity-


#26

Great poem Steve- I enjoy all of your poetry and words of wisdom...


#28

I thank you kindly!
Steve
;-})