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U.S. Energy Dept plans to reclassify Hanford nuclear sludge – from “high level”to “low level”

Stripes 29th Nov 2018 After spending billions of dollars over several decades to remove
radioactive waste leaking from a plant where nuclear bombs were made, the
Energy Department has come up with a new plan: leave it in the ground.
The shuttered Hanford Nuclear Reservation, which produced plutonium for U.S.
atomic weapons from World War II through the Cold War, is the nation’s
largest nuclear cleanup site with about 56 million gallons of waste stored
in leak-prone underground tanks in south-central Washington State.
The Energy Department has proposed to effectively reclassify the sludge left in
16 nearly empty underground tanks from “high-level” to “low-level”
radioactive waste. The re-classification would allow the department to fill
the tanks with grout, cover them with an unspecified “surface barrier,” and
leave them in place.
But environmental groups and others say the plan
amounts to a semantic sleight of hand that will leave as much as 70,000
gallons of remaining nuclear sludge — some of which could be radioactive
for millions of years — in the ground.


December 1, 2018 - Posted by | USA, wastes

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