February 28, 2013

Nuclear waste leak not surprising

Whoa! A thousand gallon nuclear waste leak in Washington state? Per year?

Some nuclear waste storage tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation are the victim of human and mechanical error. The 177 aging tanks (from the 1940s) had been "stabilized" in 2005. But big oops, maybe not so much.

Now they find six leakers. How long have they been leaking this sludge? The experts are trying to determine that, but it may take months. I'm sure that is not reassuring to anyone living in that area, although federal officials say there is no immediate threat to public safety. What about longterm danger?

This is much more dire than the BP oil leak in the Gulf because there is no available technology to plug the leaks.

53 million gallons of old nuclear waste, some from the Manhattan Project, were stored at this facility. It seems that faulty data analysis meant they did not catch signs of leakage before now.

Betcha other storage tanks across the country are getting another look today. I sure hope the ones across the James River from my backyard (at the Surry Virginia Nuclear Power Plant) are getting a few extra inspections after this bit of alarming news.