You are viewing the most recent posts on this topic.
November 28, 2013 at 7:12 AM
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.
November 25, 2013 at 7:01 PM
A modest win-win proposal
Brian M. Rosenthal’s report about former Attorney General Rob McKenna’s lobbying gig on behalf of Montana and North Dakota coal interests raises several issues [On behalf of North Dakota and Montana, McKenna calls Washington coal study unconstitutional,” Online, Nov. 21].
It’s a modest win-win proposal that might help the coal dust, acid rain and diesel particulates go down a little easier on the Washington state end of the business and help avoid infringing on the rights of Montana and North Dakota citizens to mine and move their coal.
May 29, 2013 at 6:32 AM
Safely store nuclear materials before it’s too late
I appreciate that reporter Sandi Doughton is drawing attention to earthquake risks, but some structures on earthquake faults have radioactive contents — the Columbia Generating Station (CGS) and the nuclear waste tanks at Hanford; the Trident submarine-based nuclear weapons just northwest of Bremerton. Tons of nuclear material are constantly handled and stored there [“Pick your quake from host of scenarios,” NWMonday, May 20].
The CGS should be shut down and its spent fuel stored in on-site, earthquake-proof storage casks. The leaking Hanford tanks need to be rebuilt to advanced earthquake-proof standards. The nuclear-submarine base should be closed, with its warheads dismantled and moved to safe storage and its highly explosive missile-motor fuel rendered safe.
A major earthquake at or near the Hanford tanks and the CGS could contaminate farmlands and Columbia River cities to Portland and beyond. A major earthquake on or near the Trident base, only 20 miles from Seattle, could contaminate Central Puget Sound.
We cannot prevent earthquakes, but we can choose to safely store or remove nuclear materials before they become nuclear contaminants. We do not need to suffer a Fukushima in Washington state.
Mary Hanson, Seattle
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
March 11, 2013 at 7:00 AM
Cleanup is urgent, should be fully funded
I am a current student at the University of Washington and after studying the effects of nuclear weapons and radioactive waste this quarter in my anthropology class I wanted to voice my opinion about the recent budget cuts at Hanford.
I find the recent budget cuts at Hanford disturbing [“How budget cuts could affect you,” seattletimes.com, March 7]. It’s nice of the government officials to assure us Hanford still gets a third of the federal budget for nuclear-waste cleanup, but I ask: How can we be so naive? A delay in the cleanup of Hanford due to budget cuts not only prolongs radioactive waste leaking into the Columbia River but also threatens the well-being of our entire state, both physically and monetarily.
When there are human lives on the line, our government cannot afford to make any cuts in the nuclear-cleanup process at Hanford, nor as Washingtonians can we simply sit back and watch without voicing our fears. This is an urgent issue that needs to be fully funded so it can be thoroughly and promptly dealt with before it is too late.
–Allison Barstow, Seattle
End nuclear dependence
Gov. Jay Inslee says that the proposal to move some of Hanford’s nuclear waste to New Mexico is a “good start in the process of getting rid of Hanford’s waste,” which is like moving the chairs around on the Titanic [“With Hanford tanks leaking, some waste may go to N.M.,” NWThursday, March 7].
The reason they haven’t after 60 years found a solution to the nuclear-waste problem is because there is no solution. Because of that and all the other problems inherent in nuclear energy (the danger, the cost, the health risks, etc.) — the only solution is to cut our losses and end our dependence on nuclear energy altogether.
–Christopher Anderson, 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
Trending with readers