— Oregon: Hanford worsens, 2nd emergency in 10 days; “High spikes” in radiation levels recorded — Expert: Plutonium could go airborne — Major concern over radioactive releases — Gov’t delays revealing data to public

[Site manager for the Department of Energy Richland Operations Doug] Shoop said all the monitoring data that the DOE, contractors and the Department of Health conducted on the site, following the collapse, will be available to the public within the next week.

There is nothing posted on the doh.wa.gov website under News.

From ENE News — 2 posts

May 22, 2017

KING, May 19, 2017 (emphasis added): Another Hanford emergency: signs of another leaking tank… The U.S. Department of Energy is scrambling to deal with the second emergency at the nuclear site in 10 days’ time. Signs have emerged that a massive underground double shell nuclear waste holding tank may be leaking… Now it has been holding hot, boiling radioactive and chemically contaminated waste for 41 years. KING 5 has learned that a… radiation specialist on the crew detected higher than expected readings… Detection equipment was then used to check for contamination that might have become airborne… They found radioactive material on one worker in three spots… “Everybody was freaked, shocked, surprised,” said a veteran worker and KING 5 Hanford source who is in direct contact with crew members… Thursday night’s incident means this could be the second double shell tank to fail. “We are of course concerned it might be a leak,” a Washington state Department of Ecology spokesperson said… The AZ 101 contamination event comes just 10 days after a tunnel collapse at Hanford that caused a site wide emergency… That event could have spewed radioactive particles across the site and beyond… “Today’s alarming incident at Hanford elevates the urgency of the federal government to prioritize and fund all critical cleanup at this aging nuclear reservation,” [Governor Jay] Inslee said in a statement…

KING Transcript: “For the second time in less than two weeks there’s been a major incident at the Hanford nuclear site. Tonight, new evidence of a possible new leak at a massive underground nuclear waste tank…. This is the second major event at Hanford in 10 days time… Yet another sign that the old weapons plant is falling apart.”

CNN, May 20, 2017: Maia Bellon, director of the Washington Department of Ecology [wrote] “We’re calling for an immediate investigation by US Department of Energy into contamination & potential leak”…

Wall Street Journal, May 19, 2017: U.S. Department of Energy officials said unusually high contamination was discovered when a robotic device used to measure the thickness of tanks containing radioactive waste was being maneuvered by a contractor.

Watch broadcasts here: KING | NBC

May 18, 2017

KING 5 transcript, May 14, 2017 (emphasis added): Hanford official: Tunnel could collapse again — Less than a week after a tunnel collapse at Hanford’s PUREX site, Senator Cantwell visited the nuclear site Saturday, concerned about the recent collapse and the possibility of more. “There is still a potential that we could have an additional collapse of that tunnel,” said Doug Shoop, manager at the Department of Energy Richland Operations Office… “What we will be doing, weather permitting, will be putting a very large cover over the top of that tunnel number one,” said Shoop. That cover meant to keep radioactive particles in the dirt from flying into the air in the event of another collapse.

KOMO, May 13, 2017: DOE spokesman Doug Shoop said they’re still at risk of another failure as the 360-foot long concrete and wood structure has not been shored up. To mitigate the risk of a radioactive release in the event of a second collapse, workers will place a heavy, industrial tarp over the entire length of the tunnel…

KEPR, May 13, 2017: IMMEDIATE CONCERNS… “Now there is still the potential that we could have an additional collapse,” said Doug Shoop, site manager for the Department of Energy Richland Operations… Nuclear Waste Program Manager Alex Smith said the Department of Ecology[ said the] most immediate concern, of course, is the potential the wooden tunnel could collapse again… If a larger part of the tunnel were to collapse, she said they worry about a radiological releaseWith high winds in the area, Smith said radioactive dust can travel easily, that’s why they used extra precaution when dealing with the emergency on Tuesday. Shoop [said] they want to avoid airborne release of radioactive dust because the materials are difficult to contain and can be harmful to humans… “But what we do know for sure is that the material is very radioactive,” he said… Shoop said all the monitoring data that the DOE, contractors and the Department of Health conducted on the site, following the collapse, will be available to the public within the next week

Alex Smith, Washington Dept. of Ecology: “The integrity of the structure is compromisedRadioactive dirt and dust could be released… it is a high concern.”

KNDO transcript, May 14, 2017: “There are still major concerns circling the tunnel collapse.”

KING 5 transcript, May 10, 2017: “A danger still exists after that tunnel collapsed yesterday. It was really a statewide emergency… If the wind were to pick-up and the hole is still not filled in, that’s when the wind could come down, stir things up, and spread radioactive particles into the air… The bad news is the wind is about to pick up. We’ve got this low pressure system out in the Pacific… Once it traverses east of the Cascades we’re going to see that wind… You’re going to see wind speeds surpassing the 30 mph mark.”

Nuclear Hotseat, May 10, 2017: (at 11:15 in) Robert Alvarez, former senior policy adviser at US Dept. of Energy: “It’s possible that radiation might have escaped into the open environment because of this collapse… This stuff could re-suspend — it probably has plutonium in it.” — (at 16:30 in) Julie Wert, Radiation Watch: “I pulled the [EPA RadNet data] for Hanford and it’s showing high spikes… That indicates that there’s some releases going on.”

Tri-City Herald, May 13, 2017: Hanford radiological control technicians who questioned some unusual radiation readings are being credited with discovering the breach… When some readings were much higher than expected, they began checking for the cause…

Broadcasts: KING 5 | KNDO | Nuclear Hotseat

http://enenews.com/emergency-at-us-nuclear-site-unusually-high-radiation-levels-reported-worker-everybodys-freaked-shocked-surprised-governor-alarming-incident-tv-major-event-sign-the-p

http://enenews.com/alert-officials-warn-of-more-collapses-at-us-nuclear-site-high-spikes-in-radiation-levels-recorded-expert-plutonium-could-go-airborne-major-concern-over-radioactive-releases-govt-d

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— Action needed tomorrow at Los Angeles Board of Supervisors on Santa Susana Field Lab cleanup

From SSFL Working Group

March 13, 2017

The Dept. of Energy’s Broken Promises-
The Fight for Full Cleanup Continues

Action Needed Tomorrow- Come and Testify!
LA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING

Tuesday, March 14, 9:00 a.m.
Board Hearing Room 381B
Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration

550 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

We need you to attend the LA County Board of Supervisors meeting tomorrow to testifyin support of Supervisors Kuehl and Barger.  They are proposing a resolution that demands the Dept. of Energy (DOE) live up to the cleanup standards set by the 2010 cleanup agreement and condemns their current Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for violating it.  We will be meeting there at 9:00 AM.  See address listed above.

If you attended the March 8 meeting, PLEASE MAIL IN YOUR COMMENT CARD.
At the meeting you received a card on which to write your comment on the DOE’s Draft EIS.  If you have not done so already, please finish writing your comment and mail it in.
The deadline for commenting has been postponed to April 13th.  
The address is already printed on the card.  It requires First Class postage (either $0.49 or a Forever stamp).

Thank you to all who attended the March 8th SSFL Work Group meeting- we were delighted to see so many new attendees as well as familiar faces and a few representatives of our elected officials.

A special thanks to Melissa Bumstead, and the other parents and families of the SSFL community inflicted by pediatric cancer, for hosting a beautiful candlelight vigil before the meeting to raise awareness about the health hazards of the contamination migrating offsite into our neighborhoods.

Thank you also to Mohsen Nazemi, Deputy Director of the Department of Toxic Substances Control’s Brownfields and Environmental Restoration Program, for coming and ensuring the community that the Dept. of Toxic Substances Control is committed to enforcing the 2010 cleanup agreement to background that the Dept. of Energy signed.

What You Can Do

Attend the LA County Board of Supervisors meeting tomorrow at 9AM and testify in support of the resolution on SSFL.

Mail in the comment card for the DOE’s DEIS you received if you attended the March 8th Work Group meeting.

Submit a comment demanding that the DOE clean up all contamination at SSFL.

Ask your friends, family, and neighbors to also submit a comment and attend the DOE hearings. Please forward this email and share on social media.

Background

The Department of Energy (DOE) is attempting to break its obligation to clean up all of the nuclear and chemical contamination at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL), proposing instead to leave between 30 -99% of the contamination not cleaned up. That is dangerous and unacceptable!

All of the alternatives directly violate the Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) that DOE signed in 2010, which committed them to clean up all detectable contamination. DOE’s DEIS also fails to acknowledge that DOE as the polluter doesn’t have the authority to decide how much of the mess that it made is going to get cleaned up. The decision rests with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, not DOE.

Click here to learn more about key problems with DOE’s DEIS. Click here to read the DEIS itself.

To learn more visit www.ssflworkgroup.org or contact us at info@ssflworkgroup.org

— Santa Susanna Field Lab March 8 meeting on DOE’s broken cleanup promises and how to ensure full cleanup

From the Santa Susanna Field Laboratory Work Group

NEXT SSFL WORK GROUP MEETING
Wednesday, March 8, 6:30 p.m.
Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center
3050 E. Los Angeles Avenue, Simi Valley, CA 93065
The Department of Energy (DOE) recently released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the SSFL cleanup in which every option proposed would breach the legally binding cleanup agreement it signed in 2010 to clean up all contamination at SSFL. DOE now proposes instead to leave between 39% and 99% of the contamination not cleaned up. DOE hearings this week demonstrated public anger at DOE proposing to break its cleanup commitments, but much more is needed to ensure that DOE will uphold its SSFL cleanup commitments.

Please join us on March 8 to learn more about:

  • The Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) agreement that DOE signed to clean up all contamination at SSFL, and how the DOE’s proposals violate it
  • The amounts of contamination that DOE is proposing leaving behind, and the risks associated with the contamination
  • Misinformation put forth by DOE to help it break out of the agreement
  • How the community can help ensure a full cleanup of SSFL

We look forward to seeing you on March 8th for some straight talk about SSFL.

PS. If you haven’t yet, please submit a comment demanding that DOE honor its commitment to clean up all contamination at SSFL, and ask your friends, family, and neighbors to do so as well.

The Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL), also known as Rocketdyne, is a former nuclear and rocket engine testing facility that is contaminated with radiological and chemical pollutants. The 2,850 acre site is near Simi Valley, Chatsworth, Canoga Park, Woodland Hills, West Hills, Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, Oak Park, Calabasas, and Thousand Oaks. For over twenty-five years, the Santa Susana Field Laboratory Work Group has served to keep the community informed about the contamination at SSFL and assure it is thoroughly cleaned up.
To learn more visit www.ssflworkgroup.org or contact us at info@ssflworkgroup.org

— Los Angeles: Public meetings on SSFL cleanup — Tell Dept. of Energy to clean up Santa Susana contamination, not leave it behind!

From the Santa Susana Field Laboratory Work Group
February 13, 2017

“Unless people rise up and our elected officials act strongly to enforce the promises, people in neighboring communities will be at perpetual risk from migrating radioactivity and toxic chemicals.”  Read New Ventura County Star Op-Ed: Santa Susana Field Lab Broken Promises

The Department of Energy (DOE) is attempting to break its obligation to clean up all of the nuclear and chemical contamination at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL), proposing instead to leave between 34 -94% of the contamination not cleaned up. That is dangerous and unacceptable!

Urgent action is needed to protect communities near SSFL!

1. Attend one or both of the upcoming DOE hearings and voice your concerns.

  • Saturday, February 18, 2017, 9:00 a.m. – 12 p.m. Grand Vista Hotel, 999 Enchanted Way, Simi Valley, CA (Open house from 9 – 9:30 a.m.)
  • Tuesday, February 21, 2017, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Airtel Plaza Hotel, 7277 Valjean Avenue, Van Nuys, CA (Open house from 6 – 6:30 p.m.)

2. Submit a comment demanding that DOE clean up all contamination at SSFL.

3. Ask your friends, family, and neighbors to also submit a comment and attend the DOE hearings. Please forward this email and share on social media.
Background

The DOE recently released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) that proposes three alternative cleanup plans for its operational area of SSFL, which is where most of the nuclear contamination is located. The three alternatives would respectively leave up to 34%, 86% or up to 94% of the contamination on site, where it can continue to migrate and put nearby communities at risk.

All of the alternatives directly violate the Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) that DOE signed in 2010, which committed them to clean up all detectable contamination. DOE’s DEIS also fails to acknowledge that DOE as the polluter doesn’t have the authority to decide how much of the mess that it made is going to get cleaned up. The decision rests with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, not DOE.

Click here to learn more about key problems with DOE’s DEIS. Click here to read the DEIS itself. Again, it is critical that as many people as possible attend the DOE hearings and submit comments demanding a full cleanup of SSFL. Thank you!.

The Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL), also known as Rocketdyne, is a former nuclear and rocket engine testing facility that is contaminated with radiological and chemical pollutants. The 2,850 acre site is near Simi Valley, Chatsworth, Canoga Park, Woodland Hills, West Hills, Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, Oak Park, Calabasas, and Thousand Oaks. For over twenty-five years, the Santa Susana Field Laboratory Work Group has served to keep the community informed about the contamination at SSFL and assure it is thoroughly cleaned up.

To learn more visit www.ssflworkgroup.org or contact us at info@ssflworkgroup.org

— Los Angeles: DOE breaks agreement to clean up Santa Susana Field Lab contamination; may leave behind 94%

For action and upcoming meetings, go to http://www.ssflworkgroup.org

From the Ventura County Star

February 11, 2017

Our region has just been hit by two significant events that affect the health of our community.

While we have long awaited some relief for our drought, torrential rainstorms inundated the Santa Susana Field Lab, one of the most polluted places in the state. Runoff from far lesser storms in recent years resulted in more than 200 instances in which highly toxic and radioactive contaminants migrated off site at levels in excess of state pollution limits, and one can only imagine the effect these recent large storms have had.

Around the same time, the Department of Energy broke its solemn cleanup commitments and announced it would leave as much as 94 percent of the soil contaminated at the field lab site not cleaned up. Unless people rise up and our elected officials act strongly to enforce the promises, people in neighboring communities will be at perpetual risk from migrating radioactivity and toxic chemicals.

The field lab housed 10 nuclear reactors, of which at least four suffered accidents, including a partial nuclear meltdown in 1959. There was a factory for fabricating reactor fuel rods out of plutonium, perhaps the most dangerous substance on earth. In a “hot lab” there, highly irradiated nuclear fuel rods shipped in from around the nation were cut apart, with several radioactive fires.

It illegally burned radioactive and chemically hazardous wastes in open air pits, by shooting barrels of the waste with rifles to ignite them, with the toxic plumes blown over surrounding communities. It conducted tens of thousands of rocket tests, many using very dangerous fuels, and then flushed out the engines with a million gallons of toxic solvents that were allowed to simply percolate into the soil and groundwater.

The result of this shameful violation of basic environmental protections is widespread contamination of groundwater, surface water and soil with strontium-90, cesium-137, plutonium-239, perchlorate, PCBs, dioxins, heavy metals, volatile organic compounds and much more. And because the site sits in the hills overlooking more than 500,000 people within 10 miles, the contamination wants to flow off site to the places and people below.

The site has been fined more than $1 million in recent years for allowing pollutants to migrate off the property at levels deemed unsafe for people or the environment. And as long as the site doesn’t get cleaned up, that will continue.

These awful materials cause cancers including leukemia, genetic defects, neurological and developmental disorders and other health problems. A federally funded study by Dr. Hal Morgenstern of the University of Michigan found a greater than 60 percent increase in key cancers in people living near the site compared with people living farther away. Another government-funded study by a team from UCLA led by Dr. Yoram Cohen concluded that numerous pollutants from the site had migrated off site at levels in excess of EPA levels of concern.

For these reasons, the community was joyous in 2010 when the Department of Energy and NASA signed legally binding agreements with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control requiring all contamination that could be detected in the soil to be cleaned up by 2017.

It is now 2017 and the cleanup hasn’t even begun. And the DOE just issued a draft environmental impact statement breaking the 2010 cleanup agreement and saying it will only consider three options, none of which comply with its past commitments.

One would leave 34 percent of the contamination in place. A second would leave 86 percent. And the third would walk away from a staggering 94 percent of the contaminated soil, just leaving it in place. The 2010 agreement barred any consideration of leave-in-place alternatives.

The DOE has essentially thumbed its nose at California. Even if the cleanup agreement didn’t exist, the decision on how much toxic pollution to clean up doesn’t rest with the polluter, but with the state regulator. The DOE can’t decide to just walk away from most of the contamination.

But the state has been remarkably silent so far in response to this assault on its authority. Indeed, it has in its own actions undercut the cleanup agreement it signed. Toxic Substances Control is years late on its own environmental impact report and has been busy undermining the cleanup in other ways as well.

In 2010, we were promised that, with a couple of narrow exceptions, all of the soil contamination that could be detected would be cleaned up. Now it appears likely than close to none will be, and the people in the area will continue to be at perpetual risk from migrating radioactive and toxic contamination — unless they speak out now, loud and clear, and their elected representatives do the same.

Robert Dodge, a family physician in Ventura, serves on the boards of Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and Citizens for Peaceful Resolutions. Daniel Hirsch is director of the Program on Environmental and Nuclear Policy at UC Santa Cruz and president of the Committee to Bridge the Gap.

 

http://www.vcstar.com/story/opinion/columnists/2017/02/11/dodge-hirsch-santa-susana-field-lab-broken-promises/97766134/

Posted under Fair Use Rules.

— Would You CONSENT to Nuclear Waste? Tell DOE “NO” to Fukushima Freeways — deadline July 31

The DOE proposal is about the “future” of nuclear energy. DOE wants to continue promoting nuclear power plants, continue creating nuclear weapons, continue churning out nuclear waste. Without disposal, there is no future. We can collectively refuse.

Sane people want to  know: how can there be “disposal” for something that lasts millions or billions of years?

From Nuclear Information and Resource Service

July 27, 2016

Dear Friends,

What would it take for you to consent to accept nuclear waste in your region? The Department of Energy (DOE) wants to know.

DOE has held 9 public meetings across the country this year, and is now taking written comments, on the concept of public “consent” to accept high-level radioactive waste.

Send DOE  your comment today: No more nuclear waste – No Fukushima Freeways!

After decades of trying to force-feed the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear dump down the throats of Nevadans and the Western Shoshone Nation, the DOE and nuclear proponents now want to know what it will take to get people to “consent,” or at least appear to consent, to take nuclear waste in their communities.

DOE acknowledges this is also “consent” to future nuclear waste production as part of setting up an “integrated waste management system.” The federal agency says that the future of nuclear energy in this country depends on this.

Tell DOE what you think of nuclear waste by clicking here.

DOE seeks public input on how to be FAIR, WHO to include in the consent process, and what RESOURCES it will take to induce community participation in the nation’s radioactive waste program.

  • DOE wants to identify who adequately represents a community and will consent to take nuclear waste on its behalf.
  • DOE is not defining exactly what or how much nuclear waste we would be “consenting” or not consenting to accept.
  • And DOE is not asking how a community can refuse or express permanent “non-consent,” although you can let them know that if you choose to.

Although they have reports, diagrams of storage containers and systems, ideas and plans for the tens of thousands of tons of nuclear waste in this country, they claim to want to negotiate with communities who would “consent” to take it forever or supposedly temporarily.

Tell DOE what you think of nuclear waste by clicking here.

No consideration of the rights or consent of communities along transport routes is being made or requested. Although one of the greatest dangers to the most people, environments and ecosystems is the movement of tens of thousands of tons of nuclear waste on roads, rails and waterways, DOE has stated that there is complete federal preemption over transport of nuclear waste, so states and communities along the transport routes would have no voice, no matter how much waste DOE plans to move through them.

DOE is giving no consideration of the rights of future generations who will inevitably be affected.

DOE and the nuclear industry are eager for volunteering or consenting communities to take the waste and for the DOE to take title to it–absolving the industry of responsibility for managing the waste it creates before there is even a proven solution for its long-term management.

Thanks for all you do!

Mary Olson – Southeast Office Director
Diane D’Arrigo – Radioactive Waste Project Director

For More Information

NIRS Info Materials on Fukushima Freeways and Consolidated Storage
Talking Points on Consent-Based Siting from Beyond Nuclear

Click here to read a Federal Register notice that explains more about DOE’s request for public comment on these issues. There is also information on this DOE website.

You can contact Diane D’Arrigo or Mary Olson at NIRS for more information about the other meetings and the issue generally.

Submit a Public Comment! We encourage everyone to submit your own thoughts on these issues to DOE. Comment deadline is July 31, 2016. Please send an email to consentbasedsiting@hq.doe.gov. Please include “Response to IPC” in the subject line.

Stay Informed:

NIRS on the web: http://www.nirs.org

GreenWorld: (NIRS’ blog chronicling nuclear issues and the transition to a nuclear-free, carbon-free energy system) http://www.safeenergy.org

NIRS on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nuclear-Information-and-Resource-Service/26490791479?sk=wall&filter=12

http://www.facebook.com/nonukesnirs

http://www.facebook.com/groups/nukefreeclimatefreemarch/

NIRS on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/nirsnet

NIRS on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/nirsnet
http://org2.salsalabs.com/o/5502/t/0/blastContent.jsp?email_blast_KEY=1369374

— Idaho: Ready to give “consent” to allow more commercial nuclear waste?

From Idaho Statesman

Guest Editorial
by BreBrent Marchbanksnt Marchbanks
July 12, 2016

Longtime Idahoans remember being shocked some 40 years ago when it was revealed the INL was dumping radioactive waste water directly into the volcanic, porous ground above the Snake River Aquifer; the source of our agricultural irrigation and the water supply for thousands.

Many have seen the pictures from the ’70s of trucks dumping blue barrels full of transuranic waste into ditches at the site.

Public outcry stopped those specific practices. But that waste is still there. Radioactive isotopes have leached into the aquifer. Tons and tons of other people’s nuclear waste kept arriving.

In 1995 Gov. Phil Batt worked a deal with the U.S. Department of Energy: In exchange for a limited amount of new military waste shipments (the “nuclear Navy,” Three Mile Island, etc.) the DOE would: 1) Build a permanent site for those (and previous) shipments, and 2) Clean up the mess that was already there.

The agreed-to shipments began to arrive. Neither the permanent storage nor the cleanup has happened.

The military waste shipments that were allowed into Idaho continue to this day; I saw new shipments in rail cars at the Pocatello yard two weeks ago.

Many of us anti-nuclear types, including the Snake River Alliance, opposed the Batt 1995 Agreement at the time, believing it was too weak; it allowed for too much waste and caved in to the Feds.

But, even if too weak, it was at least some kind of a brake on the seemingly endless shipments to our state. Idaho voters approved the Batt Agreement. Even the campaign slogan of the pro-Batt Agreement forces, including INL itself, was ”Keep the Waste Out.”

Now, those same forces want to get rid of the Batt Agreement altogether; not because it’s too weak, but because it’s too strong. It doesn’t allow enough waste in. It commits the feds and our state to clean-up. Apparently, they want more waste, with no permanent repository in sight, and they want it without a commitment for cleanup. They want to throw out the people’s referendum vote. The governor has used state dollars to support this campaign by creating the Leaders In Nuclear Energy (LINE) Commission. One of the appointed members is Larry Craig.

The DOE is coming to Boise on Thursday [July 14] for a discussion of whether Idaho is willing to throw out the Batt Agreement. The federal jargon being used is whether Idaho is now willing to become a become a “Consent State;” volunteering to allow tons and tons of new shipments of commercial waste generated by the dying nuclear power plant industry (in our own country and overseas.)

The meeting is being held 5 to 9:30 p.m., at the Boise Centre on the Grove.

The public is invited to listen, ask questions and comment.

Brent Marchbanks is a retired lawyer and longtime Boise resident. He remains active in social issues.