End Times and Current Events

General Category => Current Events => Topic started by: Mark on February 06, 2016, 06:46:49 pm

Title: Radioactive material found in groundwater below nuke plant
Post by: Mark on February 06, 2016, 06:46:49 pm
Radioactive material found in groundwater below nuke plant

An apparent overflow at a nuclear power plant north of New York City spilled highly radioactive water into an underground monitoring well, but nuclear regulators said the public isn't at risk.

Officials at the Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan, 40 miles north of Manhattan, reported on Friday that water contaminated by tritium leaked into the groundwater under the facility. The contamination has remained contained to the site, said Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who ordered the state's environmental conservation and health departments to investigate.

"Our first concern is for the health and safety of the residents close to the facility and ensuring the groundwater leak does not pose a threat," Cuomo said Saturday in a statement.

The leak occurred after a drain overflowed during a maintenance exercise while workers were transferring water, which has high levels of radioactive contamination, said Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Normally, a sump pump would take the water and filter it into another treatment system, but the pump apparently was out of service, Sheehan said. After the drain overflowed, the water seeped out of the building into the groundwater.

It was unclear how much water spilled, but samples showed the water had a radioactivity level of more than 8 million picocuries per liter, a 65,000 percent increase from the average at the plant, Cuomo said. The levels are the highest regulators have seen at Indian Point, and the normal number is about 12,300 picocuries per liter, Cuomo said.

Contaminated groundwater would likely slowly make its way to the Hudson River, Sheehan said, but research has shown that water usually ends up in the middle of the river and is so diluted that the levels of radioactivity are nearly undetectable.

"We don't believe there's any concern for members of the public," Sheehan said. "First of all, this water's not going anywhere immediately ... and, again, because of the dilution factor, you wouldn't even be able to detect it were you to take a direct sample."

A spokesman for Entergy Corp., the New Orleans-based company that operates Indian Point, said the overflow was "likely the cause of the elevated tritium levels."

"Tritium in the ground is not in accordance with our standards, but I think people should keep in mind there's no health or safety consequences," spokesman Jerry Nappi said. "There is no impact on drinking water on or off site."

There has been a history of groundwater contamination at Indian Point. A federal oversight agency issued a report after about 100,000 gallons of tritium-tainted water entered the groundwater supply in 2009, and elevated levels of tritium also were found in two monitoring wells at the plant in 2014. Officials said then the contamination likely stemmed from an earlier maintenance shutdown.

An Associated Press investigation in 2009 showed three-quarters of America's 65 nuclear plant sites have leaked tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen that poses the greatest risk of causing cancer when it ends up in drinking water.


Title: Re: Radioactive material found in groundwater below nuke plant
Post by: Mark on February 28, 2016, 06:24:26 am
Buchanan Nuclear Power Plant ACCIDENTAL Radiation Leak – 25 miles from NYC – Spike 65,000%

An uncontrollable radioactive flow from the Indian Point nuclear power plant continues leaking into groundwater, which leads to the Hudson River, raising the specter of a Fukushima-like disaster only 25 miles from New York City.

The Indian Point nuclear plant is located on the Hudson River, approximately 25 miles North of NYC, and serves the electrical needs of an estimated 2 million people. Last month, while preparing a reactor for refueling, workers accidentally spilled some contaminated water, containing the radioactive hydrogen isotope tritium, causing a massive radiation spike in groundwater monitoring wells, with one well’s radioactivity increasing by as much as 65,000 percent.

Entergy, the Louisiana-based company that owns the plant, chalked up the readings to “fluctuations that can be expected as the material migrates.” According to Entergy, the tritium contaminated water spill was contained within the plant, and never reached the Hudson or any other water source.

“There is no impact to public health or safety,” Entergy spokeswoman Patricia Kakridas told RT.

Of course, the tritium leak is the ninth in just the past year, four of which were serious enough to shut down the reactors. But the most recent leak, however, according to an assessment by the New York Department of State as part of its Coastal Zone Management Assessment, contains a variety of radioactive elements such as strontium-90, cesium-137, cobalt-60, and nickel-63, and isn’t limited to tritium contamination.

Despite the assurances from Entergy, the area around Indian Point is a “cancer cluster,” with the local rate of thyroid cancer rates registering at 66 percent higher than the national average, according to Joseph Mangano, Executive Director of the Radiation and Public Health Project (RPHP).


Title: Re: Radioactive material found in groundwater below nuke plant
Post by: Mark on March 03, 2016, 06:25:06 pm

An investigation recently called upon by New York governor Andrew Cuomo after the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant reported nuclear material leaking into the areas groundwater reveals a staggering 80% increase in contamination over previous samples. Reported as a "disaster waiting to happen" experts suggest the immediate deactivation of the facility located just 25 miles north of New York City to halt the further contamination of 23 million people's water.

The plant which is owned and operated by Entergy has experienced and reported leaks in the past but one iron worker who worked at the facility is unsurprised citing: "I was kind of shocked at how decrepit the facility seemed." upon receiving work there. More troubling though is that the official numbers reported of the most recent samples may not be nearly as accurate as samples from other locations which reported results as much as "65,000 percent times" the readings taken before the Cuomo's investigation.

While Paul Gallay, president of watchdog group Riverkeeper, suggested the immediate close of the facility Entergy officials suggest that the tritium leaking into the ground water poses no significant health risk and confusingly cite that "the effected groundwater is on their property" as evidence and that ultimately the contamination problem is more regulatory than it is a concern for the environment.

In the past year the problems plaguing the facility are not limited to radioactive leakage but also power outtages, fires and safety alarm malfunctions that further threaten the workers at the facility and local residents.  “This latest failure at Indian Point is unacceptable and I have directed Department of Environmental Conservation Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos and Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker to fully investigate this incident and employ all available measures, including working with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, to determine the extent of the release, its likely duration, cause, and potential impacts to the environment and public health,” Governor Cuomo said in an official statement.

“For over 40 years, Entergy’s Indian Point nuclear facilities have been damaging the coastal resources of the Hudson River estuary…New York is home to four commercial nuclear facilities. When properly located and safely functioning, these facilities are regarded as important generators of electricity… However, by virtue of its location as well as its operations, the Department cannot make the same finding as to Indian Point,” Secretary of State Cesar Perales said.

Unfortunately though the fate of the facility is uncertain as the decision to close Indian Point Nuclear Plant in the interest of workplace safety and the cessation of radioactive groundwater contamination affecting 23 million people does not, for whatever reason, seem like an obvious one to the state of New York or U.S. federal regulatory agencies.


Title: Re: Radioactive material found in groundwater below nuke plant
Post by: Mark on March 08, 2016, 10:13:03 pm
Miami’s oceanfront nuclear power plant is leaking

This is not good, in fact its down right scary. We really need to get rid of these things. 

What is arguably America’s least-well-placed nuclear power plant is leaking radiation into the sea.

The University of Miami has found that the Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant, located just south of Miami, has caused levels of tritium, a radioactive isotope, in Biscayne Bay to spike to 200-times higher than normal levels.

“This is one of several things we were very worried about,” South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard, who is also a biological sciences professor at Florida International University, told the Miami New Times. “You would have to work hard to find a worse place to put a nuclear plant, right between two national parks and subject to hurricanes and storm surge.”

Turkey Point came online in the early 1970s; it supplies power to more than one million homes in South Florida. The new study blames the leaks on the reactor’s cooling canals, which were recently found to have caused a massive underground saltwater plume to migrate west, threatening a wellfield that supplies drinking water to the Florida Keys.

Critics alleged the canals began running too hot and salty after Florida Power and Light (FPL), which operates the plant, overhauled two reactors to produce more power, the Miami Herald reports. A judge already recently found that FPL had failed to prevent hundreds of thousands of gallons of wastewater from seeping into the bay.

Mayor Stoddard argues the new study might point to violations of the federal Clean Water Act, and says only two solutions are viable: Building new cooling towers to replace the canals or shutting down the plant, the New Times reports.

“There’s a certain validation to critics in seeing this result in the study,” he says, “but more importantly, it’s now crossed the threshold of federal law here.”

Turkey Point is not the sole leaky plant in America. Last month, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo acknowledged that the state’s Indian Point Nuclear facility was leaking tritium into groundwater. Meanwhile, The Vermont Department of Health has noted ongoing investigations into leaks at Vermont Yankee since 2010, while New York’s FitzPatrick Plant has been “plagued by water leaks” in 2014, Gizmodo notes.

FPL is not responding to requests for comment.


Title: Re: Radioactive material found in groundwater below nuke plant
Post by: Mark on March 08, 2016, 10:19:04 pm
This is one of the best programs on the danger of nuclear energy, i can only find it on a torrent site. But this is well worth the listen.

Thu Mar 3 – Libbe HaLevey – Fukushima
Posted on March 3, 2016 in Guests | 1686 Views | Leave a response

Websites: NuclearHotseat.com RAPTawareness.com

Libbe HaLevy is the producer and host of Nuclear Hotseat, a weekly international news magazine on all things nuclear… from a different perspective.   The show is downloaded in 58 countries on six continents and has received as many as half a million hits in a week.  Libbe is the author of Yes, I Glow in the Dark!  One Mile from Three Mile Island to Fukushima and Beyond, has been a TEDxPasadena speaker, and has researched extensively on best possible practices to help safeguard from nuclear radiation’s impact on your health for Radiation Awareness Protection Talk.  An award-winning playwright and broadcaster, she was one mile from the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island when it happened*.


Title: Re: Radioactive material found in groundwater below nuke plant
Post by: Mark on March 11, 2016, 01:55:38 am
Ahead of Florida's Primary, Miami's Nuclear Power Plant is Leaking

As Republican presidential primary candidates gather in Miami on Thursday night for their final debate before the Tuesday primary, South Floridians are learning that radioactive material is seeping into Biscayne Bay, the 35-mile lagoon that stretches along the state into the Atlantic Ocean.

A county-ordered report released this week found levels of the radioactive isotope tritium in the bay to be 200 times higher than normal, leading to suspicions that the Turkey Point nuclear power plant in Homestead, Florida, which was built in the 1970s and supplies juice to 900,000 Floridians, is leaking.

While such a level of tritium is not harmful to humans, the problems at the power plant, on wetland that is vulnerable to rising sea levels, evokes the worst-case specter of another seaside nuke plant—Fukushima.

“I think the Fukushima scenario is very reasonable, and it terrifies me,” says Cindy Lerner, mayor of Pinecrest, Florida, which sits 14 miles north of the plant. “I was never anti-nuclear. But when Fukushima happened, the U.S. government issued an alert to all U.S. citizens, that if they were within a 50-mile radius to get outta Dodge.” Lerner says if a Fukushima-type event happened at Turkey Point, she’s concerned because the current evacuation plan is limited to a 10-mile radius.

The Turkey Point plant’s issues are hardly the only environmental concern troubling South Florida residents as they head to the polls next week, in what will be a decisive election for their junior senator, Marco Rubio, who has staked all of his campaign on his home state.

The four-county area around Miami is already seeing signs of the beginning of a nightmare scenario long predicted by climate scientists, in which rising waters increasingly affect roads and other infrastructure. The area’s water problems are only the beginning of a potential six-foot sea level rise by the end of the century. And, as Newsweek reported in January, local governments have been left largely alone by state and federal lawmakers to deal with it.

A spokesman for the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), which oversees the safety of the nation’s nuclear plants, reiterated to Newsweek on Thursday that the tritium is below harmful levels, and in fact is one-fifth of the amount of tritium legally allowed in drinking water. The spokesman did however say NRC will be working with the plant to find the source.

Local Miami leaders say the elevated tritium is a sign that the plant’s system of cooling canals is degraded. In addition to tritium in the Bay (which includes a marine national park), warm saltwater from the cooling canals has been found in aquifers four miles west, threatening the already fragile Everglades freshwater system. The heated water is also believed to be harming wildlife.

“They are boiling the North American crocodiles,” which nest in the area around the canals, says Lerner.

South Miami Mayor Phillip Stoddard, a biological sciences professor at Florida International University, says the nuclear power plant is simply in the wrong place, especially given higher waters.

“When sea level rises, the islands will be gone and there will be no more barriers to storm surge. It’s just a bad place to put a nuclear plant—between the Everglades and the bay, at the foot of a peninsula that will be very hard to evacuate,” he says.

Stoddard adds that other pollutants, related to the heated water, are going into the aquifer unchecked, and also threaten health and safety, including blooms of dangerous cyanobacteria, which shut down the water system in Toledo, Ohio, a few years ago. He also blamed the power plant for elevated levels of ammonia and phosphate in the bay. Taken together, Stoddard believes the problems represent violations of the federal Clean Water Act.

Lerner met with the EPA’s local government liaison on Wednesday in Washington to brief the agency on the two reports, one by Miami Dade County and another by the University of Miami, that found the problems.

“I told them you are our last and best hope,” she says. “I said you don’t want another Flint. This aquifer is our sole water source.”

Lerner said they now plan to arrange a conference call in the next week with the city of Miami and hopefully the county, “to see whether the cavalry will come in” and do something to resolve the matter. A spokesman for the EPA was unaware of the meeting.

Complicating matters, Florida Power and Light plans to erect two more nuclear reactors to fulfill growing demand. The NRC is considering that request.

A spokesman for the utility said the company has been working on reducing salinity, adding that “there is absolutely no impact to drinking water or public safety.” As for comparisons to Fukushima, the spokesman says the Florida plant took a direct hit from category 5 Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and was unaffected.

“The public should take comfort from that,” he says.

Rubio’s campaign did not respond to a request by Newsweek for comment. Stoddard and Lerner are among a group of 21 area mayors who have submitted questions about sea level rise and climate change to tonight’s debate moderators.


Title: Re: Radioactive material found in groundwater below nuke plant
Post by: Mark on March 19, 2016, 04:50:23 pm
Radioactivity in New Jersey's water not a health concern for residents: Indian Point plant in Buchanan JUST 40 miles (65 km) north WAS LEAKING RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL INTO THE HUDSON!

After the long ongoing travesty of justice with Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) who stand accused of ignoring months of concerning reports on the amount of lead in Flint’s drinking water, with the brown liquid reportedly making residents’ hair fall out and causing rashes on their skin.

Now New Jersey is the latest state with after  nine trailers of construction debris were shipped back to a Shafto Road demolition and recycling center after the material set off radiation detection tests at a Pennsylvania landfill.

The likely cause is "naturally occurring radioactivity" from New Jersey's water, and is not a health concern for residents nearby, a New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection spokesman said.

"It's not an emergency situation whatsoever," DEP spokesman Larry Hajna said.

However, what Larry Hajna does not mention is the problematic Indian Point plant in Buchanan, about 40 miles (65 km) north of New York City on the east bank of the Hudson River which is leaking radioactive material into the river at alarming levels!

Indian Point has previously had a problem with the release of radioactive water, and the levels of radioactivity reported by the company in February were much worse than in past incidents.

One monitoring well showed a nearly 65,000 percent spike in radioactivity, from 12,300 picocuries per liter to more than 8 million picocuries per liter,
The testing equipment at Grows Landfill in Morrisville, Pennsylvania detected thorium 232 in the material that had been shipped by the nine trailers from Mazza Demolition and Recycling, a Tinton Falls material recovery facility.

That caused the debris to be sent back to Tinton Falls.

Officials from Mazza did not return calls for comment.

The debris is the innards of an electric cogeneration plant's cooling tower that was demolished in Lakewood, Hajna said.

The material was once part of a plastic, honeycomb structure that helped the plant recirculate water and steam in the cooling tower.

After years of circulating local ground water, the plastic retained some of the naturally-occurring radium from the water.

New Jersey environmental officials are well aware of radioactivity in ground water and test it regularly to make sure its safe for residents, Hajna said.

Mountains in the northern part of the state have naturally occurring radioactive rocks.

Over geologic time, the rocks broke down and ended up in ground water in certain parts of the state. It's also common for radioactive material from construction demolition to be rejected by landfills, Hajna said. Smoke detectors, which contain small amounts of radioactive material, are often the culprit.

Mazza hired a consultant to determine the source of the material, Hajna said. Ultimately, the material could end up back at Grows Landfill because the radiant is naturally-occurring, he said.

If not, it would need to go to a special landfill that handles such material.


Title: Re: Radioactive material found in groundwater below nuke plant
Post by: Mark on April 20, 2016, 10:18:44 pm
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

    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

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.'

ormer 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?"'

A statement from the Department of Energy (DOE) said that both they and Washington River protection Solutions (WRPS), the contractor that deals with the Hanford site, 'anticipated changes in the amount of waste between the inner and outer shells' of AY-102.

'Out of an abundance of caution, DOE and WRPS are in the process of evaluating the tank’s condition,' the statement read.

And the Department of Ecology said: 'There is no indication of waste leaking into the environment or risk to the public at this time.'

It added that engineers are currently 'preparing a plan' to recover the waste that escaped the inner shell.

But 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.

Read more: 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#ixzz46QYqvIoP


Title: Re: Radioactive material found in groundwater below nuke plant
Post by: Mark on May 06, 2016, 12:46:16 am
Hanford nuclear facility a far greater threat to the West Coast than Fukushima ... Here's why

Although much attention has been focused on the threat posed to the U.S. West Coast by radioactivity from the 2011 Fukushima disaster, an even greater threat has gone largely ignored, warns nuclear historian Robert Jacobs of the Hiroshima Peace Institute.

That threat is the Hanford Site, which sits just 400 yards from the Columbia River in eastern Washington. Hanford contains two-thirds of the high-level radioactive waste (by volume) in the United States, and has been leaking for decades.

"While radiation from the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns is reaching the West Coast, carried across the ocean from Japan, the radiation from Hanford is already there, has been there for 70 years, and is in serious risk of catastrophe that could dwarf the effects of Fukushima even on Japan," Jacobs writes in an article for Counter Punch.

Disaster waiting to happen

The Hanford facility was the site of the world's first three nuclear reactors, all of which were used to refine plutonium for nuclear weapons. A total of nine plants would eventually be built on the site.

Hanford now stores an enormous volume of nuclear waste from decades of weapons manufacture. It contains 80 percent of the spent nuclear fuel rods in the country.

Most of this waste is stored at the Tank Farms, consisting of 177 waste storage tanks at two different locations on site; these pose a major safety hazard. In 1957, the cooling system at a tank similar to those at Hanford failed at the Mayak plutonium production site in the former Soviet Union. The ensuing explosion, known as the Kyshtym Disaster, was at that time the worst nuclear disaster in history. Hanford possesses 177 tanks of the type that exploded in 1957, located right next to each other. To make matters worse, there is no security around the Tank Farms to prevent them from being targeted by terrorists.

Over the years, 67 of the tanks have leaked 1 million gallons of highly radioactive waste into soil next to the Columbia River. In 2011, many of the leaking tanks were replaced with new, double-walled tanks. The new tanks still leaked.

In addition to the Tank Farms, the EPA has identified as many as 1,500 separate sites at Hanford where toxic or radioactive chemicals were improperly dumped.

Cleanup efforts at the plant have largely gone nowhere, and many whistleblowers have come forward to condemn the flawed safety designs of the supposed cleanup plans. Meanwhile, workers at the plant regularly sicken; one two-week period in March 2014 saw 26 hospitalized with mysterious health problems.

Do you eat Washington salmon?

Jacobs contrasts awareness of Hanford with that of Fukushima. He notes that many people avoid Pacific seafood or food from Japan, for fear of radioactive contamination.

"At the same time, there is no discussion about eating salmon from the Columbia River, drinking wines from the Columbia Valley, or fruit from the orchards that fill the downwind area around Hanford," he writes. "The amount of radiation in the Hanford area dwarfs the amount arriving on the West Coast of the United States on a scale that is mindboggling."

Jacobs is careful not to downplay the horror of the Fukushima disaster, nor the ongoing damage done by radioactive water from the plant continuing to flow into the Pacific Ocean.

"Some of that radiation is reaching the West Coast of the U.S., and this will continue as long as the site hemorrhages contaminated water into the ocean, which will likely be for some decades," he writes.

"But it should also be remembered that it is the people of Japan, and specifically the children of Japan who live in the areas where the fallout plumes deposited that face the direst of these consequences."

Similarly dire consequences, he says, are already being faced by those living near Hanford.

Radioactivity from Hanford has been "saturating the groundwater and ecosystem of the Northwest for more than 70 years," he writes. And people living downwind have suffered from elevated cancer rates for generations.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/053920_nuclear_disaster_Hanford_Fukushima.html#ixzz47qsHEMcb

Title: Re: Radioactive material found in groundwater below nuke plant
Post by: Mark on May 06, 2016, 10:30:27 pm
Nuclear Waste Leak Continues at ‘America’s Fukushima’; 33 Left Ill by Radioactive Fumes

A nuclear waste leak at the Hanford Site in Washington state that rapidly intensified last month has left 33 workers ill from possible exposure to chemical vapors, while others scramble to pump the remaining waste out of the storage facility.

Back in 2011, a leak was found on the inner hull of one of the site's 28 double-wall storage tanks. The previous leak posed an insignificant threat, but workers came across an even larger leak in recent weeks while attempting to clear the inner hull of its remaining waste.

The number of those who have been reported ill as a result of the leak climbed into the 30s after six workers sought medical evaluation Monday, suspecting exposure to radioactive fumes left them unwell, according to the Tri-City Herald. A majority of the affected have been cleared to return to work, but voice a fear of suffering from long-term or neurological sickness.

Crews at the United States Department of Energy’s storage site in Hanford were alerted by leak detection alarms the morning of April 17, and after lowering a camera into the affected area, the staff found 8.4 inches of radioactive and chemically toxic waste had poured between the inner and outer walls of the tank, KING 5 reported.

Jim Geary, facility manager at the Waste Receiving and Processing facility (WARP), looks over a shipment of three TRUPACT transport containers on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. ((Jeff T. Green/Getty Images))

“This is catastrophic,” former site employee Mike Geffre said soon after the leak was found. “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.”

However, a State Representative in Seattle argued that the of the 56 million gallons of radioactive chemicals stored at the Hanford site, two-thirds of the total substance is radioactive waste being held in unfit tanks made sometime between 1940 and 1970.

The tanks "were not supposed to last more than 10 to 20 years, 20 years was a dream in the first place,” Gerry Pollet told RT.com. “Some of them didn’t last twenty years and we had a small explosion in the 1950s where hot waste boiled, created a steam explosion under the tank, and we were lucky we didn’t have half of Eastern Washington permanently evacuated.”

The large puncture causing the devastating leak is thought to have occurred while the three-week long pumping was taking place. An estimated 20,000 gallons of waste remain in the 800,000-gallon AY-102 tank, Q13 FOX reports.

To make matters worse, a second double-shelled tank has been reported with a leak. AY-101, a tank very similar to AY-102, has had “higher-than-expected radioactivity readings” from the tank’s continuous air monitor, according to a recent KING 5 report. The new leak is an unsettling find, considering the 45-year-old AY-101 was built with thicker steel and with advanced construction methods.

“Simply put, Hanford is nearly out of double-shell tank space," said Hanford Challenge executive director Tom Carpenter. "[There] is no other realistic option but to begin building new tanks immediately."

The government has requested help from private contractors to construct a new, permanent facility that will have the capacity to hold the waste. However, the project to cover up “America’s Fukushima” will cost an estimated $100 billion and take at least 50 years to complete, according to Newsweek.


Title: Re: Radioactive material found in groundwater below nuke plant
Post by: Mark on March 18, 2023, 07:37:17 am
Nuclear power plant leaks 400,000 gallons of radioactive water

 Minnesota regulators said Thursday they’re monitoring the cleanup of a leak of 400,000 gallons of radioactive water from Xcel Energy’s Monticello nuclear power plant, and the company said there’s no danger to the public.

“Xcel Energy took swift action to contain the leak to the plant site, which poses no health and safety risk to the local community or the environment,” the Minneapolis-based utility said in a statement.

While Xcel reported the leak of water containing tritium to state and federal authorities in late November, the spill had not been made public before Thursday. State officials said they waited to get more information before going public with it.

“We knew there was a presence of tritium in one monitoring well, however Xcel had not yet identified the source of the leak and its location,” Minnesota Pollution Control Agency spokesman Michael Rafferty said.

“Now that we have all the information about where the leak occurred, how much was released into groundwater, and that contaminated groundwater had moved beyond the original location, we are sharing this information,” he said, adding the water remains contained on Xcel’s property and poses no immediate public health risk.

The company said it notified the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the state on Nov. 22, the day after it confirmed the leak, which came from a pipe between two buildings. Since then, it has been pumping groundwater, storing and processing the contaminated water, which contains tritium levels below federal thresholds.

“Ongoing monitoring from over two dozen on-site monitoring wells confirms that the leaked water is fully contained on-site and has not been detected beyond the facility or in any local drinking water,” the Xcel Energy statement said.

When asked why Xcel Energy didn’t notify the public earlier, the company said: “We understand the importance of quickly informing the communities we serve if a situation poses an immediate threat to health and safety. In this case, there was no such threat.” The company said it focused on investigating the situation, containing the affected water and figuring out next steps.

The Monticello plant is about 35 miles (55 kilometers) northwest of Minneapolis, upstream from the city on the Mississippi River.

Tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen that occurs naturally in the environment and is a common by-product of nuclear plant operations. It emits a weak form of beta radiation that does not travel very far and cannot penetrate human skin, according to the NRC. A person who drank water from a spill would get only a low dose, the NRC says.

The NRC says tritium spills happen from time to time at nuclear plants, but that it has repeatedly determined that they’ve either remained limited to the plant property or involved such low offsite levels that they didn’t affect public health or safety. Xcel reported a small tritium leak at Monticello in 2009.

Xcel said it has recovered about 25% of the spilled tritium so far, that recovery efforts will continue and that it will install a permanent solution this spring.

“While this leak does not pose a risk to the public or the environment, we take this very seriously and are working to safely address the situation,” Chris Clark, president of Xcel Energy–Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, said in the statement. “We continue to gather and treat all potentially affected water while regularly monitoring nearby groundwater sources.”

Xcel Energy is considering building above-ground storage tanks to store the contaminated water it recovers, and is considering options for the treatment, reuse, or final disposal of the collected tritium and water. State regulators will review the options the company selects, the MPCA said.

Japan is preparing to release a massive amount of treated radioactive wastewater into the sea from the the triple reactor meltdowns 12 years ago at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The water contains tritium and other radioactive contaminants.