Hanford; Lethal And Leaking; A Race To Armageddon?

CBS 60 Minutes features two videos that you can watch below, about the Handford toxic Superfund site, together with all of the trials and tributions going on around it. 

The worst leaking nuclear waste problem in the world (Hanford) is hopefully going to be ‘processed’ by a new nuclear waste processing facility.  This facility is being built to take leaking nuclear waste tank products from the Hanford facility. But there are problems with the construction, as it does not meet earthquake standards, and quality control is suffering, with inspectors finding defective welds on tanks, etc. 

The bigger problem is that groundwater contamination has happened at Hanford. 16 HUGE tanks at this site are leaking EXTREMELY radioactive and toxic liquids. Many more tanks are in danger of leaking, as they are 60 years old, and not designed for permanent storage.  

The radioactive plume of this highly toxic, highly radioactive liquid is migrating towards the Columbia River. If this leaking underground miasma gets to the Columbia River, it will mean devastating consequences for everyone downstream, not to mention the whole ocean. It could make the whole Columbia River a toxic Superfund Site. It could mean the Columbia River will be undrinkable by anyone downstream, with however many cities depend on it for drinking water. It could also endanger all fish in the river, including millions of salmon coming to spawn. It could mean the end of all fishing on the Columbia River as well. 

In the meantime, the plan is to pump all of this toxic liquid mess out of the leaking tanks at Hanford into this new facility that will process it into glass logs, which can more easily be monitored and are less likely to leak hazardous things into groundwater, air, etc. Presently, there is NO plan to try and clean up the underground plume of radioactive liquid, and it is moving towards the river.

So now the race is on. Will this waste processing plant be finished in time? Will the toxic waste reach the river and pollute all drinking water for cities downstream? No one knows the answer yet. 

But one thing we know for sure. If we had not played with this anti-life toy, it would not be endangering millions of people for potentially BILLIONS of years to come. Now that we have opened this Pandora’s Box, we have to deal with the horrors that we have unleashed.
Part 1
Part II


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Hanford; Lethal And Leaking; A Race To Armageddon?


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