The amount of plutonium buried at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State is nearly three times what the federal government previously reported, a new analysis indicates, suggesting that a cleanup to protect future generations will be far more challenging than planners had assumed.
The active phrase being “previously reported”. You can assume the DOE has been lying for decades.
Plutonium waste is much more prevalent around nuclear weapons sites nationwide than the Energy Department’s official accounting indicates, said Robert Alvarez, a former department official who in recent months reanalyzed studies conducted by the department in the last 15 years for Hanford; the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory; the Savannah River Site, near Aiken, S.C.; and elsewhere.
But the problem is most severe at Hanford, a 560-square-mile tract in south-central Washington that was taken over by the federal government as part of the Manhattan Project. By the time production stopped in the 1980s, Hanford had made most of the nation’s plutonium…
The fear is that in a few hundred years, the plutonium could reach an underground area called the saturated zone, where water flows, and from there enter the Columbia River. Because the area is now arid, contaminants move extremely slowly, but over the millennia the climate is expected to change, experts say…
But more than 20 years after the Energy Department vowed to embark on a cleanup, it still has not “characterized,” or determined the exact nature of, the contaminated soil.
The department has been weighing whether to try to clean up 90 percent, 99 percent or 99.9 percent of the waste, but because the extent of contamination is unclear, so is the relative cost of the options.
In other words, the bureaucrats hope the problem will be dealt with – by someone else after they retire. Results were classified. Scientists were ordered for years to keep quiet or be arrested and charged with violating national security laws.
How many of those charged with the task have already retired? They’re sitting somewhere on their rusty-dusty laughing at the civilians who may yet acquire cancer and more – courtesy of our heroic foreign policy.
People wonder why I’m cynical about our politicians? I’m amazed we finally have an administration that let the truth out.