AND NOW, YET ANOTHER LEAK OF PLUTONIUM AND AMERICIUM.
ABOVE: THIS IS HOW THEY STORE RADIOACTICVE WATER AT HANFORD, IN DUMPSTERS WITH TARP COVERINGS, AND DUMP THEM THEY HAVE...ILLEGALLY.
THE WORLD CAN LOOK AT AMERICA'S FAILURE, THE HANFORD NUCLEAR 'SUPER SITE" IN WASHINGTON STATE, AND SEE WHAT WE FACE WITH FUKUSHIMA'S DISASTER.
DECADES OF INTENTIONAL DEADLY RELEASES OF RADIATION IN 'TESTS' AND "VENTINGS", CARELESS HANDLING OF NUCLEAR WASTE, FOLLOWED BY MORE DECADES OF EVER-GROWING LEAKS, WHILE WORKERS AND RESIDENTS DOWNWIND AND DOWNSTREAM DIE, YEAR AFTER YEAR AFTER YEAR.
LAST MONTH, AND CONTINUING INTO THIS MONTH, NEW HIGH LEVELS OF ALPHA RADIATION FROM PLUTONIUM AND AMERICIUM HAVE BEEN DETECTED WITHIN A 10-MILE RADIUS OF HANFORD, LEVELS EXCEEDING WHAT THE FEDS ALLOW BY FROM 5 TO 10 TIMES.
WHAT IS NEVER ADDRESSED BY PROPONENTS OF NUCLEAR ENERGY IS THAT WHAT THE GOVERNMENT ALLOWS DOESN'T ADDRESS BIOACCUMULATION.
IT ONLY ADDRESSES WHAT'S ALLOWED FOR A YEAR FROM MEASURABLE ATMOSPHERIC RADIATION.
RADIATION SETTLES INTO SOIL, FALLS IN RAIN, GETS INTO WATER SUPPLIES, CAN BE MEASURED IN CROPS, IN MILK FROM BOTH ANIMALS AND HUMANS, ON SURFACES, IN ROADSIDE DITCHES, IN PUDDLES.
WHEN HUMANS ARE EXPOSED LIKE THIS YEAR AFTER YEAR, WHAT'S ALLOWED IS EXCEEDED MANY TIMES OVER.
HANFORD'S DARK HISTORY...
For 40 years plutonium buttons for nuclear warheads were manufactured inside the PFP.
Hanford is not a nuclear power plant.
It is a 586 square mile federally owned, decommissioned nuclear weapons facility near Richland, Washington, a town built for Hanford scientists and workers.
From 1943 to 1988 workers produced plutonium for the secret Manhattan Project and later to bolster the country’s nuclear stockpile throughout the Cold War.
During that period, the project expanded to include nine nuclear reactors and five large plutonium processing complexes, which produced plutonium for most of the more than 60,000 weapons built for America's. nuclear arsenal.
Since 1988, Hanford has been a nuclear clean up site only, HOWEVER, besides the cleanup project, Hanford also hosts a commercial nuclear power plant, the Columbia Generating Station, and various centers for scientific research and development, such as the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the LIGO Hanford Observatory.
Since 2003, radioactive materials are known to be leaking from Hanford into the environment.
Hanford is considered the most contaminated place in the Western Hemisphere.
Decades of manufacturing left behind (AT THAT TIME) 53 million U.S. gallons (200,000 m3) of high-level radioactive waste stored within 177 storage tanks, an additional 25 million cubic feet (710,000 m3) of solid radioactive waste, and 200 square miles (520 km2) of contaminated groundwater beneath the site.
An enormous volume of water from the Columbia River was required to dissipate the heat produced by Hanford's nuclear reactors. From 1944 to 1971, pump systems drew cooling water from the river and, after 'treating' this water, returned it to the river.
Before its release into the river, the used water was held in large tanks known as retention basins for up to six hours.
Long-lived isotopes are not affected by this retention, and several terabecquerels entered the river every day.
The federal government kept knowledge about these radioactive releases secret.
Radiation was later measured 200 miles (320 km) downstream as far west as the Washington and Oregon coasts, which means the Pacific Ocean was also contaminated by Hanford.
Were coastal residents warned?
NOR WERE PEOPLE DOWNWIND OR DOWNSTREAM... FOR DECADES.
The plutonium separation process resulted in the release of radioactive isotopes into the air, which were carried by the wind throughout southeastern Washington and into parts of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and British Columbia.
Downwinders were exposed to radionuclides, particularly iodine-131, with the heaviest releases during the period from 1945 to 1951.
These radionuclides entered the food chain; hazardous fallout was ingested by communities who consumed radioactive food and milk unaware of the danger.
In 2007, the Hanford site represented 60% of high-level radioactive waste by volume managed by the U.S. Department of Energy.
THIS ONE SITE COSTS TAXPAYERS OVER A BILLION DOLLARS TO 'MAINTAIN' EVERY YEAR.
AND THEN THERE'S WHAT WE'RE PAYING PRIVATE CONTRACTORS FOR CLEANUP BUT WHO HAVEN'T MANAGED TO CLEAN UP ANYTHING IN ALL THESE YEARS.
AS TIME REPORTED IN 2015:
"Corporate contractors hired to clean up Hanford have made hundreds of millions of dollars in fees and surcharges, and, since little has been accomplished, the tab promises to mount for decades. Since 1991, the US Department of Energy has missed every target for remediation of Hanford’s deadly nuclear waste. Highly radioactive fluids are seeping toward the Columbia River watershed, while in the past two years 54 clean-up workers have fallen ill from mysterious toxic vapors.
THE D.O.E. DOESN'T CARE ABOUT HUMAN WELFARE, JUST NUKES.
Last fall, seeking to finally get some action, Washington State sued the DOE to speed up the timeline and make the project safer—but, on Dec. 5, 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice rejected the request. The express schedule was too expensive, they said, despite the fact that the DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration is planning to spend a trillion dollars in 30 years to create a new generation of more accurate, deadly weapons. In fact, the DOE spends more money now in real dollars on nuclear weapons than it did at the height of the Cold War.
(DO READ ALL OF TIME'S ARTICLE IF YOU GET A CHANCE.
SEE HOWTHE BOMB TOOK PRECEDENCE OVER OUR HEALTH AND SAFETY.)
NOBODY KNOWS WHAT WAS SIMPLY BURIED IN HOLES AND TRENCHES AT HANFORD BEFORE THE BIG NUKE BOYS DECIDED TO ADMIT HOW DEADLY THEIR WASTE AND THEIR 'PRODUCT' IS, AND HOW VERY, VERY LONG IT WILL POLLUTE EVERYTHING NEAR IT.
WHERE DID TIME, EROSION, CARELESSNESS TAKE ALL THAT HASTILY BURIED WASTE FROM THAT ERA?
NO ONE KNOWS.
ANY RECORDS OF WHAT WENT INTO THAT GROUND OR INTO THE COLUMBIA RIVER FROM HANFORD'S EARLY DAYS HAS EITHER BEEN "LOST" OR NEVER EXISTED.
IN AUGUST, 2017 ....
An Investigation is taking place at the Hanford nuclear facility in Washington state, after contractors were caught on film dumping thousands of gallons of radioactive liquid and attempting to bury the evidence at the site.
The dumping by WRPS workers happened in August and violated several state and federal laws.
Videos obtained by Seattle’s KING-TV investigators show workers at the Hanford facility’s Plutonium Finishing Plant dumping liquids from large metal containers with labels reading: “Caution: radioactive materials.”
The workers are employed by Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS), the organization responsible for cleaning approximately 53 million gallons of high-level radioactive and chemical waste stored in the containers at Hanford.
A contract shows the company would earn $58,333 for each hose that was removed, for a total of more than $1 million dollars, if they finished the project by September 30.
WRPS dumped the toxic liquid in order to meet their deadline, said Tom Carpenter, executive director at Hanford Challenge, a watchdog organization working to keep contractors working at the facility accountable.
“They are here for the money and that’s it,” Carpenter told KING. “This fee structure ignores human nature, which is to take shortcuts to get the money without any accountability unless they get caught.”
After seeing the recent footage of workers dumping the toxic waste at the site, state Representative Gerry Pollet said, “It’s a crime. I’m convinced by looking at this that you’re witnessing a criminal violation of several statues, not just one.”
In August, the company tested more than 300 workers, and found 20 percent tested positive for radiation contamination.
WHICH BRINGS US TO LAST MONTH...From Seattle Times, 5 days ago.
A state official, citing elevated readings of radiation across the Hanford site, sends a letter of concern to the federal Energy Department.
IT'S REAL. ANOTHER 'NEW' LEAK.
From U.S. NEWS and WORLD REPORT
Jan. 25, 2018
New Tests Show Hanford Workers Exposed to Radiation
Hanford Nuclear Reservation - Special coverage at The Spokesman ...
Jan 25, 2018 - More radioactive contamination triggers management change at Hanford. Tue., Jan. 30, 2018, 9:12 a.m.. The Department of Energy is replacing the managers of a critical radioactive clean-up project after the continued spread of contamination on the Hanford site.
HERE'S WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE NEWEST LEAKS:
February 4, 2018
The Washington State Department of Health has sent a strongly worded letter of concern to the U.S. Energy Department about elevated readings of radioactive contamination that state monitoring has found across the Hanford Site.
The highest measurements were in November and December, according to the letter sent Tuesday by Clark Halvorson, assistant secretary of the state Department of Health. Air samples, in some locations, had concentrations of americium and plutonium at five to 10 times federal emission standards for a yearlong exposure.
The particles are assumed to be from a demolition project at a plutonium finishing plant, where work has been suspended since December due to the spread of contamination.
Since then, more than 270 workers concerned about their health have requested bioassays to test for radioactive exposure. Results released so far have covered 109 workers and found that two tested positive for having inhaled or ingested radioactive particles.
Halvorson’s five-page letter to the Energy Department said there is no indication of a health threat off the site, but "if work resumes without better controls a risk to the public may develop."
I'VE ASKED THIS BEFORE, BUT WHY DO THESE "OFFICIALS" PRETEND THAT RADIATION LEAKS JUST HOVER OVER THE NUKE SITES AND DON'T DRIFT DOWNWIND OR DOWNSTREAM, DON'T GET INTO OUR ATMOSPHERE AND RAIN DOWN ON SOME CITY FAR AWAY, DON'T ENTER WATER SOURCES, SOIL AND THEN ENTER OUR BODIES, OR THAT FALLOUT FROM ALLOWED DAILY "VENTINGS" DOESN'T AFFECT CROPS, ANIMALS, HUMANS THAT IT EVENTUALLY TOUCHES?
THE COMPLICITY BETWEEN THOSE WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO PROTECT US AND THOSE WHO DON'T GIVE A DAMN IN THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY IS CRIMINAL.
The letter reflects the more hands-on approach the state health department is taking amid concern over the federal response. Test results indicate the contamination spread over months of cleanup work at the plutonium finishing plant.
THEY KNEW ABOUT IT FOR MONTHS, SO WHY DID THEY CONTINUE TO ALLOW IT FOR MONTHS?
BECAUSE THAT CRUMBLING CESSPOOL HAS BEEN LEAKING DEADLY PLUTONIUM AND OTHER RADIOACTIVE CONTAMINANTS FOR OVER 60 YEARS NOW.
THE DAMAGE IS ALREADY DONE AND CAN'T BE UNDONE.
THEY HAVE NO INTENTION OF ENFORCING ONE DAMNED THING.
FINES WILL BE PAID, MORE INNOCENT PEOPLE WILL DIE, THE AREA AROUND HANFORD WILL BE TOXIC FOR HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF YEARS AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WILL CONTINUE TO PUSH FOR AND FUND NUCLEAR "ENERGY".
Americium and plutonium give off hard-to-detect alpha radiation.
It was found up to 10 miles away from the demolition site, a spread Halvorson described as "troubling because of its greater potential for damage … in biological tissue and the potential for LIFELONG internal contamination.
His letter to Doug Shoop, manager of the Energy Department’s Richland Operations Office, requests that federal officials provide a lot of additional information, including worker bioassay results, to the state by March 9.
THE LETTER REMINDS SHOOP THAT CARS LEFT HANFORD IN DECEMEBER OF 2017 CARRYING ALPHA RADIATION THAT CONTAMINATED UNTOLD AREAS AROUND HANFORD.
IT STATES THAT ALPHA PARTICLES ARE HARD TO DETECT AND REMINDS SHOOP THAT...
"From a dosimetry perspective, spread of alpha contamination is troubling because of its GREATER potential for damage (per unit of energy deposited) in biological tissue and the potential for LIFELONG INTERNAL CONTAMINATION.
Allowing alpha contamination off-site is a serious and uncommon issue that we believe should be preventable through best management practices." (EMPHASIS/ALL CAPS, MINE.)
RADON GAS, SAME SITE, DIFFERENT GROUP OF WORKERS AFFECTED IN EARLY JANUARY.
Radon Gas Forces More Than 100 Hanford Workers To Move | KUOW ...
Jan 19, 2018 - The discovery of an "overwhelming presence" of radon gas has forced more than 100 workers at the Hanford Site to move their offices Thursday. This follows a series of radioactive contamination issues at that same demolition project on the southeast Washington nuclear site.
IN MAY OF LAST YEAR, ANOTHER FAILURE AT HANFORD.
Tunnel collapses at Hanford nuclear waste site in Washington state ...
May 9, 2017 - Hundreds of workers at the Department of Energy's Hanford nuclear site in Washington state had to “take cover” Tuesday morning after the collapse of 20-foot-long portion of a tunnel ... Many contaminated pieces of equipment, including the rail cars, have simply been left in the tunnels, he said.
JUST SIX MONTHS PRIOR TO THE CONTAMINATED CARS LEAVING THE SITE, ON JUNE 8, 2017, ANOTHER MAJOR LEAK, ANOTHER FAILURE, ANOTHER 'MISTAKE' BY THE CLOWNS PAID TO CLEAN UP THIS NUCLEAR GARBAGE PILE.
King5.com | Tests show Hanford workers inhaled radioactive plutonium
Aug 3, 2017 - On June 8, approximately 350 Hanford workers were ordered to “take cover” after alarms designed to detect elevated levels of airborne radioactive contamination went off. It was quickly determined that radioactive particles had been swept out of a containment zone at the plutonium finishing plant (PFP)
At the time Hanford officials...[and] officials from the U.S. Dept. of Energy, which owns Hanford, and the contractor in charge of the demolition, CH2M Hill, downplayed the seriousness of the event with statements including, it appeared “workers were not at risk”, “(the alarm went off) in an area where contamination is expected” and there was “no evidence radioactive particles had been inhaled” by anyone.
The KING 5 Investigators have discovered those statements are incorrect. An internal CH2M Hill email sent to their employees on July 21 was obtained by KING. It states that 301 (test kits) have been issued to employees and of the first 65 workers tested, a “small number of employees” showed positive results for “internal exposures” (by radioactive plutonium).
Sources tell KING the “small number of employees” is twelve. Twelve people out of 65 is 20 percent. Still outstanding are 236 tests.
A communication specialist with CH2M Hill sent a statement that more positive results are expected. “We expect additional positive results because analytical tests like a bioassay can detect radiological contamination at levels far lower than what field monitoring can detect,” said Destry Henderson of CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Company.
Several veteran Hanford workers were surprised by the number of people with internal contamination from a single event.
“I’ve worked there for 27 years and I’ve never seen this many people contaminated internally,” said one employee with radiation expertise who did not want to be identified.
“When I first heard the number I couldn’t believe it... So, when I heard that many, that’s just amazing,” said Mike Geffre who retired from Hanford after working at the site for 26 years.
“In 36 years I’ve not seen this many people with internal exposure,” said another Hanford worker who wished to remain anonymous. “It’s a monstrous deal. And the workers know it, but they don’t want to say anything. They’re afraid.”
FEW HAVE EVER BLOWN THE WHISTLE AT HANFORD AND THOSE WHO HAVE SUFFERED THE CONSEQUENCES.
In August 2014, OSHA ordered the facility to rehire a contractor and pay $220,000 in back wages for firing them for whistleblowing on safety concerns at the site.
Several Hanford workers and four radiation experts consulted by KING 5 said the messaging from the contractor and the DOE is “misleading” and doesn’t explain the actual danger to employees.
A 2014 report by the DOE Savannah River National Laboratory initiated by 'Washington River Protection Solutions' found that DOE's methods to study vapor releases were inadequate, particularly, that they did not account for short but intense vapor releases.
NO SUCH THING AS A SAFE AMOUNT OF RADIATION AND ALPHA RADIATIONCANNOT BE COMPARED TO AIRPLANE FLIGHTS, BANANAS OR MEDICAL PROCEDURES!
“There’s no safe amount of plutonium you can inhale or ingest,” said Dr. Marco Kaltofen of the Nuclear Science and Engineering Program, Dept. of Physics, Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
“If you fly from Seattle to DC, you’re in the air for 6 hours and you’re done. With plutonium, the exposure is IN YOUR BODY for days, months or even years. A millionth of a gram of plutonium has a measurable risk of causing a lethal lung cancer. Alpha particles damage or destroy DNA and can cause cancer,” said Kaltofen.
PHSICIANS NOT ON FEDERAL PAYROLL EXPLAIN THE FALLACY OF THE "NO WORSE THAN A CHEST X-RAY OR CT SCAN", THE BS THAT WE'RE TOLD EVERY TIME THERE'S A LEAK AT A NUKE PLANT.
“If I get a chest x-ray or CT scan, that’s a different type of radiation,” said Dr. Erica Liebelt, Medical and Executive Director of the Washington Poison Center. “(But) you have concerns about (alpha) radiation disrupting the cells and causing genetic disruption in the cells and cellular damage. And that’s what causes the increased risk for cancers in three organs: lungs, liver, and bone,” said Liebelt, who is also a board certified toxicologist.
This is not the first breach of containment of radioactive contaminates from the PFP demolition project. In January work was halted after a spread of radioactive contamination was discovered outside the plant.
After that event, CH2M Hill reported that nasal smears taken from workers immediately following the incident found no evidence of inhaled contamination.
Medical experts said nasal smears are one of the best diagnostic procedures to check for contamination.
In the June 8 incident, the contractor did not administer those tests.
When KING 5 asked CH2M Hill why they skipped that step, the spokesperson did not answer the question.
TELLING IT LIKE IT IS...
Site workers who spoke with KING are worried that appropriate controls are not in place to keep them safe.
“They should never have this many people exposed, and what happens the next time around?” said a veteran worker, who did not want to be identified for fear of retaliation. “A lot of people are concerned that they will have another contamination spread and it may cause damage to the environment and to people.”
It is not clear why many of the workers near the demolition project on June 8 were NOT wearing full respiratory protection. Some long-time workers said utilizing the gear is expensive, slows down the work and could jeopardize CH2M Hill finishing the demolition on time.
The contractor is under pressure to finish by Sept. 30 as per a legally binding agreement
with the state of Washington.
“It’s money in their pockets and a feather in their cap to get (the job) done. So, they’ll get [it] done, but at what expense?” said one experienced Hanford worker who did not want to be identified.
[Copyright 2017 KING]
BACK TO THE WASHINGTON HEALTH DEPARTMENT'S FAILURE TO ALERT RESIDENTS AND OFFER TESTING TO THOSE NEAR THE FACILITY.
The department also said it has taken steps to stabilize the contaminates [sic] and also announced a change of leadership with the private contractor performing the work.
In a note to Hanford employees, Shoop downplayed safety concerns. He wrote that even if a worker stayed "around the clock" at a site with the highest reading, his or her radiation exposure would still be under an annual control limit.
Tom Carpenter, executive director of watchdog group Hanford Challenge, says the demolition project is responsible for one of the most serious spreads of radioactive material in the decades of cleanup work at Hanford.
"I have never seen the state Department of Health takes this tone, and request this kind of information. I think it’s totally appropriate," Carpenter said. "This is a big deal."
The 586-square-mile Hanford site has been the focal point of a decades-long cleanup in the aftermath of plutonium production for nuclear weapons that began at the end of World War II and continued through the Cold War era.
The finishing plant encompassed more than 60 buildings and produced hockey-puck-sized pieces of plutonium that were shipped to weapons-production complexes elsewhere in the United States. The demolition work that is now suspended has focused on a facility that reclaimed plutonium.
Halvorson’s letter said the state warned federal officials back in June of air- monitoring results at a Hanford public access point that found americium 241 concentrations at levels more than triple federal standards for a yearlong exposure. A round of worker bioassay tests conducted in the summer found contamination in 31 people.
State officials expected that things would improve in late 2017 — but they didn’t, as the boundary maps for the radiation contamination spread "drastically" from the original commitments made in the demolition plans.
Halvorson, in his letter, notes that the monitoring shows the frequency of air samples showing elevated radioactivity "has trended upward."
A potential radioactive leak was reported in 2013; the clean up for that one leak was estimated to have cost $40 billion with $115 billion more required.
Removal of the leaking storage tanks was slated for 2018 but was extended in 2008 to 2040...while they sit there and leak.
The state threatened to sue in 2008, so the Bush (Jr) administration cut the budget on the cleanup.
Take that, Washington state.
Just sit there and glow in the dark, eat your radiation-poisoned food and shut up.
THE WATCHDOG GROUP, COLUMBIA RIVERKEEPERS, IS TRYING AGAIN TO FORCE THE FEDS TO MAKE THINGS SAFER.
I WISH THEM WELL, BUT DOUBT THE FEDERAL GOVERNEMENT WILL EVER PUT HUMAN LIVES OVER 'BIG NUKE'. THE NUCLEAR ENERGY BOYS SIMPLY DONATE TOO MUCH $$$ TO CAMPAIGN CHESTS.
Take Action: Comment on Radioactive Capsules at Hanford ...
Jan 26, 2018 - With one click, you can weigh-in on an important cleanup decision that decides the fate of 1,936 highly radioactive capsules at Hanford.
The Waste Encapsulation Storage Facility (WESF) houses capsules of cesium and strontium in aging concrete pools.
The Oregon Department of Energy and others have warned that high radiation levels may undermine the integrity of the concrete at WESF. According to the Oregon Department of Energy’s comments on WESF, removal of capsules to dry storage should be “a top Hanford priority.” The agency has warned that loss of cooling water at WESF could result in a major radioactive release into the environment, endangering workers, the environment, and future generations.
HANFORD IS AN ONGOING NIGHTMARE, BUT A FEW DAYS AGO, FUKUSHIMA REMINDED US THAT IT'S STILL KING WHEN IT COMES TO THE HIGHEST RADIATION READINGS IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD.
SEE MY NEXT BLOG LATER TODAY FOR THAT STORY.
Fukushima - MSN.com
7 days ago - Fukushima nuclear disaster: Lethal levels of radiation detected in leak seven years after plant meltdown in Japan.
LETHAL DOESN'T BEGIN TO DESCRIBE IT.