What genius decided to put Hanford Nuclear Site so close to the Columbia River that it is about to ruin it for good? Actually whose idea was it to put in a river valley in the first place? They really could have done a much better job. I mean look at the other World War II sites like Tennessee and New Mexico. It is almost collectively like they said, ” Heh’ lets do something like Rocky Mountain Flats in Denver. But we well do it better”. And now after 80 years and one 12 story failed attempt, they are “excited to get going” with the attempted clean up. Sometimes I do not want to admit I am part of the Human race. sigh.
Hanford is close to starting the first large-scale pretreatment of the millions of gallons of radioactive waste stored for decades at the site.
In about two months it could start operating around the clock, preparing waste to be fed to the $17 billion vitrification plant to turn it into a stable glass form for disposal.
Hanford officials say that will be a historic moment.
“Being on the verge of the first use of large scale tank waste treatment on the Hanford site is pretty doggone exciting,” said John Eschenberg, president of Hanford’s tank waste contractor, Washington River Protection Solution.
The Department of Energy announced on Tuesday that construction and the readiness assessment of the Tank-Side Cesium Removal. or TSCR, system at Hanford had been completed.
“What a lot of people don’t recognize is the start of tank waste treatment actually starts when TSCR operations begin, so we will be actually treating waste on the industrial scale in just a few months for the first time in the history of the site,” said Brian Vance, the DOE Hanford manager.
The system, placed next to a Hanford underground waste storage tank, was developed in three years as a workaround to the Pretreatment Facility, which stands 12 stories high and covers an area larger than a football field at the vitrification plant.
The Pretreatment Facility was planned to separate waste into low-activity and high-level radioactive waste streams for treatment, but after possible technical issues related to high level waste were identified in 2012, construction on the building stopped.
DOE changed course, deciding to start treating just low activity radioactive waste first and delay treatment of high level radioactive waste for more than a decade.
It estimates that about 90% of the waste in underground tanks could be treated and disposed of in a lined landfill at Hanford as low activity waste.
I dare you. Go there and read. More next week.