Wednesday, May 10, 2017

excitement at hanford

Gizmodo | Tunnel Collapses at Nuclear Facility Once Called 'an Underground Chernobyl Waiting to Happen'
Managers at the Hanford Site in Washington State told workers to “take cover” Tuesday morning after a tunnel leading to a massive plutonium finishing plant collapsed. The emergency is especially worrisome, since Hanford is commonly known as “the most toxic place in America,” with one former governor calling it “an underground Chernobyl waiting to happen.” Worrisome might actually be an understatement. The Deparment of Energy declared a state of emergency at the site.
The accident occurred near the 200 East Area, the home of several solid waste sites. The tunnel that collapsed ran to the Plutonium Uranium Extraction Facility (PUREX) facility and was filled with highly radioactive train cars that once carried spent fuel rods containing deeply dangerous plutonium and uranium from a reactor on the Columbia River to the processing facility. Those reactors once produced plutonium for America’s nuclear arsenal, though production ended in 1980. The cleanup process that followed has gone on for nearly 30 years.

1 comment:

  1. Parasites doing what parasites do....,

    Now outrage is brewing at Hanford. Some prominent employees working on the project are blowing the whistle over what they believe to be dismissals of internal scientific assessments, as well as alleged abuses of managerial power that have been called to the attention of the Obama Administration, to no avail. These staffers point to institutional failures within the DOE and Bechtel as toxic as the nuclear waste they’re tasked to clean up, asserting that the DOE lacks critical experts on staff to oversee the project and Bechtel rushed through shoddy design plans in order to pocket some quick cash. The consequences are not only jeopardizing safety and putting the project at risk of failure, they are also likely to cost taxpayers even more money should fatally flawed construction ultimately require a complete overhaul.