The most contaminated nuclear storage site in the United States has been leaking many hundreds of gallons of radioactive waste, and the deadly leakage may actually have been happening for years. Last week Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced that at least six tanks of radioactive waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation have been leaching poisonous waste into the region. Each of the faulty tanks contains hundreds of thousands of gallons of highly contaminated toxic sludge.
The aging Hanford Site is located on the banks of the Columbia River, and is the repository for 2/3 of all the volatile nuclear waste in our entire country. In addition to this current disaster, the Hanford Nuclear waste dump has been beset with problems for years.
As workers spoke out about multiple safety issues at the facility to no avail, repeated claims of retaliation against these nuclear safety whistleblowers were reported. Employees who raised serious concerns about the deteriorating facility were silenced, ignored or fired. Millions of gallons of a highly radioactive sludge — more than enough to fill scores of swimming pools — are still being stored in single shell underground tanks that are rapidly decaying.
Several of these old containers at Hanford have been leaking for a while, posing an enormous threat to the local water supply and environment. The poisonous radioactive waste spewing from just one of the rotting storage tanks was estimated to be between 150 to 300 gallons each year. Despite billions of dollars that our government has spent attempting to cleanup tons of lethal waste at the site, the U.S. Dept. of Energy has discovered that the potentially catastrophic radioactive sludge problems only seem to be getting worse.
And if the proposed government sequester goes into effect next month, our federal budget for the needed nuclear safety workers attempting to contain these deadly radioactive spills will be drastically slashed. Yikes.images via Wikipedia