Six underground radioactive waste tanks at the nation’s most contaminated nuclear site are leaking, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Friday.
The tanks, which already are long past their intended 20-year life span, hold millions of gallons (liters) of a highly radioactive stew left from decades of plutonium production for nuclear weapons.
In our 1989 report on the Department of Energy’s (DOE) management of the single-shell tanks at its Hanford Site in Washington, we reported that, based on estimates by DOE contractor staff, about 750,000 gallons of liquid waste had leaked from 66 single-shell tanks.1 Subsequently, in September 1990 the Washington State Department of Ecology learned that the volume of liquid waste that had leaked from one Hanford single-shell tank (designated as 241-A-105, commonly known as 105-A) was substantially higher than the volume reported to us and included in our report.
If you’re wondering why this is suddenly an issue again… eh, it could be for any number of reasons, ranging from the plutonium is particularly glowing today to Gov. Inslee getting a call from Obama to pull out all of the control rods in the unstable reactor that is public opinion. But enough of horrifically clunky metaphors for a moment; let’s take advantage of the strained reference instead and look up what Obama said once about the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. From the summer of 2008:
Woman: Every year the government promises to fund the Hanford clean-up project in eastern Washington, and every year they find a way to take away the funding, which results in a lot of lost jobs. Washington’s current policy seems to be ‘the solution to pollution is dilution.”
Barack Obama: Oh-ho. Nice.
Woman: What is your policy?
Barack Obama: Here’s something you’ll rarely hear from a politician; and that is, I’m not familiar with the Hanford site. And so I don’t know exactly what’s going on there. Now, having said that… having said that, I promise you I’ll learn about it by the time I leave here on the ride back to the airport.
It would appear that what actually happened here was that Barack Obama decided instead to ignore the entire issue the second that he got out of that town hall, because certainly pretty much nothing at all has happened since then. Well, except for the estimated cost for cleanup, and the timeline for completing said cleanup; the former gets larger, and the latter stretches out farther, every single year. Which, again, is what Obama promised to look into.
But then, nobody smart has ever trusted one of Barack Obama’s promises anyway. Particularly since in this case Obama’s claim of ignorance was a bald-faced lie: as we at RedState noted at the time in 2008 Barack Obama was either checked out on the problems with Hanford, or else he voted the way his handlers told him to vote. Either one, honestly, would be believable.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: I am fully in favor of nuclear power; but we do need to put the waste products somewhere.