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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 28, 2013 at 7:12 AM

Hanford leaks

Think smarter and focus limited resources wisely

I greatly appreciate the piece by guest columnist John Robinson, which put the issue of leaking tanks of high-level radioactive wastes at Hanford in perspective [“Hanford leaks: an unwarranted fear,” Opinion, Nov. 27].

I am not surprised by his conclusions, and I appreciate their credibility. I have pondered the leaks, and even the scenario of all tanks leaking completely. I thought the impact to the Columbia River and risks to humans would be very low, but I didn’t have the information to evaluate beyond the pondering level.

Back in 1994, I had commented to the Department of Ecology about a proposed cleanup plan for the N-Spring Seeps at Hanford. Essentially, I asked questions related to what were the risks and received the reply that no risk assessment was done.

Later, an article by Bill Dietrich, then a science writer for The Seattle Times, described the halted cleanup effort on the project. He identified relevant risk information, sufficient to answer the questions I had raised in comments to the department the year before. Hanford cleanup is a very complex issue. We need to think smarter, get the public better informed and focus our limited resources more wisely.

— Lincoln Loehr, Mukilteo

Comments | More in Environment | Topics: environment, Hanford

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