Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Hanford’s radioactive waste- no solution in sight

one of the biggest challenges the US nuclear weapons complex, and consequentially, the Department of Energy, has ever had to deal with………… the tanks were leaking, and the government had failed to report the leaks and the spreading contamination……….

Cleaning Up After The Cold War: Hanford’s Tank Waste, Daily Kos:by Page van der Linden  May 23, 2010 “…..the remote sites around the United States, consisting of laboratories and manufacturing facilities, the complex that made The Bomb possible. And unless you’re very familiar with this complex, or you’re a resident of the Pacific Northwest, you may not know about a remote part of Washington State known as the Hanford Site………The facilities built at the 586 square mile Hanford Site included nine nuclear reactors, several spent nuclear fuel processing facilities, support laboratories, and of course, large underground tanks for waste storage, in an area of the site known as the “tank farms”.
It’s the rather complex issue of Hanford’s tank waste that I’d like to address today.

When telling the story of the Cold War, the part that often gets neglected is that the extraction, processing, and purification of plutonium at the Hanford Site was anything but a neat, clean process; in fact, it resulted in a rather extraordinary amount of extremely radioactive and chemically dangerous waste. This waste is absolutely nothing like commercial nuclear waste, and its management has been one of the biggest challenges the US nuclear weapons complex, and consequentially, the Department of Energy, has ever had to deal with………… the tanks were leaking, and the government had failed to report the leaks and the spreading contamination……….

The degree of radioactivity is daunting as well; the waste cannot be handled without extensive shielding. In other words, you can’t just suck the waste out of the tanks and put it someplace else without adequate planning, preparation, and care. It’s really dangerous stuff……..

One of the main criticisms of the cleanup effort is that it’s behind schedule and over budget…………the vitrified waste will eventually be stored in an underground complex, when that becomes available…….There are plenty of reasons to worry about the progress of tank waste retrieval at Hanford, since it’s quite critical to the overall cleanup effort at the site. Daily Kos: Cleaning Up After The Cold War: Hanford’s Tank Waste

May 25, 2010 - Posted by | uranium | , , , , , ,

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