Department of Energy confirms new radioactive waste leak at Hanford; incident raises questions about safety of nuclear waste storage in West Texas

The Kansas City Star reported last Tuesday:

The Department of Energy has confirmed that its oldest double-shell tank is actively leaking radioactive and hazardous chemical waste from its inner shell.

DOE made the announcement Monday after a video inspection of the area between the shells Sunday showed more waste in one place than a video taken Thursday showed.

The article also said:

The Hanford nuclear reservation has 28 double-shell tanks that are being used to hold waste from older single-shell tanks, many of which have leaked in the past. Together, the two types of underground tanks hold 56 million gallons of radioactive waste left from the past production of plutonium for the nation’s nuclear weapons program.

The double-hulled tanks at Hanford are made of stainless steel. If these tanks haven’t survived sixty years of waste storage, what does it say about the long-term safety of the Waste Control Specialists facility in Andrews, Texas, where low-level radioactive waste is being stored in single-hulled containers, with the last line of defense between the casks and on-site groundwater being a layer of clay?

Here’s a link to the Kansas City Star article:


About Robert Singleton

By day, I work for a call center. In my spare time, I try to save my hometown (and planet) from a nearly constant onslaught of greedheads, lunatics and land developers. I live in a fictional town called Austin, Texas, where I go to way too many meetings.
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