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Vitrification of Hanford’s nuclear waste is plagued with problems, would emit toxic vapours

Turning Hanford’s nuclear waste into glass logs would emit toxic vapors, says document,

By Allison Frost (OPB) May 10, 2022  The Hanford nuclear reservation in south central Washington state holds 56 million gallons of radioactive waste. The facility produced plutonium for U.S. atomic bombs in WWII, and it kept producing for the country’s nuclear weapons through the late 1980s.

The plan to contain that waste by turning it into glass logs, or vitrification, has been plagued with problems for decades. Some of the waste contained in underground tanks is leaking into the Columbia River. Workers have sued over exposure to toxic waste, and the current federal funding for cleanup is less than federal and state lawmakers say is needed.

Now, an internal Department of Energy document says that the vitrification process would create a toxic vapor. The next public hearing on the nuclear plant will be held Tuesday, May 10, and public comments are being accepted through June 4. We’re joined by freelance reporter John Stang who’s been covering Hanford for three decades and obtained the internal DOE document.


May 10, 2022 - Posted by | - plutonium, USA

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