Nine Questions about Hanford And Nuclear Waste; Does Anyone Have Answers?

Photo via Peace Action West/Flickr

by Lauren Paulson

1. Are the nuclear reactors from decommissioned U.S. submarines still being barged up the Columbia River to be deposited at Hanford?

2. Is there a nuclear waste-contaminated water plume leaching its way to the Columbia River? If so, when is it expected to infect the Columbia River water table? Is other low level nuclear waste presently being deposited at Hanford?

3. Is it true that the government still has Hanford on the nuclear waste list of government sites to receive nuclear waste in the future?

4. Reed College has a nuclear reactor. Last year nuclear fuel was delivered to Reed. From where and why? Where does their nuclear waste go?

5. What nuclear waste is still at the Trojan Nuclear Power Plant? What is the plan for that? While nuclear power plants are shut down, isn’t it true we have no plan for what to do with nuclear waste from closed sites like Three Mile Island and other nuclear power plants?

6. The Nuclear Regulatory Agency has recently had severe political fallout resulting in a no confidence vote taken by the four members against the chairman. Why?

7. A wealthy Republican donor wants to deliver nuclear waste to Texas. From where and why?

8. Recently, I talked to a worker on the Vitrification containers being built at Swan Island in Portland, Oregon. He thinks they are making it up as they go. There is an unbelievable number of changes being made to the containers. Exactly what is the state of this art, or is it science?

9. U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas warned Oregonians in 1970 that we did not know what to do with nuclear waste. Did anybody pay any attention to him? Why not?

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