Handford's Dirty Secrets

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by freestoneangler, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 4,121
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +786 / 1
  2. Rick Sharp Member

    Posts: 370
    West Richland, WA 99353
    Ratings: +16 / 0
    Actually the tech interviewed is an instrumentation tech and management wanted him to recalibrate the liquid level alarm settings to zero which would then only respond if an additional leaks appeared. setting the new base line just above the already leaked material so it would not detect anything unless a larger leak began. These tanks hold 2750 gallons per inch and the annulus where the leak was discovered is 2 feet wide and surrounds the tank, basically a tank in a tank. This is just one of many unreported events, if there is not incentive money tied to a particular project the contractors will not work on them, instead wait until DOE offers bonus money for the work, thus lots of things go unreported. The single shell tanks have been leaking for years.

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  3. McNasty Canyon Lurker

    Posts: 1,060
    Somewhere Near Selah, WA
    Ratings: +440 / 1
    F#&K handford. ive heard horrible first hand stories from people on their deathbed because of that place.
  4. Rick Sharp Member

    Posts: 370
    West Richland, WA 99353
    Ratings: +16 / 0
    I've been there 26 years now, from plutonium production to waste clean up.

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  5. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,744
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,704 / 0
    If you all want the news, you can get it on WFF. I always thought this site was about fly fishing.

    I guess that the government doesn't give a shit about leaks there one kind or another.
  6. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 4,121
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +786 / 1
    What... the Columbia River and its aquatic species being potentially threatened by nuclear waste isn't fishing related? Now if the leakage was going directly into the capital building, then I agree, it's not fishing related... hey, we can still dream can't we? ;)

    What struck me was the correlation I have seen in my own career... when the device, approach or method is yielding the results desired, their accuracy or science is rarely questioned.

    I think science is and has been for sale to the highest bidder (particularly so in modern times)...either in the form of money or influence.
  7. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    Posts: 5,663
    Somewhere on the Coast
    Ratings: +544 / 0
    So Rick, do you night fish without a headlamp?:D
    atomic dog likes this.
  8. Upton O Blind hog fisherman

    Posts: 2,167
    out of state now
    Ratings: +217 / 0
    Rick should change his name to Neon or Night Glow.
  9. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 4,149
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,670 / 0
    While I posted this before, it seems appropriate for this thread ...[IMG]
  10. Steve Vaughn Member

    Posts: 316
    Richland, WA
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    Your point?
  11. Krusty Active Member

    Posts: 920
    Spokane, WA
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    I'm sorry...but it's 'Hanford', not 'Handford'. Proprly spelling is important when discussing sites that will be a problem for the next several hundred thousand years.
  12. jwg Active Member

    Posts: 547
    West Richland, WA
    Ratings: +110 / 0
    Not sure how you got from the bosses questioning the measurement (see your first post and the article) to science is for sale to the highest bidder.

    As I read it, the technical staff all acted with integrity and the mid to high level management did not want to accept or verify the evidence of the leak.

  13. Peyton00 Active Member

    Posts: 755
    Puyallup, Wa.
    Ratings: +319 / 0
    BUT, properly spelling 'proprly' is about as important. or...

    properly spelin proprly iz abut as inportent.

    either way, Krusty the grammar police just received a warning.;)
    triploidjunkie likes this.
  14. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 4,121
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +786 / 1
    I wonder how many times management said "what, it's NOT leaking... are you sure the device is calibrated correctly?" If you're life experiences suggests to you that science isn't up for sale, all I can say is lucky you!
  15. cmann886 Active Member

    Posts: 422
    Richland Wa
    Ratings: +56 / 0
    King 5 hasn't even scratched the surface at how dangerous it is within 100 miles of that place. I suggest that everyone stay away and if you must pass through the area make certain to take iodine tablets a week before driving through, stay in your car and get past there as quickly as possible. Remember the basics, time distance and shielding will minimize your exposure to deadly radiation. You might also want to consider eliminating potatoes from your diet (high in potassium), as well as any fruit grown along the Columbia down stream from white bluffs, and I certainly wouldn't eat any fish from the Columbia or you may glow in the dark as much as Rick does.

    Sad that a complete and honest story is not provided. Hanford needs to be cleaned up--No doubt about it, but the media publishes so much nonsense about that place that when a real story breaks no one can believe it.
    Steve Vaughn likes this.
  16. rockthief Fly fishing = food for my soul

    Posts: 204
    Brownsville Oregon
    Ratings: +29 / 0
    Hanford is a turd in a picnic basket. Why people pretend about it is beyond me. It stinks.
  17. Krusty Active Member

    Posts: 920
    Spokane, WA
    Ratings: +609 / 0
    I think the main problem is that the real cost to remediate the site is so staggering that we'll never complete the work. I don't think adequate resources will ever be made available. To some extent, it's much like Chernobyl...except that, unlike the old USSR, we can't just abandon an entire region....and the contamination is spreading to one of the great rivers of the world.
  18. Jim Ficklin Genuine Montana Fossil

    Posts: 2,391
    Columbia Basin
    Ratings: +683 / 0
    Krusty hit the nail on the head. It IS expensive to clean-up. Retrieval also takes time due to budget, regulatory constraints, the nature of the work, and the environment and locations in which tank retrieval must be effected. Suffice to say that there are a myriad of significant challenges and "walking-away" is a non-option. There is an abundance of dangerous waste in aging underground tanks. It’s been 32+ years & counting for me and if the site wasn't safe or the good work performed there wasn't done so safely, I & many others wouldn't be here. We hold the lives and well-being of ourselves and our families as dearly as anyone else; we also share a common appreciation and respect for the stewardship of the Earth and her resources. Lest we forget, the efforts of early Hanford helped to facilitate an end to WWII saving countless American & Allies' lives in the process (I'm pretty sure that I'm not the only one here who had parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, etc. who were part of the "greatest generation" that stepped-up during this conflict.). I wish that conflict hadn’t occurred, but it did and we are left with the legacy; it is, unfortunately, what it is.

    Technology & knowledge re: nuclear energy has significantly advanced since the '40s & we are making headway, albeit it expensive for a multitude of reasons, in removing the waste from more vulnerable, older, single-shell tanks (AY102 is a double-shell tank, hence the leaked material is contained within the sound outer tank that surrounds the primary tank.). I'm proud of the work with which I've been involved at Hanford . . . from N Reactor to the Tank Farms. There are some exceptionally competent & talented people out there doing great work and safely at that (7 million man-hours without a lost workday injury says something about the forethought & rigor that characterizes the tasks performed and successes realized.). While I know the instrument technician referenced in the article and have complete confidence in his ability and skill as a craftsman, he is entitled to his opinion but he is neither a scientist nor an engineer. I place similar confidence in the highly-qualified scientists, engineers, senior managers, oversight agencies, and regulators who have investigated and analyzed this event. My mechanic may have an opinion about my health issues, but I’ll place my treatment in the hands of a qualified medical professional. The AY102 effort proceeded in a thoughtful & analytical manner, without jeopardizing ongoing monitoring & retrieval of other known leaking tanks.

    As for “a turd in a picnic basket” and “F#&K handford” . . . North America began deteriorating several centuries ago; development, progress, and prosperity come at a price. Like it or not, Hanford HAS been a significant positive economic factor in the Tri Cities and greater Yakima Valley areas, but for those who are concerned . . . you can always move away. Why, I’d bet the Seattle area was quite pristine some 300 years ago . . .
    Oh . . . I don’t glow anymore; the Cherenkov Effect has diminished over the years (it started in of all places, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard . . .). I can however light a barbeque from 20-feet away just by pointing at it . . . I’ll stay on the east side, thank you very much. C'mon over and fish, but wear your lead-lined waders :eek:.
  19. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 4,149
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,670 / 0
    I lived my younger years in La Grande. It is downwind from Hanford. It's kind'a strange. I have thyroid disease. My wife has thyroid disease. My sister had thyroid disease. Her mother had thyroid disease. Both my folks had thyroid disease. We all lived in La Grande.

    A light went off when my Doc discovered my under active thyroid when he asked if I ever lived close to Handford. Strange. So moving away means moving FAR away.

    But wait, there's more.

    My older brother worked at Hanford as a tech. Everyone in his department wore the little radiation warning badges. If someone's badge turned color indicating that something was amiss, the managers tried to sweep it under the table. No biggie, you've been exposed to radiation... let's not talk about it.

    The event that caused my brother to quit the job and move to The Willamette Valley was the case of a dead duck in a dumpster. Ducks live outside the plant. One day, a duck was found in a dumpster and was red hot with radiation. Hmmmmm.... the duck lived outside. It was dead and exposed to radiation. It was tossed in a dumpster.

    So he got the hell out'a there. Now, this was many, many years ago so perhaps things were different in those days. My brother still has odd growths all over his body that are evidently harmless but came from somewhere.

    Now... a decade later, my younger brother gets a job at the facility. His job was to look at blueprints of the plant and compare them to how the plant was actually built. He then changed the blueprints to match. That seems kind'a weird. Wouldn't you think the idea is to build the place as indicated by the blueprints instead of changing the blueprints to match after the fact?

    Great. They didn't follow the blueprints but simply changed them to show that they did.

    Anyway, I'm not pro nor con when it comes to nuke plants. My personal experience is just kind'a strange when it comes to the nuke plant.

    BTW: my older brother opened a Hobby Shop in Corvallis after he moved from the Tri Cities and is much happier and I get a discount on hobby items so the Hanford affair turned out to be a good thing :)
  20. Krusty Active Member

    Posts: 920
    Spokane, WA
    Ratings: +609 / 0
    Generally, construction plans are actually only 80% to 90% complete. The contractor's engineers complete the remainder (which have to be submitted back to the owner's design engineers for approval).

    The followup process, as construction proceeds and is completed, is to create 'as-built' plans. The usual problem is that the contractor loses interest as the job nears completion, and the money flow slows down (contractors are paid as they go)...and they're in a big hurry to get to the next job.

    Unless the construction management people (normally the owner's agents) really holds their feet to the fire to produce 'as-builts', the contractor is gone.....and the owner (and subsequent contractors) will experience all sorts of problems. In some cases, particularly subterranean work or things encased in concrete...it will be impossible to create accurate 'as-builts', and the discoveries are made when somebody punches into something important.