Federal and state officials have announced that six tanks holding toxic radioactive waste have been found to be leaking at Washington’s Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Officials stressed that the leaks posed no immediate threat to public safety or the environment. However, past experience proves that when the government “assures” you there is no threat, it is time for alarm. LMS reports on the ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster have repeatedly shown that both the Japanese and US governments have understated the threat and as a result, needlessly exposed millions to high levels of radioactive contamination. In the case of the current leak in Washington State, the official statements immediately fall under suspicion when one considers the idea that officials stated the leak poses no threat to the environment. Really? Radioactive toxic waste seeping into the ground for years is good for the environment? Just what amount is okay then? For example, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s standards, simply splashing some gasoline on the ground when fueling your car is enough to warrant a hazardous material response, but radioactive toxic waste poses “no threat” because their monitoring wells haven’t registered the leaks. In fact, the EPA regularly fines military bases millions of dollars for infractions as small as allowing a few drops of oil to fall on the ground when changing the oil on truck and tanks. The government’s official statements simply do not meet even the most basic bars of common sense.
To better understand the danger to the public it is necessary to discuss the history of the facility. The Hanford facility was built by the government at the height of World War II as part of the Manhattan Project to build the atomic bomb. The facility produced plutonium for America’s nuclear weapons arsenal. Today, it is the most contaminated nuclear site in the country with Washington’s Tri-Cities of Richland, Kennewick and Pasco only several miles downriver. Ominously, Hanford’s tanks hold some 53 million gallons of highly radioactive waste that are known to have leaked in the past and clearly are still leaking. In fact, an estimated one million gallons of radioactive liquid have already leaked from the facility. Part of the problem is that Hanford’s containment tanks are long past their intended 20-year life span — raising concerns that even more tanks could be leaking. The government’s “clean-up” efforts have experienced massive delays and cost overruns so waste has been left in the leaking tanks longer than planned. As such, one must expect the leaks to get worse, not better. What’s worse is that once this radioactive material escapes into the ground, it WILL eventually make its way through the aquifer to populated areas and poison people. One would have to be extremely ignorant of radioactive material to believe that this material, which takes thousands of years or more to become “safe,” would somehow pose “no” danger to the environment or public.
Considering the above, anyone living in Washington’s Tri-Cities is legitimately in danger, whether now or in the near future. Further, anyone drinking the water from municipal sources or the aquifer in that area could be at risk right now of exposure to a host of toxic and radioactive chemicals known to cause a broad spectrum of deadly health issues to include cancers and birth defects. If you or your family currently lives in the vicinity of the Hanford facility, you should consider relocating to a much more distant area. Testing may or may not be accurate. Further, tests will not provide sufficient warning of contamination since consumption of the toxic or radioactive materials in even minute doses could cause serious harm to your health. At that point, it is too late. Even worse, these materials can travel for very long distances through deep underground aquifers bypassing test wells and appear in areas believed to be completely disconnected from the Hanford facility.
You simply cannot trust the government to provide truthful information about a radiation leak that potentially could leave the government liable for billions of dollars in damages. Supporting this argument is the Marine Corps three decades long denial of the blatant contamination of the water table with aircraft fuel around New River Air Station in Jacksonville, North Carolina. This contamination has led to the deaths, illnesses, and birth defects of thousands of Marines and their families stationed there during the 1960’s and 70’s. Although the evidence of the contaminated water causing illness and disease was overwhelming, it wasn’t until 2012 that the Marine Corps was forced to admit responsibility. Although far from an isolated incident, this was exceptionally egregious because the Marine Corps touts how well it takes care of its Marines. It holds itself to the highest levels of integrity, but in practice it wasn’t a bit dissuaded from covering up the contamination to protect it from liability, while Marines and their children died from horrible blood cancers.
Readers must understand that the past precedent set by governments is overwhelming stacked toward placing the public at risk to protect the institution. Even the shortest of internet searches will yield millions of hits related to government and industrial contamination cover-ups at the public’s expense. LMS does not seek to spread alarmist rumors, but we feel it is our duty to report to our readers information that potentially places them in danger. It is then up to the reader to evaluate the information based on their own situation and assess whether or not further action is warranted. In the case of the on-going leak and contamination at the Hanford facility, there should be little doubt that this situation will only grow worse and will eventually harm the local population.