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17 April Hanford Workshop
Join Heart of America Northwest for a Workshop on Hanford's Recent Accidents &
Plutonium Releases and How Your Comments Might Save Us From Future Ones:

Tuesday April 17 7:00 PM

Olympia Community Center

(downtown Olympia near Percival Landing) 222 Columbia St NW, Olympia, WA 98501
Share our event here on Facebook

The first in a regional series of workshops we will be holding this year
Read on for Sample Comments and how to email

On May 9, 2017. one of the two PUREX tunnels collapsed, making worldwide news due to potential for a catastrophic release of radionuclides. Tunnel 1, shown above, is 360 feet long and supported by wooden timbers.  As KING TV reported on May 19: "Scientists hired by the US Dept. of Energy (DOE) began a series of warnings about the possible failure of Hanford's PUREX tunnels nearly four decades ago. Documents obtained by the KING 5 Investigators show a series of pieces of expert advice that went unheeded." (key documents were provided by Heart of America Northwest to KING 5 Investigative Reporter Susannah Frame). 

The tunnels have such highly radioactive equipment that exposure to some items for less than an hour could be fatal.

Now, USDOE proposes to "grout" the second, longer tunnel to prevent another collapse. USDOE is concluding a comment period, and Washington Ecology, which must approve the proposed permit, will be opening a formal comment period in May.

We are concerned that the proposed permit does not require that the wastes will be removed. Our comments also include these questions or concerns:
  • Grouting may prevent identifying the quantity and concentrations of Plutonium and other "transuranic" or High-Level Nuclear Wastes which are not safe (and illegal) to leave in the tunnel;
    • Not knowing the chemical or radionuclide content of grouted waste will make it legally impossible to properly remove and dispose of the wastes in repositories;
  • Grouting does not prevent chemicals and radionuclides from leaching from the tunnels; and, USDOE has not surveyed for contamination under the tunnels. 

On Tuesday April 17, join us for an update and discussion on the collapse of the PUREX Tunnel and spread of Plutonium contamination from demolition of the Plutonium Finishing Plant - which USDOE now admits contaminated 42 workers as well as many cars and vehicles. We'll discuss how you can effectively comment to prevent future releases and to stop the Energy Department from leaving extremely radioactive waste behind forever in the tunnels. We'll also discuss how contaminated sites along the Columbia River threaten health and the environment.  
Presenters will include State Representative Gerry Pollet, Director of Heart of America Northwest, the region's largest Hanford cleanup watchdog group; and, Dr. Helen Wheatley who represents us on the Hanford Advisory Board. Washington Ecology and US EPA are being invited.

Do not fret if you don't email comments before our workshop on the 17th! Ecology has announced that it will begin a second formal comment period in May on the proposed permit. (This is a two-step comment process. We are requesting Ecology hold public hearings during the second formal comment process).

Email comments via eComments, to:
A second comment period will open in May

View the USDOE / Washington Ecology Fact Sheet
View the USDOE "Expert Panel Report" with photos and description of the potential for further collapse with recommendations for grouting Tunnel 2. 
I look forward to seeing you on the 17th or at an upcoming meeting,
Thank you,
    [Image: 910e4a3f-b4b7-4bd5-84fd-7d2878a51e42.jpg...0418245881]
Gerry Pollet, Executive Director
just pm me if needed.

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