Topic: Department of Energy
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March 16, 2013 at 6:30 AM
Problem will be more complex, costly if ignored
We greatly appreciate the editorial “Keep Hanford a priority” [Opinion, March 11], especially with regard to the tanks that are leaking radioactive waste at the Hanford nuclear reservation.
Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility has several unique education programs aimed at keeping the spotlight on the Hanford cleanup. Hazardous nuclear waste studies raise concerns that contamination is flowing into the Columbia River, endangering human health as well as natural resources. About 70 square miles of groundwater beneath Hanford is contaminated above the Environmental Protection Agency drinking-water standards with uranium, which damages the kidneys; iodine-129, which damages the thyroid; and strontium-90, a radioactive contaminant that contributes to bone cancer, suppresses the immune system and bioconcentrates in fish tissues.
The Hanford cleanup is a complex and expensive task. However, we believe the damage to human health from improper cleanup will be vastly more complex and costly if this cleanup effort is ignored or stalled.
–Richard W. Grady, MD, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Seattle
Steven G. Gilbert, Ph.D., DABT, Institute of Neurotoxicology & Neurological Disorders, Seattle
February 27, 2013 at 4:00 PM
An atomic bomb was built faster
There is a historical irony in that the Manhattan Project netted us an A-bomb in less than three years, but it is taking the Department of Energy decade upon fruitless decade and wasted billions to resolve the disposition of nuclear waste at Hanford [“Treatment plant at Hanford won’t be done by 2019 deadline,” NWWednesday, Feb. 20].
Perhaps if we made both houses of Congress convene on the land overlying the leaking tanks, the whole process might be sped up immeasurably.
–Thomas Munyon, Marysville
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