RADIOACTIVE WASTE FLOWING FREELY INTO COLUMBIA RIVER BECAUSE THERE’S NO MONEY TO STOP IT
14 June, 2017
“Soils contaminated by radiological and chemical waste from plutonium manufacture for the Manhattan Project and subsequent activities. Groundwater contaminated by strontium-90, carbon-14, tritium andhexavalent chromium and discharges into the Columbia River, which is the water supply for over 170,000 people.
Groundwater and soil contamination by tritium, uranium, cyanide, carbon tetrachloride, technetium and other substances from processing, finishing and managing nuclear materials including plutonium fornuclear weapons.
Groundwater contamination by uranium, VOCs, strontium-90 and tritium from nuclear fuel fabrication. Soil contamination by uranium, cobalt-60, copper, PCBs, chromium and possibly other substances. Uranium and TCE have been detected in groundwater adjacent to the Columbia River, which is used for drinking water for over 170,000 people.” [Source]
The announcement came as part of a five-year review of cleanup measures taken at the Superfund site. Officials with the EPA and the Department of Energy said at a meeting Wednesday that the review showed most of the cleanup actions at Hanford were properly “protective,” meaning the public was shielded from the worst of the site’s estimated 500 million gallons of potentially radioactive waste.
Radioactive sludge in shuttered reactors, contaminated soil in landfill sites and equipment that was once used to refine the uranium that fueled the nuclear bomb dropped on Nagasaki were all properly contained, according to the report.
But there was a glaring exception: groundwater contaminated with hexavalent chromium and strontium-90 was still flowing into the nearby Columbia River, according to a presentation from Mike Cline, director of the Department of Energy’s Soil & Groundwater Division.
“Contaminated in-area groundwater is still flowing freely into the Columbia,” EPA Project Manager Dennis Faulk told members of the board.” [Source]
“We don’t have enough funding as it is to do the work that needs to be done,” said Randy Bradbury, spokesman for the Washington state Department of Ecology’s Hanford Nuclear Waste program. “So the cuts are very concerning.” [Source]