DRONE CRASHES INTO KOEBERG NUCLEAR POWER STATION http://www.htxt.co.za/2016/08/10/drone-crashes-nuclear-power-station/ An small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) – commonly known as drones – has crashed into the nuclear power station at Koeberg near Cape Town.
While it appears that no damage was done, South Africa’s drone regulations are clear: you are not allowed to fly drones over roads and you keep them at least 50 meters away from buildings.
According to Eskom, the drone not only flew towards and over Koeberg, but crashed into a building on site. Surprisingly, Eskom says that the drone pilot had his UAV returned to him after the incident.
“A drone crashed on the Koeberg site in contravention of the nuclear safety regulations and was returned to its owner without the investigation having been completed,” the parastatal said in a statement.
Eskom says that it has subsequently suspended the Koeberg safety officer as a precautionary measure ahead of an investigation. It also highlighted the dangers of flying drones close to government installations.
“Eskom has placed the Koeberg power station manager and the plant manager on precautionary suspension as a result of the distribution of documentation containing unauthorised facts and assumptions relating to Koeberg’s Production Plan and in particular, the steam generator replacement,” it said.
Eskom is this week facing strike action by 15 000 National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) members. In essence, it is illegal for any Eskom employees to strike, and NUM is protesting this.
“The decision to strike was taken at an urgent NUM Eskom national shop stewards council held at the NUM head office today. All 15 000 members of the NUM at Eskom will be fighting for the restoration of the right to strike at Eskom,” NUM said in a statement.
In September 1983, for example, sunlight reflecting off a patch of clouds fooled a Soviet missile-warning system into detecting the launch of five US intercontinental ballistic missiles that never were. A colonel in a bunker ignored the alarm on a 50/50 hunch, narrowly averting a nuclear holocaust.
Two months later, US forces staged “Able Archer 83” — a massive nuclear-strike drill on the doorstep of the USSR. Soviet commanders panicked at the show of force and nearly bathed America in thermonuclear energy. Once again, an act of human doubt saved the planet.
Now scientists have one more event to add to the history books: The “Great Storm” of May 1967.
“The storm made its initial mark with a colossal solar radio burst causing radio interference … and near-simultaneous disruptions of dayside radio communication,” a group of atmospheric scientists and military weather service personnel wrote in a new study, published August 9 in the journal Space Weather.
Hours later, high frequency communications dropped out near US military installations in and near the Arctic — one of the closest places to station nuclear weapons and launch them at a Cold War-era Soviet Union.
“Such an intense, never-before-observed solar radio burst was interpreted as jamming,” the study authors wrote. “Cold War military commanders viewed full scale jamming of surveillance sensors as a potential act of war.”……
While The Washington Post wrote up the 1967 story as “City Gets Rare Look at Northern Lights,” top US military commanders sounded the alarms.
The Air Weather Service (AWS) — a relatively new branch of the Air Force — had warned military leadership about the possibility of a solar storm, but US commanders believed the Soviet forces were jamming NORAD systems designed to detect threatening planes and missiles.
As the Strategic Air Command warmed up the engines of bombers and taxied toward the runway, the decision to go airborne was kicked all the way up to the “highest levels of government,” which would imply President Lyndon B. Johnson was involved.
“Just in time, military space weather forecasters conveyed information about the solar storm’s potential to disrupt radar and radio communications,” according to a press release from the American Geophysical Union. “The planes remained on the ground and the U.S. avoided a potential nuclear weapon exchange with the Soviet Union.”………http://www.businessinsider.com.au/cold-war-geomagnetic-storm-radio-disruption-2016-8?r=US&IR=T
U.S. Attorney: Sulphur man inspecting Lake Charles nuclear facility lied about certification BY Lanie Lee Cook | LCOOK@THEADVOCATE.COM JUL 29, 2016 A Sulphur man who lied about being certified to inspect welds on a Port of Lake Charles nuclear module will be sentenced in November after pleading guilty to a federal criminal charge for providing the false information, U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley’s office announced Friday.
Joseph B. Burnworth, 35, admitted to one count of submission of false information as part of a plea agreement, the release states.
Burnworth’s plea agreement shows he conducted more than 150 visual inspections of welds on an under-construction nuclear module, a large metal structure designed to hold a nuclear reactor, from April 2013 to August …..2013. http://www.theadvocate.com/acadiana/news/courts/article_e58a3cb0-55b5-11e6-b2ff-8b7759ceb4a1.html
Nuclear reactor in S. Korea stops operations , Korea Times, 22 Jul 16,
The Wolseong-1 reactor at the plant, located in Gyeongju, about 400 km southeast of Seoul, came to a halt at around 11:24 a.m. according to the Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co. (KHNP).
No radiation leaks have been reported. The operator said that it is currently working on finding the exact cause of the shutdown….
The Wolseong-1 reactor had been shut down since 2012 when it reached its 30-year commercial operation period.
But it went back online in June last year after the state-run nuclear watchdog decided to restart operation of the facility for another 10 years.The decision has sparked public concerns over the reactor’s safety here after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan….http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2016/07/116_210056.html
UK nuclear sub collides with merchant vessel off Gibraltar Rt.com 21 Jul, 2016 One of Britain’s newest Astute-class submarines has docked at Gibraltar after suffering a “glancing collision” with a merchant vessel, the UK Royal Navy announced, emphasizing that the HMS Ambush suffered “absolutely no damage” to her nuclear reactor
A Rethink of Nuclear Risk Assessment, ETH Zurich, Department of Management, Technology and Economics 11.07.2016
1. Chernobyl, Ukraine (1986) – $259 billion
2. Fukushima, Japan (2011) – $166 billion
3. Tsuruga, Japan (1995) – $15.5 billion
4. TMI, Pennsylvania, USA (1979) – $11 billion
5. Beloyarsk, USSR (1977) – $3.5 billion
6. Sellafield, UK (1969) – $2.5 billion
7. Athens, Alabama, USA (1985) – $2.1 billion
8. Jaslovske Bohunice, Czechoslovakia (1977) – $2 billion
9. Sellafield, UK (1968) – $1.9 billion
10. Sellafield, UK (1971) – $1.3 billion
11. Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA (1986) – $1.2 billion
12. Chapelcross, UK (1967) – $1.1 billion
13. Chernobyl, Ukraine (1982) – $1.1 billion
14. Pickering, Canada (1983) – $1 billion
15. Sellafield, UK (1973) – $1 billion
An open-source database of all 216 analysed events is available athttps://innovwiki.ethz.ch/index.php/Nuclear_events_database, containing dates, locations, cost in US dollars, and official magnitude ratings. This is the largest public database of nuclear accidents ever compiled. https://www.mtec.ethz.ch/news/d-mtec-news/2016/07/a-rethink-of-nuclear-risk-assessment.html
Radioactive fuel cells on a dozen disused nuclear submarines languishing in Plymouth are to be removed and taken to a site in the North of England for storage and eventual disposal.
The Ministry of Defence yesterday revealed the fate of the boats which are currently stationed at Devonport but said no date has yet been fixed for the process to begin
Defence Minister Philip Dunne said the highly toxic part of the decommissioned submarines would be removed at a date to be set.
“When submarines in the Royal Navy fleet reach the end of their lives, we need to dispose of them in a way that is safe, secure and environmentally sound,” he said………
It emerged last year that the ministry was spending £16million to store the vessels, with the ones in Plymouth having been taken out of service in 1994.
The MoD said it was working on a plan to safely dispose of the Reactor Pressure Vessels (RPV), the thick steel containers which weigh between 90-135 tonnes and held nuclear fuel when the reactors operated.
There have been a number of leaks of nuclear waste associated with the submarines based in Devonport.
*March 25, 2009: radioactive water escaped from HMS Turbulent while the reactor’s discharge system was being flushed.
*November 2008: 280 litres of water likely to have been contaminated with the radioactive isotope tritium, poured from a burst hose as it was being pumped from the submarine.
*October 2005: 10 litres of water leaked out as the main reactor circuit of HMS Victorious as it was being cleaned to reduce radiation.
*November 2002: Around ten litres of radioactive coolant leaked from HMS Vanguard……..In May this year, it was revealed extra radioactivity could be discharged into the atmosphere during the refit of a nuclear submarine at Devonport Dockyard.
Babcock’s Devonport Royal Dockyard Limited submitted an application for a variation to an environmental permit which covers operations on their Dockyard site in Plymouth.
If approved, the application will enable them to increase discharges of carbon-14 to the atmosphere during the refit of the Royal Navy submarine, HMS Vanguard…..http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/disused-nuclear-submarines-at-devonport-will-be-broken-up-says-mod/story-29490710-detail/story.html
Nuclear Power Plant Found Leaking Into Lake Ontario, We Are Anonymous, July 7th, 2016 | by Alek Hidell “……The latest nuclear plant to have been discovered to have a leak is the Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego, New York. The plant is run by energy corporation Entergy. A visible sheen was observed spreading out for miles from the site of the plant, making it undeniable that the leak wasn’t coming from elsewhere. It was discovered by a Coast Guard Auxiliary air crew. A section of Lake Ontario had to be cordoned off, preventing the leak from spreading further.
Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, made the following statement: “It appears about 20 to 30 gallons that leaked were then drained through the plant’s discharge drain system to the lake. The company has placed oil-absorbent pads on the turbine building roof and has also stopped all circulating water pumps to eliminate any further discharges.”
It is not much of a comfort to know that the government is contributing to the cleanup. With decades of research and knowledge about the dangers of nuclear power, the government continues to build them, with five new plants under construction as of 2015. I don’t believe any of us need to be reminded of the dangers of nuclear power after the recent Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant meltdown.
After the earthquake and subsequent tsunami, the reactors and their cooling system shut down. This resulted in nuclear materials being dumped into the Pacific ocean. Traces of the radiation are being found along the California coastline. And as you’d expect, the official inquiry found that despite the earthquake and tsunami, the meltdown was preventable and a result of a failure to maintain vital systems.
New York is no stranger to leaky nuclear plants; the Indian Point nuclear plant has been shut down at least 14 times since 1973. The most recent closing of the facility took place in 2015, when two fuel rods lost power. When you look at the incidents of closure at Indian Point, as well as every other nuclear plant, it becomes obvious that the fundamental problem is a crumbling infrastructure. Much like our roads and bridges, nuclear power plants, especially ones built before the 1980s, are falling apart…….http://anonhq.com/nuclear-power-plant-found-leaking-lake-ontario/
Nuclear safety expert seeks data about Pilgrim incident By Christine Legere The Cape Cod Times Jul. 1, 201 PLYMOUTH – A well-known nuclear safety expert is looking for more information from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission regarding a report that both emergency diesel generators at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station had been out of commission at the same time for a short period in April while the reactor was operating at full power.
David Lochbaum, director of the Nuclear Safety Program for the Union of Concerned Scientists, questions how long the plant had been running with no emergency generators, which provide a default power source to safely shut down the reactor, maintain safe shutdown conditions and operate all essential systems if primary and secondary power sources have failed……..
Meanwhile, Mary Lampert, a Duxbury resident and director of Pilgrim Watch, said she believed the situation occurred because of aging equipment and lack of vigilance.
“It’s the same old story: Entergy running the reactor on the cheap – generating not required backup power but trouble for us and themselves,” wrote Lampert in an email. ……http://www.enterprisenews.com/news/20160701/nuclear-safety-expert-seeks-data-about-pilgrim-incident
10 Near Misses at U.S. Nuclear Power Plants Considered Precursors to a Meltdown https://ecowatch.com/2016/05/24/near-misses-nuclear-plants/ Greenpeace | May 24, 2016 Following the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Greenpeace USA released a new report Tuesday on the 166 near misses at U.S. nuclear power plants over the past decade. Of the incidents identified in Nuclear Near Misses: A Decade of Accident Precursors at U.S. Nuclear Plants, 10 are considered by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to be important precursors to a meltdown.
“Contrary to NRC commissioners’ claims, there is nothing safe about the nuclear reactors in the United States,” Greenpeace Nuclear Policy Analyst Jim Riccio said. “Thirty years after Chernobyl and five years after Fukushima, it is clear that these kinds of disasters could absolutely happen here. It is time for the NRC to listen to the whistleblowers within its own ranks and address these longstanding issues and vulnerabilities.”
In addition to the 163 accident precursors or near misses documented by the NRC, Greenpeace identified three significant near misses that NRC risk analysts failed to review under the agency’s Accident Sequence Precursor Program (ASP): the triple meltdown threat to Duke Energy’s Oconee Nuclear Station west of Greenville, South Carolina. According to NRC’s risk analysts, if nearby Jocassee Dam had failed, all three of the nuclear reactors at Oconee were certain to meltdown.
The report identified the following incidents as the top 10 near misses at nuclear plants between 2004-2014:
1. Browns Ferry 1 in Athens, Alabama: Residual heat removal loop unavailable; valve failure.
2. Wolf Creek in Burlington, Kansas: Multiple switchyard faults, reactor trip and loss of offsite power.
3. Robinson in Hartsville, South Carolina: Fire causes partial loss of offsite power & reactor coolant pump seal cooling challenges.
4. Fort Calhoun in Fort Calhoun, Nebraska: Fire in safety-related 480 volt electrical breaker due to deficient design control. 8 other breakers susceptible.
5. River Bend in St. Francisville, Louisiana. Loss of normal service water, circulating water and feedwater caused by electrical fault.
6. Oconee 1 in Seneca, South Carolina: Failure of Jocassee Dam would result in a meltdown.
7. Oconee 2 in Seneca, South Carolina: Failure of Jocassee Dam would result in a meltdown.
8. Oconee 3 in Seneca, South Carolina: Failure of Jocassee Dam would result in a meltdown.
9. North Anna 1 in Mineral, Virginia: Dual loss of offsite power caused by earthquake AFW pump out of service & failure of Unit 2 EDG.
10. Byron 2 in Byron, Illinois: Transformer & breaker failures cause Loss of Off Site Power, reactor trip and de-energizing of safety buses.
“If the NRC can’t even accurately track near meltdowns why should the public have any confidence that they can prevent them? It’s time to retire these dangerous nuclear plants and end the nuclear era once and for all,” Riccio concluded.
Is there any nuclear site in the United States that is not currently collapsing, leaking or otherwise posing a major health or environmental risk? Certainly there are, but that number is becoming smaller and smaller.
In addition to three other nuclear disasters unfolding across the country, a fourth has now arisen. This new disaster is located in Washington state in a facility known as the Hanford site.
One week after 19 workers were sent for medical evaluation as the nuclear waste tank was being transferred because of a leak, 3 more workers are now being reported as injured at the site. According to RT, the workers inhaled radioactive fumes – the same issue facing the 19 previously hospitalized workers. This brings the injured number of workers up to 22…….
Although the facility was decommissioned at the end of the Cold War, the facility has been used to store nuclear waste. In fact, according to RT, two-thirds of America’s radioactive materials are stored at this location which makes it one of the largest facilities of its kind in the world.
The storage tanks which were built as early as 1940 and as late as 1970 contain 56 million gallons of radioactive chemicals.
According Gerry Pollet, a Washington State Representative, those tanks were never expected to last longer than 20 years.
Twenty years was a dream in the first place. And, as you know, some of them didn’t last 20 years – and we had a small explosion on the 1950s. That hot waste boiled; created a steam explosion under the tank, and we were lucky that we didn’t have half of eastern Washington having to be permanently evacuated.
The company operating the facility acknowledged “higher-than-normal readings for contamination” for a certain tank, but claimed that the readings “well below the alarm level.” RT correspondent Alexey Yaroshevsky traveled to the Hanford site with a Geiger counter.
Yaroshevsky measured the radiation levels of a rock laying well outside of the containment facility and, while the readings were not considered an emergency even the reporter’s handheld device registered a higher-than-normal level of radiation.
Yaroshevsky wondered aloud whether or not the radiation levels closer to the center to the containment facility would be much higher. The reports of the Hanford site leakage now add a West Coast dimension to the nuclear crisis that has escalated in the last few weeks.
In addition to Hanford, reports West Lake Landfill in St. Louis, Missouri which houses sizable amounts of nuclear waste is facing an approaching fire from an adjacent landfill that threatens to turn West Lake into a cauldron of radioactive air pollution. In addition, a nuclear power plant in Turkey Point, Florida is reportedlyleaking polluted water into Biscayne Bay. New York’s Indian Point power plant is also threatening to become a major radioactive incident. Constant leaks, mishaps and other signs of an outright collapse have existed at Indian Point for quite some time but have increased in frequency over the last year . http://www.naturalblaze.com/2016/05/is-this-the-4th-recent-nuclear-disaster-to-strike-the-u-s.html
TV: EPA data reveals “sharp spike in radiation level” around US nuclear site — “It’s been reportedly leaking huge amounts of radioactive materials for more than 2 weeks” — Evacuations enacted… Almost 50 workers have sought medical attention… Symptoms include bleeding ulcers, burned lungs (VIDEOS) http://enenews.com/tv-epa-data-reveals-sharp-spike-radiation-level-around-nuclear-site-leaking-huge-amounts-radioactive-materials-2-weeks-evacuations-enacted-almost-50-workers-sought-medical-attention-symtoms-incl?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=
KING 5 News, May 5, 2016 (emphasis added): Record number of Hanford workers sickened by toxic vapors — An unprecedented number of workers at Hanford have been exposed to dangerous chemical vapors since Thursday, April 28. In one week’s time a total of 47 people either sought medical attention… Symptoms reported by workers include a headache, burning nose and throat, nausea, a metallic taste in the mouth, elevated blood pressure, and dizziness… [T]hose familiar with the nuclear site cannot remember so many people falling victim in such a short period… On May 4, two more evacuations were enacted at the site after workers smelled odors and experienced symptoms… “Forty-two employees have been evaluated as a precautionary measure due to reported odors or symptoms at the on-site medical facility since Thursday. Thirty-one employees reported health symptoms while 11 went for cautionary reasons. All have been released to return to work” said Rob Roxburgh of the Dept. of Energy, in a statement sent to KING 5 on Wednesday. Chemical vapor releases at Hanford come from underground nuclear waste storage tanks that vent the gasses without warning.
RT, May 7, 2016: Spike in radiation levels after toxic waste leak at Washington nuclear site — Radiation levels at the Hanford, Washington nuclear waste site have spiked to “elevated risk” after thousands of gallons of toxic waste leaked in April… The recent readings from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) obtained by RT have revealed that a sharp spike in the radiation level had been registered in Richland on the morning of May 5. The readings show the random jump when the toxic fume rates briefly reached around 410 CPM (counts per minute), nearly the highest possible level… As of Friday afternoon, there have been no media reports suggesting that an evacuation or other measures and guidance have been ordered for Richland… The most recent radiation spike comes less than a month after a massive leak was first detected…
RT transcript, May 5, 2016: On Thursday last week at least 19 workers at the Hanford nuclear site were hospitalized after inhaling poisonous fumes, from tasting metal in their mouth tobleeding ulcers and burned lungs.
RT transcript, May 3, 2016: At the Hanford nuclear site in Washington state… more workers sought medical attention after inhaling radioactive fumes. This adds to 19 workers hospitalized last week for the same reason — reinforcing burning concerns about the facility as it’s been reportedly leaking huge amounts of radioactive materials for more than 2 weeks… [Tom Carpenter, Executive Director of Hanford Challenge:] “It’s an environmental disaster, at some point the [Columbia] River becomes so contaminated that you can’t use the river.”… Ecologists say the situation can always get worse. They hate to think what would happen in case of even a minor earthquake in a geologically unstable area that it is. But even in the current state of thingswith tanks leaking nuclear poison into the environment, Hanford is already way past the ticking time bomb stage.
RT transcript, May 2, 2016: [Tom Carpenter, Executive Director of Hanford Challenge:] “A second double-shelled nuclear waste tank is showing signs of having failed, you find that out because there’s high radiation levels in between the two shells of the tank. There should be no radiation in that space… but instruments they have deployed there show high radiation levels,plutonium, cesium, strontium-90, etc. – well where did that come from? It probably came from the tank, meaning there’s a hole.”… So we’re looking at potentially a catastrophe, a disastrous catastrophe? [Carpenter:] “Every day we’re looking at that at Hanford – I’m totally serious.”
RT transcript, Apr 21, 2016: ‘Washington state nuke plant leaks thousands of gallons of toxic waste‘… Experts say it’s time for every American to be worried.
Nigeria: Say No to Nuclear Energy in Nigeria AllAfrica, 1 May 16“…..Nigeria’s history of disaster management or maintenance culture in the past and the present has much to be desired of, so how can it want to project into a future of nuclear energy with all the attendant risk.
It does not take an expert in Nuclear energy to be able to state basic obvious facts that are glaring. Any major mishap involving radiation leaks from nuclear energy can lead to a disaster of catastrophic proportion that could lead to thousands of death, long term health problems, spikes in cancer incidents and birth defects. The devastation of a nuclear disaster in a highly populated country like Nigeria would send shock waves around the world. A breach in the nuclear containers of a nuclear reactor or a nuclear meltdown would release nuclear materials into the atmosphere and ground and could literally obliterate parts of the country and turn them into waste lands and “ghost lands”.
No matter how prepared even the extremely prepared and efficient countries are, in a case of a nuclear disaster they can only try to mitigate the damage, so what chance would Nigeria have if a nuclear melt down were to occur in the country. Even if the argument is that the likelihood of a nuclear disaster is minuscule, should Nigeria of today, the way it is, subject its people to that risk? The risk out weighs the benefit.
Countries try to get rid of their radio-active waste, yet a Nigerian shipped it into his country and dumped it amongst his people. The community, struggling under their daily routine for survival did not sense the eminent danger and instead opened up the containers, used them to collect water and for other domestic use. By the time the government brought it to public knowledge, the people in the affected area of Koko had been exposed to radiation. When scientist came with Geiger counters to measure the amount of radiation in the area and also on the people, a lot of them did not understand what was going on and had little understanding of the dangers of nuclear radiation. Have the people of Koko been followed? Have longitudinal studies been done on their health status? Were children born in that area since the episode monitored? Is the soil in that area still being tested regularly or have the people of Koko been forgotten? These are but a few of the questions…….
Nigeria is blessed with sunshine; it can invest in solar energy. It has vast areas of empty flat land so it can invest in wind energy by using turbines……..http://allafrica.com/stories/201605010001.html
German nuclear plant infected with computer viruses, operator says http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-3560358/German-nuclear-plant-infected-computer-viruses-operator-says.html , 27 April 2016 FRANKFURT, – A nuclear power plant in Germany has been found to be infected with computer viruses, but they appear not to have posed a threat to the facility’s operations because it is isolated from the Internet, the station’s operator said on Tuesday.
The Gundremmingen plant, located about 120 km (75 miles) northwest of Munich, is run by the German utility RWE.
The viruses, which include “W32.Ramnit” and “Conficker”, were discovered at Gundremmingen’s B unit in a computer system retrofitted in 2008 with data visualisation software associated with equipment for moving nuclear fuel rods, RWE said.
Malware was also found on 18 removable data drives, mainly USB sticks, in office computers maintained separately from the plant’s operating systems. RWE said it had increased cyber-security measures as a result.
W32.Ramnit is designed to steal files from infected computers and targets Microsoft Windows software, according to the security firm Symantec.
First discovered in 2010, it is distributed through data sticks, among other methods, and is intended to give an attacker remote control over a system when it is connected to the Internet.
Conficker has infected millions of Windows computers worldwide since it first came to light in 2008. It is able to spread through networks and by copying itself onto removable data drives, Symantec said.
RWE has informed Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), which is working with IT specialists at the group to look into the incident.
The BSI was not immediately available for comment.
After Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster five years ago, concern in Germany over the safety of nuclear power triggered a decision by the government to speed up the shutdown of nuclear plants. Tuesday was the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. (Reporting by Christoph Steitz, Eric Auchard and Joseph Nasr; Editing by Kevin Liffey)
Nuclear leak at Washington’s infamous Hanford Site is CATASTROPHIC, former worker claims, as eight inches of radioactive waste escapes core of ‘the world’s safest’ tank, Daily Mail , 20 Apr 16 [EXCELLENT PHOTOS]
- Tank has two shells; a crack was spotted in the inner one in 2011
- Now that crack has widened, spilling waste into the gap between the shells
- It happened after attempts to pump the waste out of the tank
- The Department of Energy says this was ‘anticipated’
- But workers at the plant said they weren’t told it was a possibility
- The double-shell tank can contain up to a million gallons of deadly waste
- It was supposed to be the safest possible container for radioactive liquid
- The Hanford Site provided plutonium for the first atomic bomb
By JAMES WILKINSON FOR DAILYMAIL.COM, 20 April 2016
A nuclear leak first spotted five years ago at Washington state’s Hanford Site has got dramatically worse with eight inches of radioactive liquid escaping a protective carbon steel shell.
The tank, named AY-102, has two shells, with the inner steel layer containing up to one million gallons of the deadly waste, and the outer concrete one providing a two-foot-wide gap to collect the waste if the inner shell broke.
Now a small leak in the inner shell first seen in 2011 has worsened, allowing eight inches of the dangerous goo to leak out in an event that one ex-worker is calling ‘catastrophic.’
Former Hanford worker Mike Geffre was the first to spot the leak in AY-102’s inner shell in 2011, but it took the government a year to actually announce what had happened.
Back then, the small leak only allowed a slow flow of radioactive waste into the gap between the shells, or ‘annulus’. That liquid which would quickly dry up into a white powder. But after five years, they discovered on Sunday that the crack had got worse.
‘This is catastrophic,’ he told KGW.com. ‘This is probably the biggest event to ever happen in tank farm history. The double-shell tanks were supposed to be the saviors of all saviors.’
The Hanford Site was a major Second World War and Cold War nuclear site; it provided plutonium for the first atomic bomb.
It now houses millions of gallons of nuclear waste – two-thirds of all high-level radioactive waste in America in 2007 – and cleanup on the site has been ongoing since 1989.
As well as AY-102, six single-shell tanks were noted to be leaking in 2013.
Ironically, the original cracks in AY-102 appear to have been further widened by government efforts to pump waste out of the tank, sources told KGW.
Pumping began three weeks ago, after Washington state spent three years petitioning the federal government, which owns the tanks, to deal with the damaged structure.
But the change in pressure appears to have ‘blown out’ the weakened wall, causing the increased leak and bringing the waste closer to the nearby Columbia River.
‘The primary tanks weren’t designed to stage waste like this for so many years,’ a current worker told KGW. ‘There’s always the question, “Are the outer shells compromised?”‘…………
workers at the plant told KGW that despite claims the breach was ‘anticipated,’ they had not been made aware that something like this could occur.
And Geffre said that he was frustrated that his warnings in 2011 hadn’t been acted on for an entire year. ‘It’s an example of a culture at Hanford of “We don’t have problems here. We’re doing just fine.” Which is a total lie,’ he said.
Construction on the Hanford site began in 1943, and it went on to house the world’s first full-scale plutonium production reactor, and to provide plutonium for the first atomic bomb.
After the Cold War ended, the site housed 53 million gallons of high-level radioactive waste and 25 million cubic feet of solid radioactive waste.
There were 200 square miles of contaminated groundwater beneath the site. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3547975/Five-year-long-nuclear-leak-Washington-state-s-infamous-Hanford-Site-CATASTROPHIC-former-worker-claims-eight-inches-radioactive-waste-escapes-world-s-safest-tank-one-night.html
- 1 NUCLEAR ISSUES
- business and costs
- climate change
- indigenous issues
- marketing of nuclear
- opposition to nuclear
- PERSONAL STORIES
- politics international
- Religion and ethics
- secrets,lies and civil liberties
- weapons and war
- 2 WORLD
- MIDDLE EAST
- NORTH AMERICA
- SOUTH AMERICA
- Christina's notes
- Christina's themes
- culture and arts
- global warming
- RARE EARTHS
- resources – print
- Resources -audiovicual
- World Nuclear