— 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

— Washington state: Emergency declared at Hanford nuclear waste site after tunnel collapse

From RT

May 9, 2017

The US Department of Energy has declared an emergency at the Hanford, Washington nuclear waste storage site, after a cave-in of a tunnel used to store radioactive materials and equipment.

About 3,000 workers have taken cover at the 200 East Area of the sprawling complex, local media reported. By 10:30 am local time, the “take cover” orders have been expanded to the entire site, which is about half the size of Rhode Island.

A portion of a tunnel near the plutonium-uranium extraction plant (PUREX) collapsed early Tuesday morning local time, most likely from vibrations produced by nearby road work, KING-TV reported.

Initial reports spoke of a 4-foot (1.2 meter) hole, which was later expanded to 20 feet (6 meters) across, at the junction of two tunnels used in the 1960s to store highly radioactive materials and equipment, such as trains used to transport nuclear fuel rods.

This robot is being used at Hanford right now to sample contamination in the air and on the ground.

The PUREX facility was built in the 1950s and used until 1988 to extract plutonium from around 70,000 fuel rods in total. The building has been vacant for nearly twenty years and “remains highly contaminated,”according to the Hanford website. Rail cars used to transport the fuel rods from the nuclear reactors to the processing facility are buried inside the nearby tunnels.

Press release from Department of Energy on Hanford Site Emergency. We’re still monitoring the situation. http://www.hanford.gov/c.cfm/eoc/?page=290 

No workers were injured in the collapse, and officials have detected no release of radiation, Washington state Department of Ecology spokesman Randy Bradbury told AP.

“In the ‘60s, spent fuel rods were put in railroad cars and, once filled, the railroad cars were wheeled into a tunnel dug into the side of a hill,” Bradbury said. “Twenty-eight rail cars in all fill this particular tunnel. A worker today noticed a collapse of dirt above the tunnel today, triggering the evacuation.”

READ MORE: Radioactive contamination spreading in shuttered Hanford Site nuclear plant

Workers at the complex have been ordered to stay indoors and refrain from eating and drinking, according to text alerts seen by local media. Emergency crews are organizing the evacuation.

HANFORD NEW: Managers just sent this alert to employees.

UPDATE FROM HANFORD: eating now allowed but some areas still in lockdown.

Emergency measures were put in place due to “concerns about subsidence in the soil covering railroad tunnels,” says a statement posted on the Hanford facility website.

Residents of the nearby Benton and Franklin counties do not need to take any action, the facility said.

Photo of massive plutonium finishing plant at Hanford. Tunnel that collapsed led to this building.

Hanford Source: “This is the biggest deal I’ve seen at Hanford in my 35 years here.”

Hanford is located on the Columbia River in eastern Washington, near the border with Oregon. Built during World War Two as part of the Manhattan Project to develop the nuclear bomb, it still contains roughly 53 million gallons – over 2,600 rail cars – worth of high-level nuclear waste, left from the production of plutonium for the US nuclear weapons program.

A number of current and former Hanford workers suffer from serious medical conditions as a result of exposure to toxic waste leaks and burps of radiation at the complex, RT America reported in April 2016.

— Visible plume from NY Fitzgerald nuclear plant

From Activist Post

There’s No Covering Up This One — Visible Pollution Leaking from NY Nuclear Plant

by Matt Agorist
June 28, 2016

US Coast Guard officials have cordoned off a portion of Lake Ontario this week, after aerial spotters found a visible “sheen” that is coming from a nuclear power plant in upstate New York.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary aircrew first noticed the sheen on Sunday. Shortly after, a boat crew from the Oswego station tested the sheen and a “temporary safety zone” was put in place.

The Free Thought Project spoke to the Coast Guard Sector Buffalo Command Center on Tuesday and confirmed that the zone was still closed off, and there is no information as to when it will reopen.

The oil sheen is said to be coming from the vent for the hydrogen seal system of the Fitzpatrick plant is in Scriba, New York, approximately 10 miles northeast of Oswego.

According to the Democrat and ChronicleEntergy Corporation, which operates the plant, found the source of the oil on the roof of a turbine building, said Neil Sheehan, a public affairs officer for the NRC.

“It appears about 20 to 30 gallons that leaked were then drained through the plant’s discharge drain system to the lake,” said NRC public affairs officer Neil Sheehan. “The company has placed oil-absorbent pads on the turbine building roof and has also stopped all circulating water pumps to eliminate any further discharges.”

Despite the miles-long spill coming from their nuclear power plant, Entergy is claiming that the sheen has not impacted the operation of the plant.

It appears that this Fitzpatrick leak is likely the least worrisome of current leaks popping up around the country.

Although the media spotlight is rarely shined upon America’s aging nuclear infrastructure, U.S. nuclear power plants are decaying rapidly, precipitating numerous nuclear environmental disasters across the country.

To give you an idea of the scope of the crisis facing America’s aging nuclear infrastructure, a startling investigation by the Associated Press found radioactive tritium leaking from three-quarters of all commercial nuclear power sites in the United States.

As The Free Thought Project reported last month, a major nuclear disaster is unfolding in Washington state at what is known as the Hanford nuclear site. There have been reports that the Hanford has been leaking massive amounts of radioactive material for over two weeks.

Only a week after 19 workers were sent for medical evaluation after a waste tank they were moving was found to be leaking, 3 more workers have reportedly been injured at the site. The workers reportedly inhaled radioactive fumes – the same issue facing the 19 previously hospitalized workers, according to reports, bringing the total number of workers injured at the site up to 22.

On top of the Hanford disaster, in recent months, a fire at the Bridgeton Landfill is closing in on a nuclear waste dump, according to a Missouri emergency plan recently distributed by St. Louis County officials. The landfill fire has been burning for over five years, and they have been unable to contain it thus far.

There are clouds of smoke that have been billowing from the site, making the air in parts of St. Louis heavily contaminated. In 2013, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster sued Republic Services, the company responsible for the landfill, charging the company with neglecting the site and harming the local environment.

Last year, city officials became concerned that the fire may reach the nearby Lake Landfill, which is littered with decades worth of nuclear waste from government projects and weapons manufacturing. Remnants from the Manhattan Project and the Cold War have been stuffed there for generations. The site has been under the control of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) since 1990, but they failed to make any significant effort to clean up the waste.

In December of last year, the EPA announced that it would install a physical barrier in an effort to isolate the nuclear waste. But the timeline given by the EPA said it could take up to a year to complete. Residents aren’t comforted by that timetable, and think the government, despite years of warning, has done too little to stave off a possible environmental disaster. They are right.

To add to the legitimacy of the residents’ worries about the government’s timeline, the ground has yet to be broken, the fire is still smoldering, and the EPA just finalized, on Thursday, an Administrative Settlement Agreement and Order on Consent (Settlement) requiring Bridgeton Landfill, LLC to start work on the isolation barrier system at the West Lake Landfill Superfund Site.

Aside from the threat of the U.S. military’s decades-old nuclear waste erupting into flames in the near future, there are also two nuclear reactors inside the United States, which have been leaking for months.

In Florida, a recent study commissioned by Miami-Dade County concluded that the area’s four-decades-old nuclear power plants at Turkey Point are leaking polluted water into Biscayne Bay.

This has raised alarm among county officials and environmentalists that the plant, which sits on the coastline, is polluting the bay’s surface waters and its fragile ecosystem, reports the NY Times. In the past two years, bay waters near the plant have had a large saltwater plume that is slowly moving toward wells several miles away that supply drinking water to millions of residents in Miami and the Florida Keys.

Samples taken during the study show everything from the deadly radioactive isotope, tritium, to elevated levels of salt, ammonia, and phosphorous. So far, according to the scientists conducting the study, the levels of tritium are too low to harm people. However, in December, and January, the levels were far higher than they should be in nearby ocean water which is a telling sign of a much larger underlying problem.

“We now know exactly where the pollution is coming from, and we have a tracer that shows it’s in the national park,” said Laura Reynolds. Reynolds is an environmental consultant who is working with the Tropical Audubon Society and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, which intend to file the lawsuit, according to the Times. “We are worried about the marine life there and the future of Biscayne Bay.”

Fifteen hundred miles north of the leaking reactors in Florida is the Indian Point nuclear power plant in New York. Since the beginning of this year, there’s been an uncontrollable radioactive flow from the Indian Point nuclear power plant that continues leaking into groundwater, which leads to the Hudson River, raising the specter of a Fukushima-like disaster only 25 miles from New York City.

The Indian Point nuclear plant is located on the Hudson River and serves the electrical needs of an estimated 2 million people. In January, while preparing a reactor for refueling, workers accidentally spilled some contaminated water, containing the radioactive hydrogen isotope tritium, causing a massive radiation spike in groundwater monitoring wells, with one well’s radioactivity increasing by as much as 65,000 percent.

The tritium leak is the ninth in just the past year, four of which were severe enough to shut down the reactors. But the most recent leak, however, according to an assessment by the New York Department of State as part of its Coastal Zone Management Assessment, contains a variety of radioactive elements such as strontium-90, cesium-137, cobalt-60, and nickel-63, and isn’t limited to tritium contamination.

As the utility companies and government agencies continue to downplay the severity of these situations, the residents who live the closest to these spots are already feeling the effects.

According to a recent report, Radiation and Public Health Project researchers compared the state and national cancer data from 1988-92 with three other five-year periods (1993-97, 1998-02, and 2003-07). The results, published in 2009, show the cancer rates going from 11 percent below the national average to 7 percent above in that time span. Unexpected increases were detected in 19 out of 20 major types of cancer. Thyroid cancer registered the biggest increase, going from 13 percent below the national average to 51 percent above.

While the U.S. war machine spends hundreds of billions of dollars per year waging war against humanity, Americans at home are dying from a crumbling nuclear infrastructure. The realization that multiple nuclear disasters are currently unfolding across the country, while the mainstream media remains silent, speaks to the fact that most media is owned by the same benefactors that have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.

Matt Agorist is the co-founder of TheFreeThoughtProject.com, where this article first appeared. He is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. .

http://www.activistpost.com/2016/06/visible-pollution-leaking-from-ny-nuclear-plant.html

Posted under Fair Use Rules.

— Another event at Hanford site; annual reporting not including frequent radioactive ‘burps’ from tanks; public exposure is much higher

From RT

© Shaun Tandon
One of the Hanford Site tank farms that holds high-level nuclear waste was evacuated due to reports of an odor in the area. It may be the same type of leak that released toxic chemical vapors that injured dozens of workers in the last two weeks.

The “odor event” occurred at the TX tank farm at the beleaguered nuclear site in Richland, Washington on Tuesday morning. Three workers had completed “routine maintenance” outside the single-shell tank farm when two of them reported smelling an odor, according to the Department of Energy’s Office of River Protection at the Hanford Site. As part of standard procedure, the employees “exited the immediate area where the odor was reported, and access to that area as well as the TX tank farm was restricted.”

The office stressed that the overall site was not evacuated, however. Instead, industrial hygiene technicians were called in to the specific area around the TX tank farm to collect air samples to be analyzed.

Two contract electricians went to the onsite medical clinic after their exposure, television channel KING’s Susanna Frame reported. This brings the total number of Hanford workers seeking medical treatment for exposure to chemical vapors to 49 in the last two weeks.

The release of toxic vapors are a localized problem, affecting only the workers. But Hanford has another problem, one that has reached surrounding towns: The site sometimes “burps”radiation into the atmosphere.

“[Hanford] should be controlling what comes out of high-level nuclear waste tanks, of course, to protect the workers,” State Representative Gerry Pollet told RT America’s Alexey Yaroshevsky.“Their lungs are destroyed, we’ve seen their brains destroyed from the chemicals and now we’re seeing that this does affect the general public.”

Pollet reached out to RT after Yaroshevsky’s report on Friday about a spike in radiation at Hanford. Pollet also serves as the executive director of Heart of America North West, a Hanford watchdog. He analyzed a chart from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that shows a sharp spike in gamma radiation on Friday morning.

The readings show the random jump when the toxic fume rates briefly reached about 410 counts per minute (CPM), nearly the highest possible level. That equals to around 4 microsieverts (uSv) per hour, a common measurement of radioactivity. To put this into perspective, the single lifetime human dose should be between 0.71 uSv/hour and a maximum of 5.7 uSv/hour, according to Radiation Survival.

There have been 14 such burps so far in 2016, and the problem, according to Pollet, is that these burps are not counted towards the maximum radiation dose that the general public is allowed to be exposed to each year.

That dose is defined as the level at which one adult out of every 10,000 who would be exposed to this level of contamination in the air would be expected to die of cancer if they’re exposed every year. Yet the Hanford Site has claimed “for many years” that its airborne emissions of radiation are at a fraction of that allowable limit, Pollet noted.

“What’s clear to me now is that ‒ based on your reporting ‒ we’ve discovered that the regulatory limit and annual reporting has failed to take into account the ‘burps’ from the high-level nuclear waste tanks, and they have not been using the EPA RadNet data that you reported,” Pollet said.

The average year could have 25 such radiation burps, which Pollet described as “probably a good, conservative number.”

“If you had 25 spikes at the level at which you had on May 5, you’d exceed the total annual radiation dose for the public. And that’s very worrisome,” he said. “The fact of the matter is that most of the spikes were far, were about half the size of May 5’s spike. But that just means that if you have 40-50 such spikes, which is probable at this point, then you’re exceeding the limit.”

Saturday’s post-spike readings from EPA showed that the radiation level was at around 210 CPM. While it’s half the level it was during the height of the burp, it’s still a lot higher than should be present in the human body.

[Editor: These are EPA industry-friendly limits, not what will damage living cells. And the track record for the EPA and DOE is dishonesty and harming the public.]

https://www.rt.com/usa/342574-hanford-tank-farm-odor-evac/

More articles on Hanford online.

— Shocking Hanford radiation experiments on prisoners — Columbia River called most radioactive in world

From ENE News
Title: CultureLab: The radioactive legacy of the search for plutopia
Source: New Scientist
Author: Rob Edwards
Date: March 18, 2013

“Shocking radiation experiments by US and Soviet governments” inKate Brown‘s Plutopia

[…] In 1965, scientists at the Hanford nuclear weapons complex in Washington state wanted to investigate the impact of radiation on fertility – and they weren’t hidebound by ethics.

In a specially fortified room in the basement of Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, volunteer prisoners were asked to lie face down on a trapezoid-shaped bed. They put their legs into stirrups, and let their testicles drop into a plastic box of water where they were zapped by X-rays.

The experiments, which lasted for a decade and involved 131 prisoners […]

The testicle tests are just one of many disturbing details Kate Brown has unearthed from the official archives in her fascinating nuclear history. […]

Full report here

More Hanford History from Brown

  • Tunnels created by muskrats undermined one of Hanford’s storage ponds, causing 60 million litres of radioactive effluent to pour into the Columbia river
  • For 7 hours, they processed highly radioactive “green” fuel that had not been allowed to decay for as long as usual – and showered 407,000 gigabecquerels of radioactive iodine over nearby cities
  • The Columbia [has] been called the most radioactive in the world, and many thousands of people who live downstream and downwind say the contamination has made them sick

See also: CBS News: Mind-boggling mistakes at leaking U.S. nuclear site — “The chances of a catastrophic event are real” -Former Governor (VIDEO)

 

http://enenews.com/new-book-shocking-hanford-radiation-experiments-on-prisoners-columbia-river-called-most-radioactive-in-world

— Hanford nuclear waste contractors under US investigation; given $13.7 Million bonus for “Very Good” ops; “Excellent” tank management despite continued tank leakage

From Mining Awareness
April 19, 2016

The current Hanford contractor, WRPS, LLC, for the leaky Hanford radioactive waste tanks is a consortium comprised of AECOM (due to recent purchase of URS), EnergySolutions (owned by Energy Capital Partners – mostly former Goldman Sachs investment bankers led by Doug Kimmelman), and French Government owned AREVA, which would be bankrupt if it weren’t French State owned. If AREVA knows so much then why did the US take French HEU (highly enriched uranium) or HEU waste off the hands of the French? Why didn’t the French take Swiss HEU waste or Swiss plutonium? Why, instead, was it dumped on America?

The State of Washington, Dept of Ecology, Explains: “The alarm indicates an increase in waste seeping from the primary tank into the space between the primary and secondary tank, known as the annulus.” Read the rest here:https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2016/04/19/leaking-hanford-nuclear-waste-tanks/

Hanford Contractors Under US Government investigation

In an SEC Quarterly filing, last August, AECOM, which recently bought URS stated:
DOE Hanford Nuclear Reservation

URS Energy and Construction, Washington River Protection Solutions LLC and Washington Closure Hanford LLC, affiliates of URS, perform services under multiple contracts (including under the Waste Treatment Plant contract, the Tank Farm contract and the River Corridor contract) at the DOE’s Hanford nuclear reservation that have been subject to various government investigations or litigation:

· Waste Treatment Plant government investigation: The federal government is conducting an investigation into our affiliate, URS Energy & Construction, a subcontractor on the Waste Treatment Plant, regarding contractual compliance and various technical issues in the design, development and construction of the Waste Treatment Plant.

· Tank Farms government investigation: The federal government is conducting an investigation regarding the time keeping of employees at our joint venture, Washington River Protection Solutions LLC, when the joint venture took over as the prime contractor from another federal contractor.

· Tank Farms government investigation: The federal government is conducting an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the response of our joint venture, Washington River Protection Solutions LLC, to a leak within the tank farms of the Hanford nuclear reservation.

· River Corridor litigation: The federal government has partially intervened in a false claims act complaint filed in the Eastern District of Washington on December 2013 challenging our joint venture, Washington Closure Hanford LLC, and its contracting procedures under the Small Business Act.

· Waste Treatment Plant whistleblower and employment claims: Two former employees have each filed employment related claims against our affiliate, URS Energy & Construction, seeking restitution for alleged retaliation and wrongful termination.

URS Energy and Construction, Washington River Protection Solutions LLC and Washington Closure Hanford LLC dispute these investigations and claims and intend to continue to defend these matters vigorously; however, URS Energy and Construction, Washington River Protection Solutions LLC and Washington Closure Hanford LLC cannot provide assurances that they will be successful in these efforts. The resolution of these matters cannot be determined at this time and could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s results of operations and cash flows.https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/868857/000110465915058803/a15-12010_110q.htm (Emphasis our own).

Contractors Given “Very Good” Ranking for (Now) Leaking Radioactive Tank Ops and $13.7 million Bonus

Home » Hanford Site Contractor Receives Overall ‘Very Good’ Rating for Tank Operations Hanford Site Contractor Receives Overall ‘Very Good’ Rating for Tank Operations

January 27, 2016 – 12:45pm

WRPS workers do preparatory work at the A/AX tank farms at Hanford in April 2015. They are the next tank farms from which waste will be retrieved at Hanford. WRPS recently received an 88 percent award fee for its performance in fiscal year 2015.

RICHLAND, Wash. – EM recently gave its Office of River Protection (ORP) tank operations contractor Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) an overall “very good” rating for fiscal year 2015, allowing the company at the Hanford Site to earn a $13,728,000 award fee.

Each year EM releases information relating to contractor fee payments — earned by completing the work called for in the contracts — to further transparency in its cleanup program.

WRPS also received an overall “very good” in 2014, but the 2015 award fee was five percent higher than the previous year.

The company was recognized for strong, consistent leadership in several key activities, including:

Taking over responsibilities for the Effluent Treatment Facility, which removes radioactive and hazardous contaminants from waste water;
Implementing recommendations from the independent Tank Vapors Assessment Team, which has worked to minimize risks to workers, including chemical vapors in the tank farms; and
Improving integration between ORP contractors and the DOE national laboratories.
WRPS exceeded many significant award fee criteria and met overall cost, schedule, and technical performance requirements, according to the fee determination scorecard.

The scorecard lists eight special emphasis areas of which WRPS received “very good” ratings in six and “excellent” in two: management of the single-shell and double-shell tank system, and nuclear safety.

WRPS is responsible for safely managing the Hanford Site’s 56 million gallons of nuclear and chemical waste in 177 underground tanks, and preparing the systems to feed waste to the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant for vitrification.http://energy.gov/em/articles/hanford-site-contractor-receives-overall-very-good-rating-tank-operations (Emphasis added; Embedded links at original, which didn’t work for us making us wonder if the US DOE doesn’t want people to see the report card? Or perhaps we were just unlucky.That waste treatment facility isn’t built yet is it? The Hanford gov link won’t open but the LA Times says that it is partially built with significant design vulnerabilities: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-hanford-waste-20150826-story.html )

https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2016/04/19/nuclear-waste-contractors-under-us-gov-investigation-given-13-7-million-bonus-for-very-good-ops-excellent-tank-management-but-alarm-just-went-off-indicating-increased-tank-seepage-of-rad-wa/