by Douglas Black, February 22, 2013
This is very disturbing indeed. Already considered one of the most contaminated places on the planet, the Hanford Nuclear Site, located in the otherwise nearly pristine Pacific Northwest, threatens not only Richmond, Washington’s drinking water, but also water for Yakima, some 50 miles away, and ultimately the entire region.
The site houses water-filled containment tanks for hot, spent nuclear power fuel rods. The 177 water-filled tanks were temporarily buried underground for safety years ago. The plan was to move the junk long before tanks began to leak due to deterioration.
Argument and stalemate by both the far left environmental lobby, the far right conservatives, and the NIMBYs (not in my back yard) which are pretty much everyone with a backyard, has dragged this issue well beyond logical safety.
Recently it was reported that a tank was leaking into the groundwater. The nation had a collective conniption fit when gasoline tanks began leaking and we found a way to rip them up nationwide. This isn’t petrol – it’s radioactive water that will remain “hot” for decades, if not longer. And it gets worse.
Today it was revealed by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee that “an evaluation system wasn’t used correctly” and now it is believed 6 tanks leak. Underestimation is rampant with the federal government so it is conceivable that 10 times that amount, when all is said and done, will have leaked. Remember the recent oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico?
This report has turned into commentary, but it is extremely serious and should be getting much more attention. Money should not be an issue, or “sequestered” to use the phrase of the day. Politics and NIMBY attitudes should be sequestered, immediately.