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Latest radioactive scare should prompt faster nuclear cleanup via Walla Walla Union-Bulletin

Yet, Congress continues to dither as if the nuclear waste buried at Hanford is not a threat.

The radioactive waste at Hanford must be cleaned up. The sooner the better.

Yet, funding for the cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation is at least a quarter of a century behind schedule because Congress has failed to fully fund the endeavor in the past.

A new report on mistakes and mismanagement at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation should be seen by Congress and the White House as yet another example of how the radiation poses a danger to the public.

[…]

The CH2M Hill study said primary radioactive air monitors used at a highly hazardous Hanford project failed to detect contamination. Then, when the spread of contamination was detected, the report said steps taken to contain it didn’t fully work. The Herald reported that at least 11 Hanford workers checked since mid-December inhaled or ingested small amounts of radioactive particles. Private and government vehicles were contaminated with radioactive particles.

Walla Walla is 66 miles away from the nuclear reservation where 56 million gallons of radioactive nuclear waste is stored in tanks. Sixty-seven of the tanks — buried relatively close to the Columbia River — have confirmed leaks.

Because of the close proximity to the nuclear waste, it’s clear to those in this Valley that the waste can’t be allowed to linger. At some point — as in “someday” — it will leach into the Columbia River.

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