What’s Inside The Suspect Nuclear Waste Tank At Hanford?

Rendering of Hanford’s Double-Shell Tanks (DOE image)

What’s Inside The Suspect Nuclear Waste Tank At Hanford? (Forbes, Aug 27, 2012):

When news broke last week that radioactive material had been found outside of the inner containment wall of a double-hulled tank at the nuclear waste cleanup site in Hanford, Wa, most reports characterized the contents of the tank as “radioactive waste.”But that’s more a category than a description.

The Energy Department has been eager to find out exactly what’s in the tank, which received wastes from leaky single-walled tanks and from more than a half dozen facilities at the Hanford site, including nuclear reactors, plutonium processing plants, a PUREX plant, and laboratories.

DOE funded many studies to analyze the chemical compounds in the tank, determine whether they could corrode the stainless-steel walls, and to anticipate the effects of a spill. Here’s some of what those studies found:

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Japan: Two Drugs To Help Expel Plutonium From The Body To Be Approved In July

#Radiation in Japan: 2 Drugs to Help Expel Plutonium from Body to Be Approved in July:

It seems like an oblique way for the Japanese government to admit plutonium (and other transuranium elements such as americium and curium) has been released from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant and dispersed in wide enough areas to warrant a very quick approval of drugs that expel them from the body.

Transuranium elements are the chemical elements with atomic numbers greater than 92, the atomic number of uranium. They are all highly radioactive.

From Asahi Shinbun (12:09AM JST 6/2/2011):


Two drugs that expel radioactive materials from the body are set to be approved in July, as the experts agreed at a meeting on June 1 of the Committee on Medicine and Food Safety of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

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TEPCO Press Release: Americium, Curium Found With Plutonium At Fukushima

Americium-241 has a half life of 432.7 years.

And TEPCO really needs to work on its press releases.

Press Release (Apr 27,2011)
Detection of radioactive materials in the soil in
Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (5th release)
As part of monitoring activity of the surrounding environment, we
conducted an analysis of plutonium contained in the soil collected on
March 21st and 22nd at the 5 spots in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power
Station. As a result, plutonium 238, 239 and 240 were detected. 
                                                    (previously announced)

As the result of the plutonium analysis in the soil from the sample from
the 3 periodic sampling spots on April 14th, plutonium 238, 239 and 240
were detected as shown in Attachment 1. In addition, as the result of
gamma ray nuclide analysis from the same sample, radioactive materials
were detected as shown in Attachment 2.

Besides, as the result of the americium and curium analysis in the soil
from 2 samples among the 3 periodic sampling spots in which plutonium was
detected on March 28th amerium 241 (?), curium 242, 243, and 244 were detected.

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