‘Significant’ Nuclear Waste Leak at Hanford
A leak at Hanford has gotten was worse over the weekend causing alarms to go off and a "significant" emergency response. An employee spotted over 8 inches of liquid nuclear waste sitting in the second shell of the two shell storage tank number AY-102. Previously the leak was just causing small salt deposits but is now filling the second tank with toxic liquid. Mike Geffre, the ex-worker that originally found the leak in 2011, said that "This is probably the biggest event to ever happen in tank farm history" according to news reports.
Three weeks ago they started pumping all the waste out of tank AY-102 because of the small leak that was found. Officials think that the pressure blew a bigger hole in the tank causing it to get much worse this weekend. One of the biggest problems is that the outer shell does not have the filters or ventilation to deal with the dangerous fumes the leak is creating. All Hanford workers in the area must now wear protective clothing.
A current worker said “The primary tanks weren't designed to stage waste like this for so many years”. He went on to say “There’s always the question, ‘Are the outer shells compromised’”. I know I would like to know the answer to that question but I don't think we are going to get that answer for a while.