- America’s Most Contaminated Nuclear Site Is Vulnerable To Earthquakes (io9, April 4, 2014):
Nearly 2,000 capsules containing radioactive waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation need to be relocated. That’s because the site was built in an area that’s prone to earthquakes. How could this happen?
The facility, located in in southeastern Washington State, was the world’s largest producer of plutonium during the Cold War. Today, it is America’s most contaminated nuclear site, and the focus of an ongoing cleanup that is costing taxpayers some $2 billion per year.
The 1,936 capsules contain radioactive cesium and strontium that was previously buried in underground tanks, and then later moved into “wet storage”—a 13-foot-deep pool of water that helps cool the corrosive-proof containers, which account for 32 percent of the radioactivity at Hanford.
And, now, according to this Inspector General report from the US Department of Energy, the capsules in the Waste Encapsulation and Storage Facility (WESF) need to be moved yet again: Continue reading »