09 November 2009

Hanford Advisory Board says to empty tanks more quickly

Heart of America Northwest's Executive Director, Gerry Pollet, played a key role in drafting the advise the Hanford Advisory Board passed on Friday, November 6, 2009. This piece of advise is in response to the Settlement Agreement the State of WA reached with the US Department of Energy in August, that delays emptying leaky Single Shell tanks at Hanford by 22 years. In addition, the State of WA did not secure an enforceable ban on the importation of off-sites radioactive & mixed radioactive/toxic wastes to Hanford.

The Hanford Advisory Board's advise urges the Tri-Party Agencies to
  • Develop more aggressive deadlines for emptying High-Level Nuclear Waste from leaky Single Shell Tanks buried underground at Hanford;
  • Not use bulk vitrification for supplemental treatment of low activity radioactive waste at Hanford;
  • Start up the Low Activity Waste portion of the main vitrification facility before the rest of the plant is operational. The settlement delays the "hot-start" date for the Waste Treatment Plant until 2019, with full operations not commencing until 2022;
Not surprisingly, the Hanford Advisory Board's advise is similar to Heart of America's own tips for commenting. What's remarkable about this, though, is that the Board is comprised of members representing the entire spectrum of stakeholder & public interests at Hanford. It's clear that the delays in emptying the leaky tanks are unacceptable for everyone.

You can read the Tri-City Herald article on the Board's advise here.

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