Sunday, June 3, 2007
Saw an article from Monkeyfister's site about problems at a Russian radioactive storage facility (if you could call it that)
Russia's radioactive problem
The vast amount of radioactive waste that is the legacy of Russia's nuclear-powered submarines has been known to be a looming environmental disaster - now it can be far worse.
This got me to thinking about our own legacy at Hanford. When I first started doing haz mat work the engineers and lawyers were trying to figure out the best method for dealing with leaking tanks of contaminated water that could eventually leak into the Columbia River a main water source for the state. The cost for the study was over $10 billion dollars and it's taken nearly 15 years to get anything started. Here's where we are right now:
America's radioactive problem
Now the Dutch who I consider far advanced in their dealing with radioactive waste are somewhat uncertain about what to do with the problem, but their attitude in dealing with the problem seems to be on the right track. One that such wastes need to be dealt with a cradle to grave infrastructure and two that these wastes need to be permenently retrievable. One must consider what could happen 1000 years from now when these wastes are still dangerous. Will their location be forgotten? Will there be documentation be maintained? A real problem for sure.
One last thought - There is no "clean up" of radioactive waste. The best we can do is contain it away from the environment.