31 August 2009

Nuclear Sites Fear they're the Alternative to Yucca Mountain

This article expresses the concerns of the nuclear waste depositories in the discussion following the recent shut down of Yucca Mountain. Hopefully, with the new TPA milestones, the ban on bringing new waste to Hanford will be upheld.

However, the problem remains: what to do with the 14,000 tons of highly radioactive waste that was destined for Yucca Mountain?

24 August 2009

Arid Lands film screening in Seattle at the Northwest Film Forum

Join Heart of America NW & Sidelong Films for two shows nightly for one week!

The documentary, ARID LANDS, will play for one week, August 28 through September 3, at the Northwest Film Forum in Capitol Hill, with two shows nightly at 7 pm and 9 pm.

Arid Lands is about the land and people of the Columbia Basin, near the Hanford Nuclear Site. This is a landscape of contradictions.

Arid Lands won Best Feature at NWFF’s 2008 Local Sightings Film Festival, so they’re bringing it back for this theatrical run. It’s Sidelong Films' theatrical premiere in Seattle, and the film should look great up there on the big screen. Spread the word to friends in the area, and let’s help Sidelong Films get a good crowd out there.

"Creatively ecological...[one of] today's best environmental films."
- The Chronicle of Higher Education

"One of the most informative and eye-opening documentaries you'll see anywhere."
- National Media Museum, UK

View the Facebook page: Arid Lands Screening

Editorial: Hanford assurances too familiar to taxpayers

It is hard for all of us to get too excited about this proposal, considering that it includes 20 more years of delays to clean-up!

However, we are still rejoicing - it includes no more off-site waste for Hanford in future decisions (until facilities are ready) AND the proposal has more enforceable milestones.

12 August 2009

New plan would add oversight but delay Hanford nuclear cleanup

The Oregonian article quotes us - Check it Out!

We are pleased that an agreement has been reached - especially one including ways to not add more waste to Hanford! But, there needs to be more enforceability - we will need the public's help on that in the months to come!

Thank you to everyone that started this effort with Initiative I-297 - this is a major victory!

11 August 2009


After 3 years USDOE, WA Dept. of Ecology, EPA, WA & OR Governor's AND Steven Chu (Energy Secretary) reached an agreement on the TPA milestones!!

Heart of America is celebrating that in the agreement it said Hanford WILL NOT be receiving offsite waste until the Waste Treatment Facility is ready - this is a major "Clean-up First" victory. We congratulate the Governor's of WA and OR for reaching an agreement - that USDOE promises not to add waste while there isn't even a vit plant operating.

We (HOANW) will be working to make sure this plan is enforceable and not just a promise. We are concerned that the schedule for clean-up is not nearly as fast as we believe it could be, given the threat that High-Level nuclear waste tanks will continue to leak between now and 2040. But we are excited for what victories there have been today!

10 August 2009

Thanks, but no thanks on nuclear waste

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The state Department of Ecology has received a petition from the federal Department of Energy for a Land Disposal Restrictions Variance on about 5 kilograms of extremely radioactive waste. The comment period on Ecology’s tentative decision to approve the petition started July 20. My comment? Thanks a lot, but no thanks.
Our state DOE employees and employees of Hanford have worked like Trojans to protect all of us, and the Columbia River, from nuclear waste. Our national legislators have had to fight tooth and nail over the last umpteen years for the funds necessary to continue cleanup. Their reward for hard work and competence is to be asked to take care of the waste from other sites! I am convinced that, if we allow disposal of this additional waste as requested, it will open the door for a landslide of future requests! Then they’ll cut our funding again when things get tough. So please, call or write. Ask our state DOE not to grant this “variance.”

Every site that produces nuclear waste should be required to provide for storage of that waste; not depend on taxpayer dollars to provide a salt mine, or to ship it to Washington state. Oh but wait! That will reduce profits won’t it? Nineteen new nuclear plants have been licensed in the southern states. Gee. Wonder what they’ll do with the waste for the next 2,500 years?


Hundreds of fish to be checked in Columbia River

Read this!

We are glad to see USDOE is REALLY looking into what contamination is hitting the river and how it is already effecting the fish and people who consume fish.

Energy secretary to visit Hanford, PNNL


The Energy Secretary will be taking his first ever tour through the Pacific Northwest National Labs this week. He will also take time to address the Administration's plan for addressing climate change. The Energy Secretary should also face tough questions about USDOE plans to use Hanford as National Radioactive waste dump.

Can the most contaminated area in the Western Hemisphere be cleaned up if the Energy Department proceeds with proposals to dump more waste, without knowing what wastes are in the soil and groundwater flowing to the Columbia River?

Perma-Fix allowed to treat more Hanford waste


This is good news and Heart of America Northwest played an important role in moving forward the capacity to treat PCB radioactive wastes. We have a compliance and monitoring agreement with Perma-Fix Northwest. While chairing meetings on Hanford's budget, Gerry learned that USDOE was not planning on funding the treatment of these illegally stored wastes because EPA Region 10 had not acted on the permit application.

We informed EPA that their permit review was being used as an excuse by USDOE not to meet legal timetables for treating these illegally stored wastes, and EPA approved per article below. Having reviewed the permit application, we were confident that there were not any technical problems. This is important for cleanup. Also, it is less expensive for treatment at Perma-Fix than on-site.

05 August 2009

Hanford waste study delayed over Yucca Mountain


The long-awaited plan for how USDOE will store, treat and close all of the tanks at Hanford (Tank Closure & Waste Management EIS) was supposed to be released originally in the spring of 2007.

The proposals release continues to be pushed back - this time to account for how they will store wastes because Yucca is no longer an option. Hopefully we will see a final product by the end of the year - it's about time!