Nuclear Waste

Hanford Nuclear Reservation
3:50 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

New Hanford tank leak raises questions about waste storage

View inside the space between the leaking tanks's two walls at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Photo courtesy the U.S. Department of Energy

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 2:53 pm

RICHLAND, Wash. – Now let’s shift to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in the desert of southeast Washington. A double-hulled underground tank there is leaking radioactive waste.

Next week federal officials are mustering a several-hundred page report on the problem. Experts worry about what the leak means for long-term storage of radioactive tank waste at Hanford.

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Nuclear waste
4:13 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Report: Hanford unprepared for early start on cleanup

Hanford Waste Treatment Plan's Pretreatment Facility as seen from the center of the construction site. Photo by US Department of Energy

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 3:27 pm

A new report says plans to get an early start at cleaning up some radioactive waste at Hanford may not work the way managers envisioned. The document is the latest criticism of a project to treat waste at the southeast Washington nuclear site.

The Department of Energy is building a massive complex designed to turn 56 million gallons of radioactive waste into glass logs. Hanford managers had hoped to get a head start on one facility to treat lower level waste.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
2:13 pm
Mon August 22, 2011

Cleanup work completed on 140 acres at Hanford

Officials report they have finished cleaning up roughly 500,000 tons of contaminated soil from trenches dug in the mid-1950s. The Hanford Nuclear Reservation is seen in this undated aerial photograph.
Associated Press

RICHLAND, Wash. — Workers recently completed clean-up work on 140 acres of the Hanford nuclear reservation where liquid waste from the making of nuclear bombs was poured into trenches in the ground.

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Pacific laboratory
11:40 am
Wed August 17, 2011

Roman artifact helps nuclear storage research

Denis Strachan, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory fellow, traveled to Italy last summer in search of the corroded glass to study how modern-day glass will hold up when storing nuclear waste.
Northwest News Network

Scientists are experimenting with 1,800-year-old glass to better understand how nuclear waste storage will hold up for millennia to come.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
10:27 am
Mon August 1, 2011

New agency sought to find site for nation's nuclear waste

An aerial view of north end of the Yucca Mountain crest in February 1993.
Photo courtesy Dept. of Energy

The nation needs a new agency to site a federal nuclear waste dump. That's the recommendation issued Friday by a presidential commission.

The congressionally-chartered agency would decide where to store radioactive waste that's now sitting in aging underground tanks in southeast Washington.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
5:42 pm
Tue July 26, 2011

Hanford cleans up underground trench waste ahead of schedule

Workers secure a box of low level waste for shipment at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
Northwest News Network

RICHLAND, Wash. – Hanford Nuclear Reservation workers have retrieved a key portion of radioactive waste ahead of schedule. That announcement came from the federal government today.

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Environment
10:40 am
Fri June 10, 2011

Science behind Hanford treatment tanks questioned

RICHLAND, Wash. - A federal nuclear watchdog agency is questioning some of the science behind a massive treatment plant at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington. In a letter released Thursday, federal examiners say key treatment tanks could pose risks.

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ENVIRONMENT
2:12 pm
Tue April 26, 2011

Questions remain about piping Hanford's nuclear waste

One of the most difficult challenges at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation is moving radioactive waste from point “A” to point “B.” The federal government is spending billions of dollars on a waste treatment plant. Piping that radioactive waste across the desert is sort of like getting ketchup out of a bottle. But it’s a whole lot more complicated and dangerous.

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Nuclear Waste
3:01 am
Mon March 21, 2011

Washington to argue for Yucca Mountain waste storage project

Japan's nuclear reactor crisis has sharpened the debate over where the U.S. will store its radioactive waste in the long-term. Tuesday the State of Washington and other plaintiffs will argue in federal court that the Obama administration should not abandon the Yucca Mountain repository in Nevada.

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Hanford Clean-Up
7:40 am
Thu February 10, 2011

Hanford tank waste retrieval resumes

Crews at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation are once again pumping radioactive waste from a World War II era tank. Work had been stopped on the unstable tank buried near the Columbia River.

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Nuclear Waste Clean-up
9:53 am
Fri February 4, 2011

A new generation begins taking the reins at Hanford

What do you do when you have a huge dilemma, and the number of people who can solve it is dwindling? That's the problem at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation -- one of the largest environmental cleanup projects in the world.

About 12,000 people are working on it right now. But the vast majority of Hanford's top experts are nearing retirement age. That leaves this complex cleanup task to the next generation.

The stakes are high: one wrong move could mean an environmental disaster, or a contaminated worker.

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Radioactive Animals
8:06 am
Fri November 19, 2010

On the trail of a radioactive mouse

How do you catch a radioactive mouse?  Hanford Nuclear Reservation workers will use standard mousetraps. Radioactive droppings were found at Hanford recently. After nabbing a radioactive rabbit two weeks ago,  workers say catching the mice is no easy task.

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