the Columbia River
Don't let an explosion of an unlined radioactive waste landfill result from proposed delays for Hanford Clean-Up or inaction at the commercial rad waste landfill at Hanford (US Ecology)
A video was released by the State of Nevada of an underground explosion at a Nevada radioactive waste site operated by the same company that operates Hanford's Central Plateau area. It is unknown what was buried in the trench that experienced the explosion, or what chemicals may have been released into the air. If the waste in Hanford's own unlined radioactive waste trenches continues to be uncharacterized and untreated Washington could see similar incidents in the future.
Gerry Pollet, JD
Executive Director: Gerry serves in the Washington State Legislature, representing the 46th District. Gerry co-founded HOANW in 1987 and has since been the region's leading advocate for Hanford cleanup. Gerry is also on the faculty of the UW School of Public Health.
Your voice makes all the difference! Over 80% of the people who come to hearings or send in comments on Hanford -- from Seattle and Portland to Spokane and Hood River to Walla Walla -- come because of the info they receive in our acclaimed Citizens' Guides, emails, FB posts, workshops, and 2x/year update phone calls.
USDOE has issued two proposals to rename High Level Nuclear Waste, both would result in untreated waste remaining forever in leaky tanks and the soil around the tanks. First, USDOE proposed "reclassifying" High Level Waste remaining in Hanford's C Farm tanks. Then, USDOE proposed a nationwide redefinition of High Level Nuclear Wastes, which would allow USDOE to leave waste in all tanks and soil without treatment. HoA Presentation; our Jan 2019 comments; our summary of NRC's review
Heart of America Northwest's research has documented how deadly contamination leaking from High-Level Nuclear Waste tanks has spread far more rapidly towards the Columbia River than USDOE (the federal Energy Dept.) claimed was possible. Contamination seeps into the River every day at over 1,000 x Drinking Water Standards
The public's voice for Hanford cleanup, clean energy, and nuclear safety across the Northwest
Our presentation on proposed decades of delay to clean up Hanford's Central Plateau and the Agencies presentations, which you can use to develop and send in comments, starts at 24:30.
USDOE wants to delay cleanup of 43 miles of unlined dirt trenches - yes, that is 43 miles. Instead of an enforceable cleanup agreement schedule, USDOE and the agencies tentatively agreed that the deadline would be "To Be Determined" after more than a decade. With your help - 500 of you commented - we won a change from an unenforceable "To Be Determined" deadline to one which is enforceable but added 18 years.
When the PUREX Tunnel collapsed in May, 2017, we pointed out that just one year previously USDOE had obtained approval from Washington State and EPA to delay cleanup on the Central Plateau, including pushing back the deadline for any plan for removing the waste from the PUREX Tunnels.
Click for our guide to commenting on USDOE's proposal to fill the >1000 foot Tunnel 2 with cement and public hearing on Sept 5 in Seattle. The day after the comment period closed in September 2018, unfortunately, Ecology approved filling Tunnel 2 with cement.
High-Level Nuclear Waste Leaks
As you read this, radioactive and chemical contamination seeps into the Columbia River. Contamination levels in groundwater along the River are as high as 1,750 times Drinking Water Standards. We're leading the efforts to require USDOE to cleanup contamination along the River shorelines so they are safe for public and tribal use.
Meet Your Hanford Cleanup Advocacy Team:.
Seattle's Magnuson Park:
For over 3 years, the Navy and Seattle Parks covered up high levels of radioactive contamination in public areas of the park. Heart of America NW and our Director, State Rep. Gerry Pollet blew the whistle on radiation in soil & storm water pipes draining to the Lake. Click here for update on the Navy's refusal to cleanup to WA State cancer risk
Mark Morris, our Outreach and Education Director, has years of experience and designs our communication tools.
EVENTS & COMMENT PERIODS:
Through April 8, 2021: comment on USDOE plan and permit to add a new basin to Liquid Effluent Retention Facility (LERF), updates for 200 Area Effluent Treatment Facility ; and, 242-A Evaporator connection to the new FERF basin at Ecology's Nuclear Waste Program comment page.. Look for a Guide and webinar 2 weeks before comments due.
Hilited recent resources - more on Resource page:
Citizens' Guide to Hanford Central Plateau Groundwater (July 8, 2020)
USDOE's plan to leave enough Plutonium to make over 12 bombs in
2 soil sites and one tank. Click here to learn more with our June 2020 webinar presentation with suggested comments
If it will be unsafe for Tribes and the public to use areas right alongside the Columbia River until the Year 2247, is it really a "cleanup plan"? Click to view our presentation on cleanup plan for the B & C Reactors Area along the River December 7, 2019
Citizens' Guides and Recent Comments: