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Hanford nuclear site – a rich source of comedy for John Oliver

Hanford becomes comical punching bag for HBO’s John Oliver, The Spokesman REview, Aug. 21, 2017,  Thomas Clouse  Just days after Energy Secretary Rick Perry made his first trip to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, HBO’s John Oliver used the polluted nuclear site as a satirical punching bag for the nation’s decades of failure to find a permanent storage solution for the millions of gallons of nuclear waste.In the Sunday episode of “Last week Tonight with John Oliver,” the comic pointed out that the U.S. government has failed to create a permanent repository for nuclear waste since the National Academy of Sciences suggested the idea in 1957.

Instead, Oliver pointed out that most nuclear plants around the country continue to store spent fuel rods even though those facilities were not designed to compile the nuclear waste.

“The most frightening example of this is the Hanford site in Washington state which created two-thirds of the plutonium in the U.S. arsenal and is currently storing 56 million gallons of highly toxic and nuclear waste underground,” Oliver said.

He then ripped a local news broadcast that called Hanford the most contaminated place in the Western Hemisphere.

“Oh it’s right here. We did it guys. Washington state,” Oliver said. “Home to the most contaminated place in the Western Hemisphere. Thousands of acres of apple orchards and several of Ted Bundy’s grisliest murders. We did it right here.”

Between the gibes, Oliver mentioned the continued health risks at Hanford, including a recent plutonium leak, and criticized officials for the design of a tunnel that collapsed on May 9. Some of the wooden timbers gave way in the tunnel, which exposed highly contaminated machinery…..

We’ve been saying that we were going to fix this for decades now and we seem to be no closer to a solution,” Oliver said. “We are dancing with trouble here. So if anyone says the government can just continue to wait, they are much like a house without a toilet, absolutely full of …”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

August 23, 2017 - Posted by | culture and arts, USA

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