Friday, May 6, 2011

America's Atomic Time Bomb: Hanford Nuclear Waste Still Poses Serious Risks

By Marc Pitzke in New York

The disaster at Fukushima has raised questions around the world about nuclear safety. But contamination is much worse in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. The former plutonium plant in Hanford, Washington is one of the most contaminated places on earth, and still decades from being cleaned up.

The lambs were born without eyes or mouths. Some had legs that had grotesquely grown together; others had no legs at all. Many were stillborn. Thirty-one were lost in a single night.

On a pasture nearby, a cow was found dead, stiff and with its hooves bizarrely stretched up into the whispering wind. Down by the river, men of the Yakama tribe pulled three-eyed salmon from the Columbia. Trout were covered in cancerous ulcers.
And then the babies started getting sick... More...


Location:Doubletree Hotel, 1000 NE Multnomah Street
City:Portland, Oregon

A public hearing on the GTCC draft EIS will be held in Portland, Oregon on May 19, 2011.

Doubletree Hotel
1000 NE Multnomah Street
Portland, Oregon
May 19, 2011
5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Arnold Edelman
Document Manager
Office of Technical and Regulatory Support (EM-43)
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20585–0119
Phone: 301–903–5145
Fax: 301–903–7238


Sky Cosby said...

Wow, you're good. And fast! Whew. You blow my socks off! :)

Curious that they are starting an hour earlier than what HOAN announcement said. Also know that, often, if you want to testify, instead of just attend, you have to show up at least an hour EARLIER than the start of the "public" hearing to sign in for a spot. Also interesting that they got the words "low-level radioactive waste" in there (even though it is for the "disposal of GREATER THAN low-level") and they seem to de-emphasize the fact that Hanford is again a candidate for a national nuclear waste dump, against the expressed wishes of the voters of Washington State and the Tri-Party agreement. Already YEARS behind schedule on so-called "clean-up" and millions of dollars over budget.
Know that the "big guns" of the nuclear industry will be out in force, and that over-the-top surveillance is a given. Be forewarned that they don't play fair and will attack almost any citizen input as being emotional, irrational, and ill-informed. Try to prove them wrong on all counts. Repeat undisputed facts in a quiet, calm, firm voice. Ask pointed questions. Try to make sure that people who actually get a spot, have articulate written scripts to read from. The innate unfairness of these "public hearings" can be very overwhelming. If people have seconds or minutes left in their alloted time, request moments of silence to fill in the remainder. More powerful than you would think. I know you probably can't go, but I mean, advise your friends, cohorts, and committed activists.

Maybe request that all CITIZEN input be scheduled BEFORE the nuclear industry "reassurances" Good luck--again, people showing up EARLY to sign in is crucial.

Wish I had more computer skills and an investigative journalist-- or three! --on my "staff".! Encourage people to ask for advice, direction from Heart of America Northwest Gerry Pollet (Gerald) is an excellent attorney, very smart, very informed, and he's worked his ass off on these issues for years now. You can trust him.

I've already hit my limit for even thinking about this shit today. Sorry. Do what you can. People do have a few days lead time. Every little bit helps.. Good luck, God/ess Bless.

I love you.

Sky Cosby said...

Did you know that 9:13:55 (local time) Saturday night there was a 3.3 M earthquake whose epicenter was right in the middle of the Columbia River, just south of Wooded Island, 9 miles north of Richland, just east of one of the largest most polluted areas of Hanford? See Hanford Hotspots map from Heart of America Northwest site.( 3.3 is classified as a "minor" earthquake, but this one was incredibly shallow, 2.6km, which means the tremor surface area is much larger than with a deeper quake. This EQ is "event #
uw 05010413" on the U. S. Geologic Survey website. The "coordinated universal time" was 21:13:55, so it is listed as a Sunday May 1st quake on USGS. Then, Monday May 2 10:13:27 a.m. local time (17:13:27 UTC) there was a M2 earthquake virtually the same place, at an even more shallow depth. (event # uw 05021713) It won't show up on the "Latest Earthquakes in the World Past 7 Days" list because it was less than a M2.5, but type the event numbers in the USGS search blank and you can pull them up. I don't know what this means for the radioactive plume close to the Columbia River, but I did call Heart of America Northwest office in Seattle to alert them.

I realize this isn't "cheerful" news, but there are public hearings re: Hanford coming up SOON in Seattle and Portland (again see HOAN site for info) Public hearings in Seattle and Portland are MUCH more effective than any hearings in Richland where paid industry reps always outnumber real citizens' testimonies. Anyway, I know you will have a much better idea how to get this info out to a larger group of people in time to make a difference. I did write a personalized letter to NRC via the Greenpeace website, will try to send you a copy of that also (still not sure if I am doing some of this right--don't know if my "forwarded" attempt will include my letter, or just the blank form letter--but I will try.) I'm getting really good at ferreting info out, connecting the dots, making intuitive leaps, and asking creative questions on search engines to get around censorship flags--but I still lack some very basic computer skills to do much with the info I get. Any help you can provide would be much appreciated. These two up-coming public hearings it would be great to have large numbers of people show up, to help turn the tide on several crucial issues related to nuclear energy, nuclear waste, nuclear "clean up" in our beloved Northwest.

Thanks lots for any help you can provide.

Much love,