Hanford Nuclear Reservation

HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
5:20 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Some Hanford water cleanup moving faster than expected

At the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, the 100-DX Pump and Treat system, which treats groundwater near the D and DR reactors along the Columbia River.
Photo courtesy of CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company.

Cleanup of a hazardous chemical in the groundwater at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation is going faster than expected.

Hexavalent chromium is the nasty stuff that made Erin Brockovich famous down in California. The chemical was used to inhibit rust in coolant water in Hanford’s reactors. But that water was dumped into the desert, and now the carcinogen is making its way toward the Columbia River in large groundwater plumes.

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
5:00 am
Sat March 30, 2013

What makes Hanford's 'TRU' tank waste different from the rest?

Gov. Jay Inslee addresses journalists at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation on March 6, 2013.
Anna King Northwest News Network

The U.S. Department of Energy says its wants to send 3 million gallons of radioactive tank waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation to a storage site in New Mexico. That’s 3 million gallons out of a total of 56 million gallons of some of the most toxic stuff on earth.

But what is different about this waste in particular, and why some groups are against moving it to New Mexico?

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
4:21 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Hanford cleaup slows while tanks leak, tratment plant stalls

Gov. Jay Inslee toured the Hanford plant earlier this month.

Every day, up to three gallons of radioactive waste at Hanford seeps into the desert sand from underground tanks, not far from the Columbia River.

That has prompted Gov. Jay Inslee to tour the remote site along with buses full of officials and media that roll through a sea of sagebrush.

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Business and labor
3:25 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Hundreds of pink slips handed out at Hanford

A sign warning of radioactive contamination dangles from a fence at the 'C' Tank Farm at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, Wednesday, March 6, 2013, near Richland, Wash.
Ted S. Warren Associated Press

Pink slips are going out to hundreds of workers at the nation's most contaminated nuclear site because of automatic federal budget cuts.

About 9,000 people work at south-central Washington's Hanford Nuclear Reservation, which produced plutonium for the nation's nuclear weapons arsenal beginning in World War II.

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Hanford nuclear reservation
10:32 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Inslee: Hanford leaking tank waste removal will take years

Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 10:55 am

RICHLAND, Wash. – It may take two to four years to even begin clearing radioactive waste from leaking tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. That’s according to Washington Governor Jay Inslee. He toured the southeast Washington nuclear site Wednesday.

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Hanford nuclear reservation
9:17 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Sequester To Result In 4,800 Hanford Layoffs, Furloughs

Tobin Fricke Wikimedia

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 5:40 pm

RICHLAND, Wash. – As many as 4,800 workers could be furloughed or laid off at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington. It’s the result of the federal spending cuts known as the sequester. Hanford will need to cut $182 million in cleanup work according to a federal letter to Washington Governor Jay Inslee released Tuesday.

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Other News
3:51 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Washington State University leads new Hanford oral history project

US Department of Energy

RICHLAND, Wash. – A coalition of groups from southeast Washington is collecting oral histories about the the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and communities around it -- from pioneer days to post-war-cleanup. An announcement was made Tuesday by Washington State University Tri-Cities and 10 other community groups.

The project team intends to collect new interviews, digitize existing ones and make them available online and at the university in a permanent collection.

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Health
3:34 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Regulators say leaking Hanford tanks pose no threat to locals

Department of Energy

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Environmental regulators are assuring lawmakers in Olympia that leaking radioactive material from tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation has not yet reached ground water. The comments came at a hearing Thursday in the Washington Senate.

Hanford managers have said six single-shelled tanks are leaking nuclear waste.

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Environment
5:53 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Inslee Expresses Concern Over Hanford Leaks, Other Areas of Site

Washington Closure Hanford

RICHLAND, Wash. – Washington Governor Jay Inslee Wednesday expressed his continuing apprehension over the tank leaks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington. He says as the Department of Energy and its contractors are evaluating more than 100 tanks with a new set of criteria, “I have real concerns about the remaining single shell tanks as well.”

Separately, Hanford managers said Wednesday they’ve successfully cleaned up a major part of contaminated land just north of Richland called the 300 Area.

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Environment
5:57 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Inslee Says At Least Seven Tanks At Hanford Leaking

Department of Energy

RICHLAND, Wash. – Washington Governor Jay Inslee says at least seven tanks of radioactive waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation are leaking, not two. He says the Department of Energy and its contractors have apparently miscalculated data that would have found the leaks earlier.

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Environment
9:13 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Recent reports spur controversy over Hanford's waste treatment plant

US Department of Energy

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 3:08 pm

  RICHLAND, Wash. – News out of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation can sometimes sound like just one critical report after another. In fact, last week a federal watchdog agency said Hanford’s massive waste treatment plant is in jeopardy. Several developments lately have intensified the debate over this question: Should a massive federal waste treatment plant move ahead or stop to fix its nagging technical problems?

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Environment
10:53 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Management Change For Hanford Treatment Plant

Kevin Smith is set to become the new Manager of the Office of River Protection. Photo by US Dept. of Energy

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 4:38 pm

RICHLAND, Wash. – A Hanford watchdog group is concerned with what it calls a “revolving door” for top managers at the nuclear site in southeast Washington.

Recently the U.S. Department of Energy announced it’s replacing the man in charge of cleaning up leaky underground tanks of radioactive waste after just 18 months on the job. That manager also oversees construction of a $12 billioncwaste treatment plant.

In Seattle, the head of the group Hanford Challenge, Tom Carpenter, says there have been too many leadership changes.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
10:38 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Hanford officials prepare for worst with leaking tank

Routine periodic visual monitoring (via camera) of the AY-102 annulus found material that was never before seen. Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 8:53 am

RICHLAND, Wash. – Workers the Hanford Nuclear Reservation are readying pumping equipment at a slow-leaking radioactive waste tank in case the leak gets worse. A newly released report details why the tank became unstable.

Hanford officials say so far they’ve found no waste leaking into the environment from the tank called AY-102.

The new report says many of the tanks original welds from 40 years ago didn’t meet standards and had to be fixed before it was filled. Later, super-hot waste was added that was likely corrosive to the tank’s metal walls.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
9:22 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Hanford Advisory Board Recommends New Waste Tanks For Hanford’s Leak Situation

View inside the space between the leaking tanks's two walls at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Photo courtesy the U.S. Department of Energy

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 4:52 pm

RICHLAND, Wash. – The Hanford Nuclear Reservation needs new storage tanks for radioactive waste, now that one of the aging double-hulled tanks has been found to be leaking. That was the consensus Friday of a board that advises federal Hanford managers. Correspondent Anna King reports.

Building new tanks at Hanford would be a major policy shift. The last time the idea was on the table was the late '90s. Federal experts warn that it might take seven years if they started now to build new tanks for Hanford’s waste.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
3:50 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

New Hanford tank leak raises questions about waste storage

View inside the space between the leaking tanks's two walls at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Photo courtesy the U.S. Department of Energy

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 2:53 pm

RICHLAND, Wash. – Now let’s shift to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in the desert of southeast Washington. A double-hulled underground tank there is leaking radioactive waste.

Next week federal officials are mustering a several-hundred page report on the problem. Experts worry about what the leak means for long-term storage of radioactive tank waste at Hanford.

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