U.S. Dept of Energy plans to bring outside radioactive waste to Hanford

End 2013 and Start 2014 with ten minutes to send in a comment for nuclear safety and Hanford Clean-Up

Thanks to those of you who already sent in comments this week! Be one of the 100 more people we need to comment by Jan 6

Through January 6th, Washington Dept. of Ecology is taking your comments on USDOE’s proposal to NOT remove or treat tens of thousands of drums and containers of illegally stored waste, several of which have leaked in the past 3 years…Take 10 minutes to use our linked Citizens’ Guide to send in your comments urging Washington Ecology to require USDOE to do the right thing, follow the law and have an enforceable schedule to remove and treat wastes

The federal Energy Department (USDOE) tried to leave another nuclear waste gift under our regional tree this December.We need to “return” this gift to sender! On December 13th, USDOE issued its “record of decision” on the massive Tank Closure and Waste Management EIS (TCWMEIS). In 2012, thousands of you attended hearings and sent in comments opposing USDOE’s schemes to send more waste to Hanford and to cover-up with dirt, instead of cleaning up, the leaks and massive discharges from High-Level Nuclear Waste tanks.

  1. USDOE’s decision to import more waste to Hanford:
    Despite the literally thousands of comments you sent in or gave at hearings in 2012, USDOE’s December 13th decision says it will plan to resume sending more radioactive and chemical wastes from its nuclear weapons production and energy facilities to be buried or stored at Hanford. To reduce state and public opposition, USDOE announced it wouldn’t immediately start shipments, but would wait until the plant to treat High-Level Waste from tanks begins operating, which USDOE hopes will be in 2019.
    What are the risks? Shipping the most radioactive of the wastes will cause hundreds of fatal cancers along the truck routes, which include Portland and Spokane, even if there are no accidents or terrorist attacks. And, USDOE’s own TCWMEIS documents that the added waste will increase contamination of groundwater above drinking water standards over and over again for thousands of years! Click here for our Dec. 13th news release and Guide with graphics from USDOE’s own TCWMEIS showing how the December 13th decisions will contaminate groundwater flowing to the Columbia River over and over for thousands of years.
  2. After a year of USDOE refusing to empty leaking High-Level Nuclear Waste tanks, on December 13th, USDOE also announced that it would formally seek to avoid ever cleaning up the leaks and over 100 million gallons of waste discharged from the tanks (click here for KING TV news investigation reports, which we spent weeks assisting, documenting how USDOE tried to coverup tank leaks, including claiming that a tank leak was just accumulated rainwater).
    Contamination from the tank leaks and discharges is spreading through the soil and groundwater towards the Columbia River far faster than the Energy Dept claimed was possible. The Tank Closure and Waste Management EIS actually documented in 16,000 pages how the residues that USDOE wants to leave in tanks will contaminate groundwater for thousands of years (click to see USDOE’s own graphics attached to our Dec 13th news release and Guide). Of course, USDOE’s belief that it shouldn’t cleanup leaks from tanks helps explain why USDOE has spent the last year opposing our work to require USDOE to follow the law and empty the tanks that are currently leaking.
  3. We Need 100 People Who Read This To Use Our Citizens’ Guide to Send in COMMENTS NOW – Act by January 6th: There are 68,000 illegally stored drums of waste in Hanford’s “Central Waste Complex”, and huge containers of waste illegally stored in the Complex’s parking lots. The US EPA ordered Hanford officials to prepare a plan to remove wastes and “close” the illegal storage areas.

Drums have leaked. Again, USDOE famously tried to claim that the leakage from the containers illegally stored outside was just “rainwater.”
USDOE’s proposal? It asks Washington Dept. of Ecology to approve a permit with NO enforceable schedule and no deadline to remove wastes before the year 2030.

If 100 people who read this email click here to use our Citizens’ Guide to send in comments, including calling for public hearings in Portland, Spokane and Seattle. With 100 comments, we can legally ensure hearings and enough pressure to require a real schedule for action – before more waste leaks, or there is a fire or explosion.

Gerry Pollet, JD;
WA State Rep;
Executive Director, Heart of America  NW