Transporting 30,000 more truckloads of radioactive nuclear and hazardous waste to be stored at Hanford would pose alarming risks to those who live in the area, to those who live in the Columbia River Basin, and to all those who live in states through which the nuclear waste would be transported.
The trucks that would transport the waste cannot have thick enough lead siding to prevent radiation leaks because the lead would be too heavy for the trucks to be able to move. Even if there were no accidents, the radioactivity that would escape along the way could cause 816 adults to die of cancer, by the DOE's own estimates.
Children are especially vulnerable. If there were an accident resulting in fire or a terrorist attack on the route that goes through the Portland area, 1,000 could die immediately and 300 square miles would have to be evacuated. The Columbia River would become radioactive. This radioactivity would contaminate the area for thousands of years as is happening at Chernobyl and Fukushima.
How can anyone think this is an acceptable solution to storing radioactive and nuclear waste? Has the DOE decided it is acceptable to risk the lives of those in the Pacific Northwest for the convenience of nuclear waste producers on the East Coast and throughout the U.S.?
No more nuclear waste should be produced until/unless a safe method and site for disposal are developed.
Already at Hanford, 40 miles of unlined trenches are filled 50 feet deep with unidentified hazardous and radioactive waste. Any new landfills for offsite waste should be banned.
Some of the 68,000 single-shelled tanks, many decades old, containing unidentified nuclear wastes are leaking. The waste from these tanks should be immediately transferred to double-shelled tanks, even though a few of the double-shelled tanks are also beginning to leak and may not still be secure in 2040 when the single- shelled tanks are scheduled to be emptied.
The DOE must not ship more nuclear and hazardous waste to Hanford. It must clean up the perilous waste already stored there. See Heart of America website for further information. If you want to protect your family and the other families of the Northwest from potential nuclear disaster, please submit your comments to Hanford@ecy.wa.gov by Monday.