Content Curated By Darin R. McClure & a few photos

Hanford; Leaking Radioactive Fluids Into Columbia River Since 2002
February 28, 2013, 10:31 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Hanford; Leaking Radioactive Fluids Into Columbia River Since 2002:

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 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 toxics 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.

Even without the above official report that shows radiation leaking 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?

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.

Hanford; Leaking Radioactive Fluids Into Columbia River Since 2002; via A Green Road

More articles on this subject; 


Thorium Reactor Fort St. Vrain Power Station Experiment Failed; via A Green Road

Windscale: Biggest Covered Up UK Nuclear Disaster? via A Green Road

Ozyorsk – Kyshtym – Mayak Nuclear Waste Reprocessing Center Disaster And Coverup; via A Green Road

La Hague; France’s Nuclear Waste Nightmare; via A Green Road

UK Sellafield Nuclear Reprocessing Plant Loses $1.2 Billion Pounds, Then Closes; via A Green Road

Pu-239, The Half Life of Timofey Berezin; via A Green Road

Hanford; Lethal And Leaking; A Race To Armageddon? via A Green Road

Savannah River Site; Most Severely Radiation Polluted Place on Earth? via A Green Road

Tokai And Rokkasho Reprocessing Plants History, Accidents And Dangers; via A Green Road

Dr. Ivan Oelrich; Nuclear Spent Fuel Reprocessing Greenwashing; via A Green Road

Karen Silkwood, An Anti Nuclear Industry Matyr; via A Green Road Blog

A Green Road Beyond Nuclear Library; access all videos and articles by clicking on the Pages link at;


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