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‘Catastrophic' event at Hanford prompts emergency response

Erod

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Off topic but related.....

Wasn't the tsunami in Japan a while back supposed to cause a major nuclear meltdown event?
 

reinoe

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Heh. This is why I, and most of Nevada, opposed to Nuclear waste being stored at Yucca Mountain. It's because the government can't be trusted. If we had competent government I'd be more supportive. But the government was trying to go about the nuclear storage facility at bargain basement discount prices.

On an unrelated topic: I thought this was gonna be another thread about Donald Trump's name being written on college campuses and creating a panic amoung millenials.
 

clownboy

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This is why nuclear power as we have rolled it is a no go. The waste is unusable waste for much too long. Eventually, odds are that someone will mishandle it, that containers will leak "unnoticed", the list of disasters is too probable and too long.
 

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Better not **** up my wine country. Eastern WA produces some of the finest wines in the world right in the shadow of Hanford.
 

UtahBill

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How about the nuclear waste from coal plants? Believe it or not, there is a lot of nuclear waste generated when burning coal....
Coal isn't pure.....
 

Hawkeye10

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This has been a well known problem for a lot of years, and tons of money is being spent on it but we never seem to get anywhere reducing the risk of catastrophic event. Worst case scenario is that the entire Columbia River farming region becomes to poisoned to use for decades. This would be $700 million/year loss of production at least, not counting the losses to fisheries.

Seems like it was 2 years ago that our Gov was complaining loudly to Washington DC about the snails pace on the clean up efforts.
 

eohrnberger

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I think everyone's estimation as to how much impact a nuclear waste release is, is bordering on paranoia.

All the wildlife around Chernobyl, by far the worst release next to Fukushima - which is too early to tell, hasn't died off as much as all the dire predictions would have you believe. That wildlife has in fact taken back the city of Chernobyl, and is living in the ruins of the abandoned city.

In fact there are people still who continue to live in their houses pretty close to the site as well, and form the last I heard, are doing pretty well.

Not really a surprise that life is far more resilient than we give it credit for, but please don't take this as any sort of endorsement of exposing any life to radiation on purpose. Just that life is more resilient against the effects of the radiation than one might think. Not a surprise really, as the Sun has been irradiating the Earth many billions of years, and life has overcome, evolved resistance, to the impact of this radiation just fine.

We can either chose to have nuclear power generation, or not. If we chose to have it, then we need to come up with the best possible and economically viable means to properly handle the waste is produces, and if we are unwilling to do that, then we must choose to not have it.

Of course, nuclear is by far the least green house gas emitting electrical generation we have. So we may not want to permanently dismiss it as a possibility.
 

Beaudreaux

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What is known - reportedly according to the press. The tank is a double wall tank that prevents leaks into the environment. Evidence of a very slow leak was found in the inner wall, so they started emptying the main tank. Evidence suggests that as they were pumping waste for the tank, sludge may have been dislodged that was blocking a small breach in the inner wall which allowed the leak to increase in speed to a point that an alarm was activated to alert the workers that a leak had occurred or was in the process of occurring. The worker investigated and found that the leak had in fact occurred - putting approximately 8" of waste in the annulus area between the inner and outer wall. What is also known is that no waste has reached the outside - no waste has actually leaked into the environment - the double walled tank did its job.

What is not known is how much waste does the 8" measurement actually represent? How long will the outer wall prevent an environmental release? Is there also damage to outer wall as there is to the inner wall? How long will it take to evacuate the remaining waste from the failing tank? Is there a way to inspect the other tanks of similar design to ensure no leaks have or will occur in them?

In summary, it appears that the tank did its job, that the tank was and is being decommissioned because of the exact same reason the two articles were written, and other than the above facts and even though the press is making this out to be an apocalyptic sounding event, we don't know much else other than the reported facts don't support the reported hype and the problem was and is being dealt with.
 

Hawkeye10

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I think everyone's estimation as to how much impact a nuclear waste release is, is bordering on paranoia.

All the wildlife around Chernobyl, by far the worst release next to Fukushima - which is too early to tell, hasn't died off as much as all the dire predictions would have you believe. That wildlife has in fact taken back the city of Chernobyl, and is living in the ruins of the abandoned city.

In fact there are people still who continue to live in their houses pretty close to the site as well, and form the last I heard, are doing pretty well.

Not really a surprise that life is far more resilient than we give it credit for, but please don't take this as any sort of endorsement of exposing any life to radiation on purpose. Just that life is more resilient against the effects of the radiation than one might think. Not a surprise really, as the Sun has been irradiating the Earth many billions of years, and life has overcome, evolved resistance, to the impact of this radiation just fine.

We can either chose to have nuclear power generation, or not. If we chose to have it, then we need to come up with the best possible and economically viable means to properly handle the waste is produces, and if we are unwilling to do that, then we must choose to not have it.

Of course, nuclear is by far the least green house gas emitting electrical generation we have. So we may not want to permanently dismiss it as a possibility.

Wildlife does not help humans. The economic impact of poisoning the Columbia river would be enormous.
 

clownboy

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I think everyone's estimation as to how much impact a nuclear waste release is, is bordering on paranoia.

All the wildlife around Chernobyl, by far the worst release next to Fukushima - which is too early to tell, hasn't died off as much as all the dire predictions would have you believe. That wildlife has in fact taken back the city of Chernobyl, and is living in the ruins of the abandoned city.

In fact there are people still who continue to live in their houses pretty close to the site as well, and form the last I heard, are doing pretty well.

Not really a surprise that life is far more resilient than we give it credit for, but please don't take this as any sort of endorsement of exposing any life to radiation on purpose. Just that life is more resilient against the effects of the radiation than one might think. Not a surprise really, as the Sun has been irradiating the Earth many billions of years, and life has overcome, evolved resistance, to the impact of this radiation just fine.

We can either chose to have nuclear power generation, or not. If we chose to have it, then we need to come up with the best possible and economically viable means to properly handle the waste is produces, and if we are unwilling to do that, then we must choose to not have it.

Of course, nuclear is by far the least green house gas emitting electrical generation we have. So we may not want to permanently dismiss it as a possibility.

Unfortunately that bar for "doing fine" seems to be set rather low. Mutation, lowered life expectancy, cancers, immune deficiencies and such are not generally all that noticeable in wild animal populations. And no, nuclear power is not the least greenhouse gas emitting energy generation. That would be hydro. Power 24/7/365 with no emissions.
 

justabubba

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Wildlife does not help humans. The economic impact of poisoning the Columbia river would be enormous.

and in other newsworthy pronouncements, "dying is the number one cause of death"

there is "speculation that water is actually wet"

stay tuned for more insights as to why highly radioactive, toxic substances making their way to a major aquifer system might have negative consequences
 

Thoreau72

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What is known - reportedly according to the press. The tank is a double wall tank that prevents leaks into the environment. Evidence of a very slow leak was found in the inner wall, so they started emptying the main tank. Evidence suggests that as they were pumping waste for the tank, sludge may have been dislodged that was blocking a small breach in the inner wall which allowed the leak to increase in speed to a point that an alarm was activated to alert the workers that a leak had occurred or was in the process of occurring. The worker investigated and found that the leak had in fact occurred - putting approximately 8" of waste in the annulus area between the inner and outer wall. What is also known is that no waste has reached the outside - no waste has actually leaked into the environment - the double walled tank did its job.

What is not known is how much waste does the 8" measurement actually represent? How long will the outer wall prevent an environmental release? Is there also damage to outer wall as there is to the inner wall? How long will it take to evacuate the remaining waste from the failing tank? Is there a way to inspect the other tanks of similar design to ensure no leaks have or will occur in them?

In summary, it appears that the tank did its job, that the tank was and is being decommissioned because of the exact same reason the two articles were written, and other than the above facts and even though the press is making this out to be an apocalyptic sounding event, we don't know much else other than the reported facts don't support the reported hype and the problem was and is being dealt with.

I hope the early estimates of the size of the leak are not as grossly inaccurate as the early estimates of Deepwater Horizon leak.
 

Hawkeye10

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I hope the early estimates of the size of the leak are not as grossly inaccurate as the early estimates of Deepwater Horizon leak.

A lot of time and money has been spent on monitoring regimes at Hanford, I have not heard that they are faulty. It is the cleanup that is massively over budget and behind schedule.
 

eohrnberger

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Wildlife does not help humans. The economic impact of poisoning the Columbia river would be enormous.
Not advocating that we would.
Unfortunately that bar for "doing fine" seems to be set rather low. Mutation, lowered life expectancy, cancers, immune deficiencies and such are not generally all that noticeable in wild animal populations. And no, nuclear power is not the least greenhouse gas emitting energy generation. That would be hydro. Power 24/7/365 with no emissions.

Yeah, that's a good point there. Hydro is also a zero green house emissions electrical generation. So we have 2: Nuclear and hydro.

Which is less impacting on the natural landscape?
 

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Not advocating that we would.


Yeah, that's a good point there. Hydro is also a zero green house emissions electrical generation. So we have 2: Nuclear and hydro.

Which is less impacting on the natural landscape?

Actually nuclear produces quite a bit of steam, and it's not all clean. Water vapor is considered a greenhouse gas.

As a greenhouse gas, the higher concentration of water vapor is then able to absorb more thermal IR energy radiated from the Earth, thus further warming the atmosphere. The warmer atmosphere can then hold more water vapor and so on and so on. This is referred to as a 'positive feedback loop'.

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/monitoring-references/faq/greenhouse-gases.php

The answer to that last question is that nuclear is more damaging. Remember, you have to store that waste.
 

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Erod

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Water vapor a greenhouse gas? Seems the EPA's and Obama's insanity has infected NOAA as well. That's just ridiculous.

Soon there will be a tax for taking a shower.
 

clownboy

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Water vapor a greenhouse gas? Seems the EPA's and Obama's insanity has infected NOAA as well. That's just ridiculous.

Heh, NOAA didn't need Obama, they went over the edge on their own steam. :mrgreen:
 

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Erod

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Still nothing about this on CNN or Fox websites.
 

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Just seal it and dump it into oceanic trenches for long term geological subduction.
 

Hawkeye10

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Still nothing about this on CNN or Fox websites.

It might be that environmental or local political agitators are trying to keep Hanford on the DC radar so that efforts dont slack even more than they have, and that the 15 journalists in the nation that understand the issue know this and thus resist the effort.... IDK. The main problem is that the plan chosen is so long in duration and extreme in expense that there is doubt that it will ever get done. And there have been lots of problems and delays on top of the plan as well.
 
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