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#300471 - 04/06/17 07:35 PM Hanford Revisited
jgw Offline
member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 1625
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
In 2016 I had a Hanford topic. I thought I would revisit this one. The problem is that gov has spent, literally, over a billion dollars and the problems of Hanford are actually worse than when they started. I addition to that people who work there have been getting poisoned and neither the DOE, or the contractor, will take care of these people. Channel 5, in Seattle regularly reports on this one.
http://www.king5.com/about-us/team-bios/susannah-frame/94586869

in 2015 the bbc had an article on Hanford which, pretty much, covers it pretty well at:
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-26658719

If you google: "hanford cleanup" you can find a LOT more stuff.

The problem is that this has been going on for well over 30 years and the problem just keeps getting worse. Eventually we will lose the entire columbia basin to radioactivity and the columbia river itself is also at risk. I simply cannot believe that OUR government does not have the capacity, or the will, to clean this mess up before catastrophe set sin.

Since Trump has decided that all this cleanup stuff is just a waste of time one can only wonder what will happen next. I would think, given his penchant for blaming history for bad things, perhaps he will point to this one as one only he can get fixed (one can still hope?). One thing is sure - our politics, and 30 years of incompetence, and unwillingness to fix a damned thing, irregardless of party, continues to come home to roost.

Washington state has sued the DEA two times about the problem. They won both cases. Then did absolutely nothing.

On a brighter side I am told that Hanford now has insects, mice, and rats that glow in the dark - thereby providing entertainment to those who live there.

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#300474 - 04/06/17 08:37 PM Re: Hanford Revisited [Re: jgw]
rporter314 Online   content
old hand

Registered: 03/18/03
Posts: 6145
Loc: Highlands, Tx
obviously it is not in the interest of business to cleanup anything ... that costs money which reduces the bottom line, therefore it should be subordinate to profits

it is easy to argue for the free market
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ignorance is the enemy
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#300484 - 04/07/17 01:05 AM Re: Hanford Revisited [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 6762
Loc: North San Diego County
Hanford was not created by business, it is all on the federal government. They produced the material for the first atomic bombs and it has all been going downhill since the 1940's.

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#300491 - 04/07/17 03:18 AM Re: Hanford Revisited [Re: jgw]
Ken Condon Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/14/07
Posts: 3703
Loc: Eugene, OR
OK—so this is anecdotal but:

A neighbor, friend, and sometime business partner of mine (chemical engineer by training) worked at Hanford--twice!--on the cleanup effort. The first time for several years in the early 1990’s and the second time from 2009 until 2014. He hated working there but it paid well and was within his educational wheelhouse. He told me several horror stories about the operation. Not so much from a safety aspect but rather more of the autopilot drone like existence of working there.

This man is not a righty by any means but more a pragmatic type. In a nutshell he told me that the operation should be put in the hands of private parties with specific outcomes within specific time frames spelled out. In his opinion that would be the only way to get the site cleaned up in a reasonable length of time and remain within specific cost structures. Otherwise the operation will continue unabated— essentially forever. To him the operation seems to be a perpetual make work enterprise. There is little coordination between the various groups who are operating there and there is no real goal, timeline, or outcome delineated. His stories go on and on and since I am a second party in all of this what I have written is all I can add to the story at this time.

Since “work” is happening there towards a worthy goal most agree that there is little negative feedback politically. I mean—who in their right minds is against cleaning up a radioactively polluted area next to a major river? And now within proximity to population centers. That is a major part of the problem.
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#300504 - 04/07/17 05:58 AM Re: Hanford Revisited [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 6762
Loc: North San Diego County
I think the real problem is that the feds have to bite the bullet and really clean it up. That means spending a huge amount of money, and moving a huge amount of contaminated soil and rock to someplace safer. Not safe, because no place can really be safe for several million years, but safer than right next to a major river.

They have always done partial fixes that amount to putting a fresh layer of kitty litter on top of a very dirty catbox. And every year the catbox gets bigger because the radioactive waste spreads. But of course, nobody even wants to put the radioactive waste from nuclear plants in their state, and that comes in nice stainless steel drums. Hanford is just dirt and rock and water, hot enough to give everybody in the NorthWest cancer.

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#301462 - 06/02/17 06:22 PM Re: Hanford Revisited [Re: jgw]
jgw Offline
member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 1625
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
It seems that they have already spent over 30 billion on this one. Here is a site that kinda shows what has been going on. For instance, if a company is fined for incompetence then, of course, they get another big contract so they can continue not doing their job. The estimated cost is over 100 BILLION and climbing all the time. I wonder what they are going to do when the bad stuff gets into the Columbia river?

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sdut-us-stimulus-nuclear-cleanup-052809-2009may28-story.html

On the upside there is the entertainment of glow-in-the-dark ants, mice, rats, etc. (people will probably, of course, follow the curve and start glowing themselves)

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#301472 - 06/03/17 09:56 PM Re: Hanford Revisited [Re: jgw]
matthew Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/24/16
Posts: 272
Originally Posted By: jgw

I simply cannot believe that OUR government does not have the capacity, or the will, to clean this mess up before catastrophe sets in.

Perhaps it is time for you to change your beliefs.
.
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#301476 - 06/03/17 11:39 PM Re: Hanford Revisited [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 6762
Loc: North San Diego County
We HAVE to fix this or a significant part of our country is going to become uninhabitable. It is a slowly unwinding catastrophy that is not going to get better if we ignore it. It is not going to get easier of we wait. It is getting worse every year. The half-life of some of this crap is thousands of years. I know Congress can't see beyond their next reelection, but they need to act and they need to act big. Bigger than any other toxic waste site cleanup.

And beyond Hanford, we need to do something more permanent about reactor waste too. Maybe storing it in the desert in stainless steel drums is not permanent, but it is good for a heck of a lot longer than the storage we are using now. At San Onofre, they are storing it at only a few feet above sea level, within a few hundred feet of the Pacific Ocean. Did we learn nothing from Fukashima?

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#301477 - 06/03/17 11:54 PM Re: Hanford Revisited [Re: pondering_it_all]
matthew Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/24/16
Posts: 272
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all

And beyond Hanford, we need to do something more permanent about reactor waste too. Maybe storing it in the desert in stainless steel drums is not permanent, but it is good for a heck of a lot longer than the storage we are using now. At San Onofre, they are storing it at only a few feet above sea level, within a few hundred feet of the Pacific Ocean. Did we learn nothing from Fukashima?

The American ruling classes, unlike the French royalty, Learn nothing, and forget everything!.

My modest proposal is to encase the radioactive waste in glass blocks and dump the blocks into a deep subduction-zone trench, like the Mindanao Trench.

The blocks would be conveyed underneath a continent, and not return to the surface for millions of years.
.
_________________________
Once, weapons were manufactured to fight wars; today, wars are manufactured to sell weapons

No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of Americans

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#301481 - 06/04/17 12:38 AM Re: Hanford Revisited [Re: matthew]
pondering_it_all Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 6762
Loc: North San Diego County
That seems reasonable and not even very expensive. But we may want that radioactive material some time in the future. When we have nanotechnology that can sort individual atoms, for example.

Putting it back into the earth makes it pretty much unavailable. We could just put it into the glass or ceramic blocks and let them sit in some high-and-dry cave, for a few centuries. If we later decide that it is useless even if we can purify it, then we can put it in the subduction-zone trench.

Maybe make glass or ceramic blocks of the stuff that fit inside a lead-lined 55 gallon stainless steel drum. That way it is contained in a drum that will last for many years, is easy to move around with robot machinery, can be moved to a replacement drum when the drum goes bad from corrosion or transmutation, and the original drum can be melted down to become more less-radioactive waste.

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