Experts Say Future Hanford Accidents INEVITABLE
Hanford officials say cleaning up the rest of the contaminated areas and waste storage will cost $100 billion and take 50 years at the current pace. The experts want larger portions of the money spent sooner to speed up the cleanup or else leaks of radiation will be inevitable.
Hanford processed plutonium during the Cold War and some of the waste is stored in tanks 70+ years old designed to last no longer than 40 years. The infrastructure at Hanford simply cannot last another 50 years.
The recent tunnel collapse is a perfect example. The walls, shells, roofs, etc. holding in contamination are already past their expected life span and cannot contain the waste for several more decades.
Hanford’s has 177 underground tanks made of steel that contain more than 54 million gallons of radioactive and chemical wastes. Hanford receives $2.3 billion a year currently. Energy Secretary Rick Perry would like Hanford to make do with less each year during the current administration.
Sen. Patty Murray has complained that each new energy secretary insists the project is mismanaged every 4 years. It's not, it's just a long, difficult process. She demanded the DOE clean it up as fast as possible for the safety of residents, workers and the environment.