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Murder in the SunMorgue
by Denis O'Brien, PhD

Who killed hundreds of Syrian children in Ghouta, Aug21|2013? How, and why?

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-- Environment and Climate --

#570
Jun22.2013 
Will a nuked Portland turn out to be payback for Nagasaki?

 
       AY-102

Back in Aug.2012 Jeff McMahon of Forbes wrote an article about AY-102. At that time about as many people recognized the label AY-102 as would have recognized "bin Laden" on Sep10.2001. Now AY-102 is in million’s of people’s nightmares.  Of all of the millions of tanks holding billions of gallons of whatever all across America, this is probably the only one with a name recognized by the general public.  It is becoming the symbol for how totally screwed the Columbia River water basin is. It is becoming the symbol for how stupid Americans are, especially the smart ones like the engineers and nuclear geeks.

AY-102 is a double-walled tank at the on-going disaster called the "Hanford Site." You know the place – it is almost 600 square miles -- half the size of Rhode Island -- of radioactive waste sitting on the Washington side of the Columbia River.  It is were 2/3 of the country’s nuclear waste has been brewing and sinking into the ground water since the days of the Manhattan Project. Link.

Hanford is America’s ongoing reminder that as smart as all of those nuclear wizards of the 1940's and 50's were, they were collectively dumber than a reptile’s turd when it came to any consideration of the long-term mess they were producing while they sat around in a circle-jerk prying open Pandora’s box.  Hanford produced the plutonium that went into Fat Man that detonated over Nagasaki.  And it’s beginning to look like Portland, OR, – directly downstream from Hanford – may become an inadvertent target.  If Hanford is America's Chernobyl, then Portland may be America's Nagasaki.

What goes around comes around.

The news that McMahon was reporting last year was that a leak in the inner wall of AY-102 had been detected and radioactivity had been discovered between the two walls.

A year later AY-102 is in the news again. You guessed it – yesterday it was reported that the outer wall is now leaking -- that's two out of two, and in this game it's two strikes and you're out. This is the worst case scenario for AY-102, and maybe for Hanford and Portland. 

The U.S. Department of Energy, in a unique move, issued an email late Thursday night about the leaking AY-102.

"On Thursday, June 20, 2013, workers detected an increased level of contamination during a routine removal of water and survey of (AY-102's) leak detection pit...The source of contamination is not yet verified, but may be an indication of a leak from the AY-102 tank’s secondary containment," wrote Lori Gamache, spokesperson for the DOE's Office of River Protection (ORP) in Richland.

AY-102 was one of dozens of the double-walled tanks built in the ‘60's to be filled with waste pumped from the single-walled tanks built in the 40's and 50's. Those single-walled tanks were built to last 20 years.  Although they were filled with radioactive crap that would take hundreds or thousands of years to decay, there was no plan past the 20 year lifetime of the tanks.  

But this was not Oppenheimer’s problem. He and his buddies were hired to nuke Japanese children, not to worry about American children generations down the road.  The problem was owned by General Leslie R. Groves, who had overall responsibility for just about every aspect of Manhattan.  When people look back appalled at how poorly planned Hanford was, it's Groves they should be cussing.   

Groves installed 177 single-walled tanks at Hanford, holding 56 million gallons of radioactive waste. Half of them have already leaked. Most of those have been pumped out but 6 are still leaking. Over the decades they have leaked over 1 million gallons of nuke puke into the groundwater. The groundwater, as you may know, is what people drink.

What goes around comes around.

Well, Groves is long gone, but DuPont and GE are responsible for this mess so surely they will pay for the clean up and pay off anyone who is injured by this 60 year cluster fuck. Oh, yeah, right . . . you know who’s going to pay.

Back in the ‘40's in the middle of the war effort, in the middle of Truman's and Grove's and Oppenheimer's frenzy to nuke as many Japanese kids as possible, the USG signed a contract with DuPont and GE promising to indemnify them against any claims that should arise out of Hanford. What that means is that the for the entire future of the US, the taxpayers will be paying all the costs for cleaning up the mess, for litigation, and for damages to generations and generations of Hanford victims. No – not victims as in Japanese – victims as in Oregonians and Washingtonians exposed to Hanford’s radioactivity. For instance, people who are radiated by radioactive particles picked up by flies and transported out of Hanford, which has been demonstrated to happen. And for the people pulling drinking water out of the aquifer contaminated by the million gallons of Hanford waste already seeping into the ground. And for the thousands of people whose thyroids were irradiated in the 40's and 50's as a result of drinking local milk that contained Hanford’s I-131. The list goes on. The disaster goes on.

What goes around comes around.

 

 

 

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