The Catastrophic Hanford Nuclear Leak: Could it happen at San Onofre?

Radiation alarms began screaming early in the morning last Monday, April 18, at the U.S.A.’s largest military nuclear waste dump.  The admission that there is what some are calling a “catastrophic leak” of radioactive waste came 11 months after the leak was first detected by employees (source).

The Web site Common Dreams is reporting that a “catastrophic” radiation leak has occurred at the allegedly sturdy double-walled tanks at Hanford nuclear site in Washington State.  According to NBC/King News (see video), employees at Hanford lowered a remote video camera between the inner and outer layers of the massive one-million gallon capacity double-walled tanks and discovered that 8.5″ of deadly radioactive sludge had formed in the annulus – a two and one-half foot space — between the inner and outer walls.  Unlike the planned casks at San Onofre, which will be made of 5/8″ thick steel, with no outer wall, the Hanford AY-102 casks have a two-and-one-half foot concrete barrier between the carbon steel interior lining (the primary tank wall) and the outer wall.  Apparently the tanks have been leaking for years, according to this forensic report.

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