Hanford; Leaking Radioactive Gas Into Air and Toxic Fluids Into Columbia River

There are 177 tanks full of the most toxic, most highly radioactive waste products in the world, all of them concentrated at the Hanford Site. 

These 177 tanks were built in 1943, and are made of concrete and metal. A few of these tanks have double carbon steel liners. The Dept. of Energy knew back in 2001 that at least 67 of these tanks had leaked at least 3.8 million liters of waste up to that point. The only question left is how much has leaked since then and where did these leaking toxic and radioactive materials go?

PNNL reports that toxic and radioactive fluids from these 67 leaking tanks ended up in the Columbia River starting in 2002. PNNL “measured both radiological and nonradiological constituents in Columbia River water during 2002 as part of a continuing environmental monitoring program (Poston et al. 2003). Cumulative water samples are collected at Priest Rapids Dam and at the Richland pumphouse (Figure 4.4-4). Additional samples were taken at transects of the river and at near-shore locations at the Vernita Bridge, 100-F Area, 100-N Area, the Hanford Townsite, and the 300 Area.

These water samples were collected at frequencies varying from quarterly to annually. Results are presented in Bisping (2003) and summarized in Poston et al. (2003). These data show a statistical increase in tritium, nitrate, uranium, and iodine-129 along the Hanford Reach. 

All these constituents are known to be entering the river from contaminated groundwater beneath the Hanford Site (Section 4.4.3). Measurements of strontium-90 at the Richland pumphouse were not statistically higher than those at the Vernita Bridge even though strontium-90 is known to enter the river through groundwater inflow at 100 N Area. 

Measurements of tritium along transects showed higher concentrations near the shoreline relative to mid-river for samples from the 100-N Area, the Hanford Townsite, the 300 Area, and the Richland pumphouse.

The above report makes sense when one looks at the area in which these tanks were placed. One would think that the ‘experts’ in charge back then would think about leaks, and would locate these tanks in an area that was mainly clay, which is good at limiting fluid movement and absorbing toxic radiation. 

However, quite the opposite happened. The nuclear ‘experts’ at Hanford located all tanks in an area that is full of sand and gravel, which is ideal for quick movement of any liquids and no filtration of radioactivity. These tanks were built on top of 200 feet of sand and gravel, which is just about the WORST possible thing to do with metal tanks full of liquid radioactive wastes.
The following report documents dumping of radioactive materials into the Columbia river. 

“The chief findings:

o Sixty percent of the Hanford Reach riverbed of the Columbia River is contaminated with solid, radioactive waste from Hanford’s thorium-to-uranium-233 production campaign. 

o The contamination probably resulted from disposal of solid radioactive waste directly into the Columbia River. This dumping occurred just upstream of the D-Reactor outfall.

At that location, there are remains of an old river crossing, which might have served as a radioactive waste disposal system.”

Even without the above official reports that seem to prove dumping of radioactive materials and tanks leaking radiation into the Hanford River since 2002, we can logically compute what happens, given the fact that leaks have been happening in these tanks since the 1960’s. 
Let us assume that the radioactive liquids ONLY traveled 2 feet per day through this porous sand and gravel. We know, that sounds hard to believe, give the porosity of sand and gravel but let us stay conservative for now. 

If the liquids traveled 2 feet per day towards the river, which is 5 miles away, it would take 13,200 days to get there. By extension, this means the radiation would reach the river in 36 years, from the day the leaks started in 1960. From 1960 to 2013, totals 53 years. Is it any wonder that reports keep surfacing of radiation from Hanford entering the Columbia river?

Here is a specific listing of hundreds of types of radioactive isotopes that have been categorized and listed. “In this report you will find a listing of the names of 237 radionuclides that Hanford released into the air and into the Columbia River. This report will also briefly describe what would need to be done to estimate the amount released for each of the radionuclides. 

Meanwhile, the government and agency in charge of cleaning up the site downplays the dangers of radiation, as seen in the video above. They all consistently claim that only 1 to possibly 5 tanks started leaking recently, but that they pose no hazard to health. This news report is consistent with the nuclear industry strategy of denial, minimization, and outright coverup of what is really going on with radioactive substances.

Even the state governor standing up and asking for action at Hanford is way off the mark as far as knowing or admitting to what is REALLY going on.

Now that we have discussed the leaking of radioactive fluids into the Hanford River, which serves as the drinking water for many communities, let’s dive into the radioactive air emissions that have been going on since Hanford was built and operating. 

According to KING 5 News, April 5, 2013 (h/t Anonymous tip): The Department of Energy (DOE) issued a statement Friday insisting a hydrogen gas release at Hanford last month was not an unexpected event. But the DOE does not challenge KING 5’s exclusive report disputing the duration of the potentially dangerous release. 

On Thursday, KING 5 challenged the DOE’s assessment of the March 15th release, which stated it was an expected 36-hour event. Based on information from confidential sources, KING 5 learned the release actually lasted much longer, up to five days. […] KING 5 maintains the duration and intensity of the release elevate it beyond what could be considered “expected.” […]


Official government and nuclear industry reports claim that there is nothing really going on at Hanford that is cause for alarm. However, just in the two sections above, anyone with common sense can see that the Hanford is a deadly, toxic waste dump that is releasing harmful radioactive substances into the air, groundwater and the Columbia river as well. To say this constant leaking and spewing of radiation into the surrounding environment and nearby communities stinks to the the height of extreme hubris. 

Could it be that there is a whole industry built on secrets, lies, deception and coverups? 

Art And Science Of Deception; Global Corporations And The 1% http://agreenroad.blogspot.com/p/corporations-art-and-science-of.html

When will we learn that nuclear energy is not meant for human beings? Nuclear power is too dangerous, too toxic, too invisible to trust ordinary humans with it, while at the same time tempting them with huge bonuses, perks, subsidies, and pork barrel spending. Remember what happened in the Greek tragedy to the boy who flew too close to the sun?   

Hanford – Leaking Radioactive Gas Into Air and Toxic Fluids Into Columbia River; via @AGreenRoad

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