WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY HANFORD CLEANUP - PUREX Storage Tunnels Public comment period August 13 through September 27, 2018

Kathleen Allen • 9 September 2018




Public comment period

August 13 through September 27, 2018

Comments must be post-marked, received by email, or hand delivered no later than close of business (5:00 p.m. PST) September 27, 2018

Submit comments to:

Electronically (preferred) via:

Direct all written comments to:

Stephanie Schleif

Washington Department of Ecology
3100 Port of Benton Boulevard
Richland, Washington 99354

Email:  Hanford@ecy.wa.gov

Also, send by U.S. Mail,or hand deliver to:

Diana McFadden
3100 Port of Benton Blvd
Richland, WA  99354

For more information, contact:

Contact Diana McFadden
Phone:  (509)372-7950
Email:  Hanford@ecy.wa.gov

It really is difficult to sort through the details to unearth the facts about ‘safe storage’ of nuclear waste - which turn out to be as complex and highly toxic as the radioactive materials being discussed.  Between studies and recommendations, permitting and patenting requirements, the process consistently gets bogged down in red tape and bureaucratic obfuscation.

Whether this is a case of twisted short hairs and covert interment of socially unacceptable souls who oppose or obstruct the fast track of progress that shows no concern for long term consequence, or just a simple case of human negligence and desperate quick fix solutions in the wake of that runaway train, I do not know.

The most concise and precise information I know of is available through Heart of America NW:



Here are some links from that site related to current cleanup challenges:



More background info and a bit of history:




State of Washington
WA7890008967, Part V,
Closure Unit Group 25
PUREX Storage Tunnels
Fact Sheet

“The Plutonium Uranium Extraction (PUREX) Plant at Hanford was used for recovery of uranium and plutonium from irradiated reactor fuel.  The PUREX plant was built in 1956 and operated until 1972.  It was restarted in 1983 and operated until 1989.  The USDOE-RL issued a final shutdown order in 1992.”

“Associated with the PUREX Plant are the PUREX Tunnels.  PUREX Storage Tunnels 1 and 2 are each a DWMU (Dangerous Waste Management Units) and the two DWMUs are Miscellaneous Units” (containing unsorted, low to high level radioactive mixed waste - including highly flammable liquid materials.)

“The two tunnels store waste on rail cars from the PUREX Plant and other onsite sources.  Waste stored in the tunnels include barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, silver (flammable) and light mineral oil contained in oil absorption material.”

“PUREX Storage Tunnel 1 was constructed in 1956 and provides storage for waste on 8 rail cars.  Tunnel 1 is approximately 19 feet wide, by 22 feet high, by 358 feet long.  In May of 2017, the tunnel experienced a partial roof collapse, and subsequently, the tunnel was stabilized with grout in October and November of 2017.”

“PUREX Storage Tunnel 2 was constructed in 1964 and provides storage for waste on 28 rail cars.  Tunnel 2 is approximately 19 feet wide, by 22 feet high, by 1,688 feet long. The proposed permit modification would stabilize tunnel 2 with grout as an interim closure action that (presumably) would not preclude future closure or remedial decisions.”

... and, might I add, cannot possibly preclude extenuating consequences of persistent negligence ... why the research and legally approved approaches for treating and disposing that waste have not materialized, I do not know ... possibly, ... most likely, more effective approaches do exist, fully credible, only, 

... not on the guest list, I guess ....

Whosoever is running this game really needs to take a deeper look ... so far, we ‘take paradise, and put up a’ ... lake of fire?... unless, of course, that is the core intent ... I suppose, in a land of live volcanoes, this would be no big surprise ... only,

…, do we really have to push the river?

Maybe this is a runaway train ... maybe we need to listen to and look at every alternative, and make that quantum leap we’re born to be ... between us ....




Well, I’m really perturbed right now ... USDOE wants to fill tunnels at Hanford full of mixed radioactive waste with grout which will NOT shield radioactivity effectively ... RIGHT NOW!! ... before designated public comment period, after DECADES of delaying action, undermining and defunding cleanup efforts ... knowing tunnels could collapse ... and NOW, ALL OF A SUDDEN, THEY WANT TO TAKE ACTION, TO FILL THE TUNNELS WITH GROUT WHICH WILL CREATE FURTHER CHALLENGES TO EFFECTIVE CLEANUP AND STORAGE DOWN THE ROAD ... IF THERE EVER WILL BE SUCH A THING  ... one has to wonder WHY NOW ... after all these years of refusing to act ... WHY NOW, is it so important to take action (albeit ineffective) ... could it be, these tunnels are filled with more that old rail cars loaded with radioactive nuclear waste ... like maybe bodies that never will be discovered, once the tunnels are filled? 

Let me see now ... how best to adapt to this one?


“Oh, what a wonderful world ...!!”

... Washington State Dept of Ecology comment period has been extended until Sept. 27th ... even so, one of the people speaking last night said it probably will happen, regardless ... most likely, even as we speak ... what is the big hurry, all of a sudden ...?  Someone must be close to uncovering the truth ... oh, god forbid, can’t have that!!!


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