Aug 29

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: Continue reading »

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