Saturday, February 16, 2013

Governor Rick Perry's Nuclear Dump payday $250,000, but what about Texas?

Texas Billionaire Builds Giant Nuclear Waste Dump

Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons has been called the king of Superfund sites. His companies, like publicly traded NL Industries, have over the years reportedly polluted numerous industrial sites with toxic metals and radiation. And another of his companies, Waste Control Specialists, is in the business of cleaning the messes up. It’s such a clever strategy that Dallas’ D Magazine in an insightful profile last year, called 79-year-old Simmons Dallas’ “most evil genius.“

For years WCS (a division of publicly traded Valhi) lobbied to open a nuclear waste disposal site Andrews County of west Texas near the New Mexico border. It’s dry, empty country. Oil fields provide most of the jobs. It took Simmons some six years of lobbying to get the permits to open his nuclear dump and start accepting what could ultimately be 60 million cubic feet of low-level nuclear waste.

This is not the kind of waste that would have gone to the ill-fated Yucca Mountain project in Nevada (i.e. spent fuel rods and such). But it’s pretty harsh stuff nonetheless: the refuse from nuclear medical applications, weapons programs, parts from old nuclear reactors. Already a worker at the site and a septic system have reportedly been tainted by plutonium. Mother Jones magazine published this piece on Simmons’ nuke dump earlier this week: “A Texas-Sized Plan For Nuclear Waste.”

Now I don’t think there’s anything wrong with building and operating a well regulated dump for low-level nuclear waste. After all, the stuff has got to go somewhere and someone’s got to be responsible for it. But the Mother Jones article raises some legitimate concerns.

Three staff members at the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality quit their jobs after their concerns that the nuke dump could pollute ground water with radiation were ignored. They believe that the uppermost layer of the massive Ogallala Aquifer lay just 14 feet below the dump. And if not the Ogallala, then it might be the Pecos Valley Aquifer. WCS has reportedly said that any such concerns are unjustified, though the D Magazine article explains that maps prepared by the Texas Water Development Board show that the areas where the nuke dump is located … “is underlain by four aquifers. In addition to the Dockum, there are three major aquifers: Ogallala (or High Plains), Pecos Valley (or Cenozoic Pecos Alluvium), and Edwards-Trinity Plateau. The TWDB and USGS websites both state that the Edwards-Trinity Plateau Aquifer is hydraulically connected to four major aquifers, including the Ogallala, and several minor aquifers, including the Dockum.”

More scientific concerns were voiced in this 2008 Texas Observer article “Good to Glow.“ None of that, nor a history of accidental contaminations at the site, nor outcry from environmental groups, stopped Texas’ Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission from voting to approve the import of nuclear waste into Texas from other states. Six of the seven members of that commission were appointed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who reportedly received $250,000 in campaign cash from Simmons for the 2008 governor’s race.

Texas will reportedly receive $36 million a year for allowing the imports; Simmons will get millions more for watching over them. Ultimate responsibility if anything goes wrong falls on the state.

It just doesn’t look good. Like I said before, properly regulated nuclear dumps are not terrible in and of themselves. But when politically tainted commissions override the concerns of hydrologists willing to quit to make themselves heard, it’s probably time for Texans to demand an independent investigation of the true risks of Simmons’ nuke dump.

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- The long-delayed cleanup of the nation's most contaminated nuclear site became the subject of more bad news Friday, when Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced that a radioactive waste tank there is leaking.

FEBRUARY 15, 2013

Hanford Nuclear Tank Leaking Radioactive Waste


OLYMPIA, Wash. -- The long-delayed cleanup of the nation's most contaminated nuclear site became the subject of more bad news Friday, when Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced that a radioactive waste tank there is leaking.

The news raises concerns about the integrity of similar tanks at south-central Washington's Hanford nuclear reservation and puts added pressure on the federal government to resolve construction problems with the plant being built to alleviate environmental and safety risks from the waste.

The tanks, which are already long past their intended 20-year life span, hold millions of gallons of a highly radioactive stew left from decades of plutonium production for nuclear weapons.

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Energy said liquid levels are decreasing in one of 177 underground tanks at the site. Monitoring wells near the tank have not detected higher radiation levels, but Inslee said the leak could be in the range of 150 gallons to 300 gallons over the course of a year and poses a potential long-term threat to groundwater and rivers.

"I am alarmed about this on many levels," Inslee said at a news conference. "This raises concerns, not only about the existing leak ... but also concerning the integrity of the other single shell tanks of this age."

Inslee said the state was assured years ago that such problems had been dealt with and he warned that spending cuts – particularly due to a budget fight in Congress – would create further risks at Hanford. Inslee said the cleanup must be a priority for the federal government.

"We are willing to exercise our rights using the legal system at the appropriate time. That should be clear," Inslee said.

Inslee said the state has a good partner in Energy Secretary Steven Chu but that he's concerned about whether Congress is committed to clean up the highly contaminated site.

The tank in question contains about 447,000 gallons of sludge, a mixture of solids and liquids with a mud-like consistency. The tank, built in the 1940s, is known to have leaked in the past, but was stabilized in 1995 when all liquids that could be pumped out of it were removed.

Inslee said the tank is the first to have been documented to be losing liquids since all Hanford tanks were stabilized in 2005. His staff said the federal government is working to assess other tanks.

At the height of World War II, the federal government created Hanford in the remote sagebrush of eastern Washington as part of a hush-hush project to build the atomic bomb. The site ultimately produced plutonium for the world's first atomic blast and for one of two atomic bombs dropped on Japan, effectively ending the war.

Plutonium production continued there through the Cold War. Today, Hanford is the nation's most contaminated nuclear site. Cleanup will cost billions of dollars and last decades.

Central to that cleanup is the removal of millions of gallons of a highly toxic, radioactive stew – enough to fill dozens of Olympic-size swimming pools – from 177 aging, underground tanks. Many of those tanks have leaked over time – an estimated 1 million gallons of waste – threatening the groundwater and the neighboring Columbia River, the largest waterway in the Pacific Northwest.

Twenty- eight of those tanks have double walls, allowing the Energy Department to pump waste from leaking single-shell tanks into them. However, there is very little space left in those double-shell tanks today.

In addition, construction of a $12.3 billion plant to convert the waste to a safe, stable form is years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget. Technical problems have slowed the project, and several workers have filed lawsuits in recent months, claiming they were retaliated against for raising concerns about the plant's design and safety.

"We're out of time, obviously. These tanks are starting to fail now," said Tom Carpenter of the Hanford watchdog group Hanford Challenge. "We've got a problem. This is big."

Inslee said he would be traveling to Washington D.C. next week to discuss the problem further.


Dininny reported from Yakima, Wash.

Interference at the EPA

Science and Politics at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

snip...see full text ;

Friday, December 24, 2010


I think the title should have read, "TEXAS LOSES TO BE NEXT BIG DUMPING GROUND FOR NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION RADIOACTIVE WASTE", thanks to Governor Rick Perry.

update on my father-in-law Dana (RED) Ashcraft of Miamisburg Ohio, and my best fishing buddy, and Poisoned AT THE MONSANTO MOUND, hospice has now been called in. ...


part II December 25, 2010

WHY then, was my father-in-laws work records denied him, with the claim that his records were buried deep in a mountain due to contamination ? now i am speaking of only his work records, not the radioactive waste itself, that you claim to be 1000 % safe today. tell me that. do you know how many different folks handled all that paper work over the years. also, the swimming pool in Miamisburg Ohio, the old one right down from the Monsanto Mound. the town had to shut it down and fill the swimming pool in with cement. wonder how many kids there were exposed over the decades, including my wife ?


" We acknowledge that some people near the Mound Plant have breathed, or will likely breathe, very small amounts of plutonium-238, hydrogen-3 (tritium), and other radioactive substances that will be or have been released into the air from the Mound Plant. And some people may be exposed to radioactive materials released from the Mound Plant into the area waterways (for example, tritium in the Miamisburg Community Park swimming pool). Nevertheless, there is no evidence that current environmental levels of these substances cause adverse health effects. "

Data Evaluation: Current Exposures


Then, they send all the radioactive waste to Texas. Now, we are going to multiply this by about 38 states ?

stupid is, as stupid does, and some times you just can't fix stupid $$$

My old fishing buddy (my father-in-law Red, deceased now), took these photos after I convinced him to get back with the Mayor and see if he would take him down there again, and if he did, get me a photo or two of this nuclear crap coming to Texas, thanks to the good Governor of Texas, rick perry, the steward of the environment that he is (NOT). well, here are the photo’s ;

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Company advances on plan for West Texas nuclear dump


(railcars loaded with MOUND COLD WAR NUCLEAR AFTER-BIRTH headed to Texas)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

personally, I think it’s time for slick rick perry, and all his corporate cronies, it’s time for them to go, they have done enough harm to Texas and it’s people. environmental stewards they are not.