Multiple Employees Injured In Washington State Dam Explosion – Above Wanapum Dam Which Has 60 Foot Crack Already-Wanapum Sits Above Hanford Nuclear Site Where 17 Million Gallons Of Plutonium Water Has Leaked For Sometime And All Of This Just East Of Mt Rainier One Of The Largest Strato Volcanoes On Earth

I don’t know what to say, I noticed an article concerning a dam explosion injuring multiple workers at the Priest Rapids dam in Washington State. Naturally being a pessimist, I thought maybe this just happens to be above the Hanford nuclear waste site. Well imagine my chagrin when I found that is exactly where is. Now that may not seem important however not only is the Priest Rapids dam above the Hanford nuclear site, it is up river from the Wanapum dam which has a 61 foot crack in it. Something I posted about over a year ago.

Now why is that important? Well that is because Hanford is home to 53 million gallons of plutonium waste water stored in tanks that have been leaking for sometime. Estimates put the cleanup at somewhere around 400 billion dollars. Even the rabbit pellets in the area are super radioactive and this waste water has been killing pacific clams, poisoning the ground water throughout the area for sometime. It appears the Cascade mountains were aptly named.

To complicate matters, the Washington State area is know for a series of active volcanoes. The largest of which would be Mount Rainier, then of Course Mount Baker, and others. This seems to be too incredible to be true, but it is true.

Multiple employees injured in Washington state dam explosion – reports


© Google map


Multiple employees were injured in an explosion at the Priest Rapids Dam along the Columbia River in Washington, according to the Grant Public Utility District, the dam’s operators.

Grant County Sheriff’s Office officials said there had been an explosion of electronic equipment, and at least six employees had been injured, according to KREM 2.

Grant Public Utility District officials have not revealed the number of employees hurt, the extent of their injuries, or the cause of the explosion.

However, utility spokesman Thomas Stredwick said, “at this point we know it’s not foul play or an act of terrorism,” according to Oregon Live.

The explosion has not affected the stability of the dam, the Grant County Sheriff’s office said, according to NBC, adding that it was in no danger of failing.

Fox Q13 is reporting multiple agencies have responded to the incident, including the Hanford Fire Department.

Officials said all of the injured had been transported to hospitals via ambulance or aircraft.

The Priest Rapids Dam is a hydroelectric, concrete gravity dam, located between the Yakima Firing Range and the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Central Washington, more than 50 miles east of Yakima.

The Hanford Nuclear Reservation stores approximately 53 million gallons of high-level radioactive hazardous waste in tanks. In a 16-month period, 50 nuclear gas leak incidents were reported at the site.

Grant PUD also operates the Wanapum Dam, which made news in 2014 when officials discovered a 61-foot crack.




The World’s Most Dangerous Dams With Very Spectacular Possiblities From Our Planners Hovering Above Nuclear Plants

The above link will show you multiple dams which have problems. With some 134 military bases overseas, we could ask why not spend some money to fix problems here at home but you probably already know the answer to that.




Hanford; Lethal And Leaking; A Race To Armageddon? 60 Minutes – Hanford Released 1 Million Curies Radioactive Iodine So Far, Human And Animal Negative Health Effects Detailed



Hanford; Lethal And Leaking; A Race To Armageddon? 60 Minutes – Hanford Released 1 Million Curies Radioactive Iodine So Far, Human And Animal Negative Health Effects Detailed


Dr. Caldicott MD in the video above explains that Hanford was originally set up to produce and manufacture 77,000 hydrogen bombs. She explains that the USA STILL has a nuclear addiction. Of the 20,000 nuclear weapons still around today, the US and Russia own 95% or more of the total.

Who are the REAL terrorists in the world? Why are we threatening all life on the planet with an ovewhelming number of nuclear weapons? Every major city in the world is targeted by Russia and the US. The number of nuclear weapons produced can destroy the world many times over, so the ‘Cold War’ is NOT over, despite claims to the contrary.
Just one meteorite strike, computer error, computer hackers, or temporary insanity by just ONE leader can STILL unleash a nuclear Armageddon. Why do we have 20,000 nuclear weapons still sitting around on a hair trigger alert? Who are we so afraid of? Communists? They are our best friends now, both in Russia, China and Vietnam. We have sent them all of our jobs, so we definitely do not want to bomb them anymore.

Uranium was mined in Canada, then it was brought to Hanford, where it was put into 7 nuclear power plants. This is where plutonium was produced for hydrogen bombs. Any nuclear power plant is a nuclear bomb factory, nothing more.


Plutonium can and does get released from places like Hanford in the form of ‘hot’ particles. Over 11 tons of plutonium is still contaminating the area around Hanford, according to Dr. Caldicott. She reports that the Columbia River that flows through the Hanford site is permanently and completely contaminated, with no way to clean it up. (She refers to it as the Hanford River.)

Cataclysmic October 23, 2014   “how about we dig a well to get some water? Oh wait, ya can’t as it is radioactive. “A staggering 200 square miles of groundwater beneath Hanford are contaminated” “…It is estimated that, since 1944, over 1.7 trillion liters of contaminated liquids(equal to 5 days flow of the Colombia River) were discharged directly to the ground via trenches, ponds, retention basins, caverns, french drains, wells and cribs. These cribs were underground and were quite large, being 20 feet deep and up to 1,400 feet long. Plutonium mixed with Kerosene solvents and other agents were poured directly into these cribs. Unfortunately, the solvents made the plutonium more mobile, more subject to migration.”
Dr. Caldicott reports that just one microgram (smaller than a speck of dust) of plutonium can cause lung cancer. Plutonium mimics iron, and it goes to the liver, bone or other places. The lag time is many years, in order to initiate cancer from a single nano particle of plutonium. Plutonium also concentrates in the testicles, and causes birth defects. Plutonium can also cross the placenta barrier and get passed on to the baby, because it is an iron analog. Find out how dangerous plutonium is, by clicking on the following link.
How Dangerous Is 400-600 Pounds Of Plutonium Nano Particle Dust Liberated By Fukushima? Via A Green Road


Richland is contaminated with plutonium and other toxic and/or radioactive substances according to Dr. Caldicott. She also says that the Hanford site is subject to exploding due to hydrogen gas buildup. If a hydrogen explosion happens, it will mean a huge amount of devastating radiation will be released. This actually got close to happening in one tank, that started bulging due to a hydrogen gas buildup.


She also says that the whole nuclear industry is due to men who are deranged and have a mental illness. They spend 1 TRILLION on death and violence, rather than on medical care for everyone. For more articles about this subject, go to;
Art And Science Of Deception; Global Corporations And The 1%

Historically, Hanford has been radiating millions of people and animals as well as polluting the environment, ever since it was built.


The above video is a good mixture of humor and reality about Hanford. It describes how there is a huge dam above Hanford with a huge crack in it. The crack threatens the integrity of the whole dam. The dam can no longer be filled with water. If the dam goes, it will destroy Hanford buildings, and spread lethal amounts of toxic radiation downstream. Tanks buried underground may pop up to the surface, break open and spread their death dealing radiation downstream and into the ocean.


“As historian Michelle Gerber writes in On the Home Front: The Cold War Legacy of the Hanford Nuclear Site, “In 1959, Hanford biologists reported that the number of chinook salmon spawning in the vicinity was only about 19 percent of 1958.” Gerber adds that nearby towns along the Columbia were also affected, “In mid-1947, river water at Pasco and sanitary (city) water at Kennewick first showed detectable levels of gross beta-emitting radiation…Values in the river water at Richland were even higher, reaching up to four times that at Pasco by late 1948.””

No matter how many fish are counted going up the Columbia river these days, it is a small fraction of what used to run up the river, according to Indians who used to live in these parts. Salmon used to be the backbone and foundation of their society and livelihood, but no more.

The Hanford Reach

The last time Columbia Wildman fished at Wy-Yow-Na was about 1904, although he returned every year to partake in feasts and ceremonies. He witnessed a steady decline in the number of salmon over the years. This he attributed to “. . .the activities of the white man in constructing dams and catching very large quantities” of fish, Swindell reported.
Columbia Wildman could not speak English or read a clock, but he had vivid memories of the Hanford Reach of his youth, when Indians fished, feasted, matched skills in vigorous competitions and conducted ceremonies along the shore of the Columbia in the Hanford Reach. Paraphrasing Columbia Wildman, Swindell wrote: “Nowadays there are only a few places of that nature that are used by the Indians due to the fact that almost all of the old places have been destroyed and are no longer of any practical value to the Indians.”

mt1000 May 18, 2015 UGH! Hold that salmon …

Salmon spawn right at Hanford NPP!


DOE – Threatened and Endangered Species Management
Plan: Salmon, Steelhead, and Bull Trout … note report isn’t by EPA of Forest Dept. etc.

Chinook Salmon Abundance: 2014 Review and 2015 Preview


The risk of a major nuclear disaster at Hanford continues on, even today. According to Physicians For Social Responsibility, “Newspaper headlines in 1999, “Nuclear Blob Grows at Hanford,2 described a bulge in the radioactive crust on one of the huge waste tanks caused by a buildup of dangerously explosive hydrogen. While this threat was resolved, it is one of a variety of safety issues that have plagued Hanford tanks. These include flammable gasses, nuclear materials, and explosive chemicals. In 1957 in Siberia a high-level waste tank exploded, spreading a radioactive plume of 20 million curies 180 miles long, giving people estimated doses of .7 to 80 REM, and necessitating the relocation of well over 10,000 people.3 Collapsing tank domes or tank explosions that could spread radioactivity far beyond Hanford remain a genuine threat.”



“The Hanford Nuclear Reservation is the largest nuclear waste dump in the Western Hemisphere and a major Northwest environmental issue. It is a serious long-term threat to the Columbia River, which Oregon depends on for power generation, farm irrigation, fishing, transport and recreation.

Hanford covers 560 square miles of desert in eastern Washington, along 51 miles of the Columbia River. It is 35 miles north of the Oregon border, and 215 miles upstream from Portland.”

CBS 60 Minutes features two videos that you can watch below, about the Handford toxic Superfund site, together with just a few of the trials and tributions going on around it. Believe it or not, this is just the tip of the iceberg at this one contaminated site.


The worst leaking nuclear waste problem consisting of numerous buried tanks, is hopefully going to be ‘processed’ by a new nuclear waste processing facility someday. This new facility is being built to take leaking nuclear waste tank products from the Hanford facility. But there are problems with the construction, as it does not meet earthquake standards. Quality control is suffering, with inspectors finding defective welds on tanks, etc.
The bigger problem is that groundwater contamination has happened at Hanford, and the MAIN underground plumes from multiple leaking tanks are all headed for the Columbia river.
According to Physicians For Social Responsibility; “At least one third of Hanford’s 177 huge high-level nuclear waste tanks, many as big as the capitol dome in Olympia, have leaked. In some areas technology from the 1950s is still being used to detect leaks, probably underestimating the extent of contamination. Almost all of the single-shell tanks are well beyond their design life, so more leaks are likely. Radioactive contaminants have reached the groundwater 200 feet below the surface and are on their way or have already reached the Columbia River (see map). In the last free-flowing US stretch of the Columbia flowing through Hanford, now the Hanford Reach National Monument, 70% of the fall chinook spawn each year. Over 300 miles of the Columbia River downstream from Hanford are threatened by the leaking tanks. The WA Department of Ecology notes that “aside from the environmental damage and health risk, the perception of the river being contaminated could devastate the market for northwest agricultural products.”1


To summarize; approximately 50+ HUGE mega tanks at this site are leaking EXTREMELY radioactive and toxic liquids into both the air and underground aquifer. Many more tanks are in danger of leaking, as they are 60 years old. They are not designed for permanent storage of high level radioactive wastes.
“Over a million gallons of the most deadly chemical and radioactive waste created on the planet, liquid High Level Nuclear Wastes, have leaked from massive underground tanks and are moving far more rapidly to groundwater and the Columbia River than the federal Energy Department (USDOE), which runs Hanford, claimed was possible, until recently. Indeed, they insist now that the waste won’t move as far as monitoring shows it already has.
Right now, levels of radioactive Strontium 90 flow into the Columbia River from groundwater contaminated from the massive amounts of radioactive and chemical wastes remaining in the soil and groundwater adjacent to the River. The groundwater seeps along those fifty miles of the Columbia River’s shoreline at levels over 1,000 times the drinking water standard. That standard is set at a level at which one adult in every ten thousand who drink the water daily would die of cancer. Our children are three to ten times more susceptible to get cancer from the same radiation dose as an adult is.
The main body of the intensely radioactive plume of this highly toxic, highly radioactive liquid is migrating towards the Columbia River. As the blogger above notes, some of it has already reached the river and is seeping into it.
If and/or when the main leaking underground miasma gets to the Columbia River, it will mean devastating consequences for everyone downstream, not to mention the whole ocean. It could make the whole Columbia River a toxic Superfund Site, and quite possibly even contaminate the entire Pacific Ocean after that.
The average reprocessing plant such as Hanford releases the following radioactive substances into the air according to Countercurrents; H-3, C-14, Kr-85, I-129, I-131, Ru-106, Sr90, Cs-134, Cs-137, Eu-154, Pu-238, Pu-240, Pu-241.
For more information about the subject of nuclear recycling facilities, such as Hanford, click on the following link and scroll down to the recycling section.

These same toxic substances were also released into the ground, and are also in the large tanks that are now leaking. Because Hanford also did other things besides reprocessing waste, we can count on many more toxic, radioactive substances being in the tanks that are now leaking into the groundwater.


Even CBS News, in a very rare episode of covering nuclear issues, quoted Michio Kaku; with him saying; “to get your head around this, imagine 80 Olympic-sized swimming pools containing the most toxic substance known to science of which two Olympic-size swimming pools have leaked right into the ground and eventually into the water table and, perhaps, even into people’s drinking water. We have to immediate realize that this is a major emergency problem.”
Source: CBS News: U.S. nuclear waste leak a “major emergency problem” — Most dangerous substances known to science — “A ticking time bomb” (VIDEO)
According to ; the DOE is deliberately covering up and denying the extent of pollution, the depth of it, and the amount that is leaking out of the tanks and into the river nearby. “February 23, 2013 -MONITORING DESIGNED TO FAIL – U.S. DOE DELIBERATELY DESIGNED MONITORING AT HANFORD TO N-O-T KNOW EXTENT OF LEAKING WASTE PROBLEM – Although the leaks mentioned in the news in mid-February are small compared to the legacy of pollution – literally over one million gallons of toxic-nuclear waste is already in the ‘soil pipeline’ – the blanket statement by the Energy Department that there is no immediate risk to human health or the environment is unsupported. Why? Per the book ‘The American West at Risk,’ most of the monitoring wells at Hanford are 100-150 feet deep, which is only HALFWAY through the unsaturated (or ‘vadose’) zone of bedrock. What that means is that they aren’t DEEP enough to ‘intersect the lowest level of pollution’ (p.194) – they aren’t suited to accurately measure how plumes might be moving towards or into the river!”
According to, “Leaks from High-Level Nuclear Waste Tanks have reached Groundwater. Gamma radiation probes put down boreholes at Hanford’s TY Tank Farm to study leaks. Blue plumes of radioactive Cesium 137 (137 Cs) and purple to red plumes of radioactive Cobalt 60 (60Co) originated from TY Tank leaks and spills around the tanks. The depths of migration indicate that these plumes have reached groundwater. The figure illustrates behavioral trends of plumes where additional contamination will follow into groundwater. In 2002, a 50 fold increase in contamination was found between tanks TY-103 and TY-105, demonstrating the failure to report even recent tank leaks.”
The latest leak of semisolid substances from a formerly intact tank was discovered just recently. These underground tanks are way beyond the end of their 20 year expected lifetimes. These single wall metal tanks are falling apart.

“Leakage of high-level radioactive wastes from the single-shelled tanks was already suspected by 1956. Low-level waste continued to be put into drums and/or open trenches, often mixed with other toxic wastes…. By 1957 eight plutonium production reactors dumped a daily average of 50,000 curies of radioactive material into the Columbia River.


Perhaps the most dramatic of these events was the “Green Run” in December 1949, when 8,000 curies of iodine-131 were intentionally released from (“green”) nuclear fuel with only a short cooling period. This secret release was part of a US intelligence effort to develop capability for detecting Russian plutonium production.
Although the plume covered an area of 200 by 40 miles, no warnings were given and no follow-up of area residents was conducted. By comparison, only 15 -24 curies of iodine-131 were released at Three Mile Island”, according to Physicians for Social Responsibility.


Three Mile Island Accident – Released           24 Curies Iodine 131
Hanford – Released                                     8,000 Curies Iodine 131 (1949)
Hanford – Dumped                                     50,000 Curies DAILY into Columbia River
Hanford – Released                                 1,000,000 Curies Iodine 131 during processing
The problems have gotten worse since then.
When the main underground plume reaches the Columbia River, it may mean the Columbia River will be undrinkable by anyone downstream. Many cities depend on it for drinking water. It could also endanger all fish in the river, including millions of salmon coming to spawn. It could mean the end of all fishing on the Columbia River as well, due to radioactive contamination of all fish.


Via Waninahi1September 30, 2015 Tom Bailey: This is the north corner of it here, beginning with the Weinberger household.
The 1973 March of Dimes poster child was born there with no eyes.
Tom Bailey (Mesa, Washington): The next house, cancer. This house, a man and a woman lived here by the name Voss. Jack Voss died of cancer and his wife gave birth to a deformed child. She drowned the child in the bathtub and then committed suicide that same day.
Down the road a little further here, the next household, the father died of cancer, the mother has leukemia right now, and the daughter has thyroid cancer.
All the above from The following statements in the documentary “Deadly Deception: General Electric, Nuclear Weapons, and Our Environment”
(Academy Award Winner for Best Documentary Short: 1991: 29 mins.)
“America’s Fukushima”
Of course, all of these cancer research organizations have no clue what caused all of these birth defects, genetic diseases, Cancers and other health problems, but they want your money to research it further, and give more deadly radiation and chemicals to those affected.


In the meantime, the plan is to pump all of this toxic liquid mess out of the leaking tanks at Hanford into this new facility that will process it into glass logs, which can more easily be monitored and are less likely to leak hazardous things into groundwater, air, etc. Presently, there is NO plan to try and clean up the main underground plume of radioactive liquid, and it is moving towards the river.
So now the race is on. Will this waste processing plant be finished in time? Will the underground leaking toxic waste from the tanks reach the river and pollute all drinking water for cities downstream? No one knows the answer yet.
But one thing we know for sure. If we had not played with this anti-life toy, it would not be endangering millions of people for potentially BILLIONS of years to come. Now that we have opened this Pandora’s Box, we have to deal with the horrors that we have unleashed.
Part 1

Part II

The above is the very rough transcript of the 60 Minutes Show, available above. Although the report makes Hanford sound like a serious problem, it basically whitewashes the problem, and finds no dangerous radioactive substances at all, anywhere. It also fails to mention any health problems to residents or animals living near the Hanford site. This seems to be a pattern in mass media reporting.


What the 60 Minute reporters and researchers missed, is that the Hanford site is still and has been leaking radioactive substances into the Columbia River. The Hanford site released huge amounts of radioactive substances into the soil, groundwater, river and air.
For example, in just one scientific research report, radioactive Strontium-90 was found to be ‘seeping’ from N-Springs, and going into the Columbia River.
“Groundwater contaminated with strontium-90 (Sr90) from old liquid waste disposal trenches near N-Reactor seeps into the Columbia River at N-Springs. Terrestrial and aquatic organisms living at N-Springs bioaccumulate Sr90, which mimics calcium, an essential nutrient. In 2003, the average activity of Sr90 entering the river from a contaminated spring [Well 199-N-46; see Table 3.2.4 (Poston 2004)] was 4,100 pCi/L. That was 500 times the maximum allowable contamination in drinking water….Van Verst (1998, Table 6.1) estimated a maximum dose to a muskrat living at N Springs of 0.9 rad/day. That dose to a muskrat would exceed the present, interim requirement (DOE Order 5400.5) for control.”
Non government scientists have researched animals such as clams in the Columbia River and found both uranium and radium at levels that were ‘unexpected’ and high. It seems that government/military researchers are not even looking/measuring for radium.” What else are they missing, due to not measuring it?



“In 1998, trash of Hanford origination had apparently become contaminated from contact with radioactive gnats and flies from a sugary coating used to process some type of radioactive materials….. Numerous reports of radioactive insects include ants, mosquitos, flies, and gnats have been showing up in the media since public disclosures of Hanford activities became available in the 1990s. ….Mice, rabbits, and larger predators including coyotes have been found at the Hanford site with radioactive contamination.”
The Wall Street Journal reported a radioactive rabbit was found north of the town of Richland recently. They say that radioactive animals are a problem, and that the 586 square mile Hanford Superfund site has to be constantly ‘monitored’ for radioactive animals and insects which have to be found and ‘controlled’ with pest control methods. The Hanford cleanup effort has cost 30 BILLION Dollars so far, and there is no end in site. It could well end up costing over 400 Billion before they are through.
It is interesting how the 30 BILLION in costs has not been paid by the industries that created the mess, who took their profits and ran. Instead, the cost of nuclear waste and disaster cleanups is transferred to taxpayers, EVERY TIME. The huge corporations that create these messes get a free pass, but taxpayers get the financial shaft, EVERY TIME. Meanwhile, the corporations demonize the very ‘evil government’ that is funded by taxpayers to clean up these messes.
In 2009, there were 33 cases of contaminated animal materials that were found on the 586 square-mile nuclear reservation site.
In the Hanford X Files, “scientists estimate that the Green Run released between 8,000 and 11,000 curies of iodine-131. By way of comparison, the 1979 Three Mile Island reactor accident released an estimated 25 curies while the 1986 Chernobyl accident belched tens of millions of curies of radioactive iodine-131. During its 45-year history of plutonium processing, Hanford released about 1 million curies of iodine-131.”
This same article goes on to talk about radioactive plankton found in the ocean waters outside the Columbia River. Researchers also found a radioactive whale, although the results were never shared with the public. Some research alligators being studied for radiation exposure on site got loose, but a few of these alligators were never found. They ended up in the Columbia River.
While all of these toxic radioactive substances were being released from Hanford, people were fishing in the river, drinking milk from cows eating grass contaminated with radiation, and collecting berries in the woods around Hanford.

None of these potentially millions of people were warned about radiation exposure from Hanford. No one was told to protect their thyroid gland by taking iodine before the radioactive Iodine 131 destroyed their thyroid gland, despite the ‘experts’ knowing about the dangers, AND knowing how to prevent such harm.


In the New York Times, a research panel concluded that “some infants and children in the 1940’s absorbed enough radioactive iodine in their thyroid glands to destroy the gland and cause an array of thyroid-related diseases.”


This same article also discusses oysters contaminated with radioactive zinc, setting off radiation alarms inside the Hanford facility. “The oysters had been harvested in Willapa Bay, along the Pacific Coast in Washington State, 25 miles north of Astoria.” Radioactive zinc is a byproduct that was released into the Columbia River on a routine basis while the Hanford site was operating and producing plutonium.
Numerous animal studies were done at the Hanford site, while it was operating. Where are the study results? Tons of animal carcasses were found on the site, but none of the 55 alligators that researchers said that the found after they escaped into the river were among the carcasses.


So what will it cost to clean up the toxic materials and radioactive waste left over? “In addition to storing the waste, contaminated soil and groundwater must be treated and stabilized, nuclear reactors decommissioned, buildings demolished, some buried waste exhumed, sorted, and buried again because it wasn’t buried right in the first place. The bill for all this will be staggering—perhaps 400 billion dollars over 75 years.”
Again, who will pay for this huge financial boondoggle? If you guessed the public, you are right. Taxpayers are funding this cleanup, along with all of the other Superfund sites. Almost none of the messes created by huge corporations dedicated to death, violence and destruction are being paid for by them. They are experts in keeping their profits and transferring all risks and costs to taxpayers.

Of course, this boondoggle and others like it are not included in the cost of nuclear power, nor is the cost of storing the radioactive garbage, nor is the cost of the labor to staff the nuclear plants, which is 600% more expensive than the nearest competitor. Nothing like fudging the numbers to make oneself look good, huh?



or-well October 1, 2015 “As the title of this article suggests, a great deal of the environmental legacy of nuclear-weapons production may end up being managed, not eliminated. Many sites, or portions of sites, will not be remediated to levels deemed adequate for unrestricted access, and either the federal government or a state or local government will become landlords of last resort, with attendant responsibilities for protecting public and environmental health. In some cases this protection will come in the form of long-term surveillance to guard against human access or further environmental releases, and in other cases active measures such as groundwater treatment will be required. Some of these responsibilities may last indefinitely.”


Interviews near US nuclear sites: “Piles of dead lambs, with 2 heads, or no legs… just piles of dead baby lambs” — “Lambs born without eyes or mouths… legs grotesquely grown together, others had no legs” — “Farmers couldn’t understand why all the animals were dying… all the dogs and cats too” (VIDEOS)
Watch Interviews: Peterson | Kautz | Sutherland



Now let’s focus on the health problems to humans, caused by the Hanford site.
Potential Health Problems from Exposure to Selected Radionuclides
For more than 40 years, the U. S. government produced plutonium for nuclear weapons at the Hanford Site in south central Washington State. In 1986, responding to citizen pressure, the U.S. Department of Energy made public hundreds of previously restricted documents. Since then, much attention has focused on the very large releases of iodine-131 as a possible cause of thyroid disease. However, Hanford also released other forms of radiation into the air and the Columbia River.
This report examines the releases of four radionuclides to the air and the potential health effects which might result from people being exposed to these materials. The four radionuclides are: plutonium, strontium, cerium and ruthenium. Other radionuclides were released to the Columbia River. A separate HHIN publication addresses the possible health effects of these radionuclides.
According to the Technical Steering Panel of the Hanford Environmental Dose Reconstruction Project, the largest contributors to dose from the air pathway were first, iodine-131, then cerium-144, plutonium-239, ruthenium-103, ruthenium-106, and strontium-90. Dose is the amount of radiation absorbed by a person’s body. There were many other radioactive materials released into the air, as well, but these contributed less to dose, according to the Technical Steering Panel.

The Hanford Environmental Dose Reconstruction (HEDR) Project was established to estimate what radiation dose people living near Hanford some time between 1944 and 1992 might have received from releases of radioactive materials. The Technical Steering Paned, which directed the study, completed its role in 1995.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now working with the HEDR Task Completion Working Group to continue public participation and to assure completion of the remaining HEDR activities. When using information from this and other studies, readers should keep in mind that research results depend on a number of factors, such as the information available, and the methods and type of analysis used.

What are the possible health problems from exposure to plutonium, strontium, cerium and ruthenium? Most of the information on health effects from these materials has come from studies of plutonium workers and research involving animals. None of these studies contains information that relates to the specific situation of those people who lived downwind from Hanford. While comparisons to the Hanford situation are uncertain, the information in this report may help identify potential health problems which may have been caused or could be caused by exposure to these radionuclides.
Radiation health scientists generally believe that any dose of radiation, however small, carries with it an increased risk of some adverse health effect, such as cancer. This does not mean that everyone who receives an exposure will suffer an effect. It means the risk of a radiation-induced health problem is increased. Even if a particular effect does occur in an individual, it is not possible to determine, with current scientific methods, that it was caused by radiation exposure.

History of Hanford’s Hot Particles

Unlike iodine-131 – which was released as a gas – plutonium, strontium, cerium and ruthenium became attached to particles of rust or dust and were then released. There were two time periods in Hanford’s operation when there were major releases of radioactive particles:
From late 1944 through at least 1951, there were large releases of particles containing plutonium, strontium and cerium.
From 1952 to 1954, there were large releases of particles containing ruthenium.
Plutonium, Cerium and Strontium
Starting in 1944, Hanford produced plutonium for use in nuclear weapons. Uranium fuel was partially transformed into plutonium inside the nuclear reactors along the Columbia River. The irradiation of uranium not only created plutonium but also created numerous other radioactive elements, including the radionuclides of cerium, strontium and ruthenium, which are the subject of this report.
After irradiation, the uranium fuel (now containing plutonium and the other radionuclides) was transported several miles to the separations plants at the center of the Hanford Site. It was here that the fuel was dissolved in nitric acid. After numerous chemical steps, the plutonium was separated from the fuel and purified for use in nuclear weapons.
The process of separating the plutonium released pollution to the air and the ground. This report focuses on the potential health effects from exposure to those radionuclides that were released to the air on particles. These particles are called “hot” because they were radioactive.
Plutonium, cerium and strontium were released to the air from the original plutonium separations plants from late 1944 through at least 1951. In the fall of 1947, monitoring equipment revealed radioactive particles on the ground surrounding the stacks of the plutonium plants. The ventilation system in the radioactive processing area was the source of the problem.
The interior of the plants’ ventilation system had started to rust in places. Plutonium and the other radioactive materials attached to the rust. Later, parts of the contaminated rust broke off and went up and out the stacks. The sections inside the plants in which the operators worked had a separate ventilation system that was not affected by the particle problem.
The particles contained plutonium, cerium and strontium. Other radioactive materials were also present in at least some samples of the particles but in lower concentrations. Most of the particle was rust or other non-radioactive material.

In January 1948, Hanford replaced the ventilation system. The number of relatively large particles decreased, but smaller particles continued to escape. Hanford scientists believed that the smaller particles had been released from the start of plutonium separations in December 1944. In March 1948, Hanford documents reported the release of as many as 100 million hot radioactive particles per month.


Hanford technicians detected some ‘hot’ particles as far away as Mullan Pass (now known as Lookout Pass) in Idaho; and Spokane and Mt. Rainier in Washington. The concentrations of the particles at these locations were “comparable” to those in Richland (Richland is located about 25 miles southeast of the separations plants).1
Hanford officials were concerned about possible health effects on workers from hot particles. They considered lung cancer (from the inhalation of particles) to be the most serious health threat.
Hanford radiation protection officials imposed several work restrictions and ordered that some workers be given filter masks. However, most workers, including construction workers and security guards, were not issued filter masks. Hanford officials considered the plutonium particle problem so serious in October 1948 that they stopped separating plutonium for at least three days.2
It is uncertain how long the problem with the plutonium particles continued. According to a U.S. Senate report, the last reference to the problem was at a meeting in 1951. Herbert M. Parker, Hanford’s chief health physicist, said at the meeting: “The particle problem still remains, in my opinion, a very serious health problem.”3
After World War II, a new type of chemical process was developed to recover plutonium for use in nuclear weapons. An unintended effect of this process was that flakes of material, including ruthenium, accumulated on the inside lining of the stack at Hanford’s Redox plant. “Redox” stood for “reduction-oxidation” and described the kind of chemistry used to separate the plutonium. As in the case of plutonium particles, the ruthenium built up within the process ventilation system, which was separate from the building ventilation system.
The Redox plant began operations in 1952. Shortly afterward, technicians discovered the ruthenium particle problem. Material containing ruthenium had deposited on the inside of the stack. As the material built up on the stack lining, some of it broke off in the form of flakes and was carried up and out the stack. Radiation surveys found very large flakes, some several inches across, on the ground around the base of the stack.

Hanford Vented 200 Curies Of Ruthenium, Just In ONE Release

The largest reported release was in January 1954 when about 200 curies of ruthenium were released. Hanford radiation technicians tracked the particles as far as Spokane, Washington, about 150 miles to the northeast. In April 1954, airborne radiation equipment tracked the particles as far as northeastern Montana.
Inhaling ruthenium particles posed a health danger. In addition, the ruthenium particles posed a hazard if any of the large particles had fallen onto a person’s exposed skin.
This was just ONE release. How many times did this happen? How much total was released?
Hanford Assessment Not Yet Completed
Since the release of the first 19,000 pages of Hanford historical documents in 1986, much has been learned. However, it is not enough to form a complete assessment of the impact of the Hanford releases. This is especially true in the matter of Hanford’s particle problems. For example, the HEDR Project has not yet estimated doses from the hot particle releases.

Possible Health Problems From Plutonium, Strontium, Cerium and Ruthenium

Keep the following points in mind when reading the sections on the possible health problems of the selected radionuclides:
Researchers have done a few studies involving human exposure to plutonium, as well as several animal studies. For cerium, ruthenium and strontium, the only data available are from animal studies.
Comparing the health effects on animals and on people exposed to radiation from Hanford is problematic for three main reasons:
1. The life span of human beings is much longer than that of the animals used in studies.
2. It is uncertain if humans are affected in the same way as animals.
3. Most of the animal studies involved exposure to very high levels of radiation (equivalent to a human exposure of thousands of rem). Hanford exposed people to generally lower levels of radiation but over a long time.
This report provides information about each of the four radionuclides. The same categories of information are presented for each:
the possible health effects
a general description of the radionuclide
the estimated amount released from Hanford from 1944 to 1972
The dose estimates are cumulative for 1944-1992, whole body in rem EDE (effective dose equivalent). The release estimates are cumulative for 1944-1972. These numbers are taken from the Hanford Environmental Dose Reconstruction draft reports released in April 1994.
Both the release and dose estimates for the four radionuclides are not complete because: (1) the Hanford Environmental Dose Reconstruction Project has not yet reconstructed the amount of the four radionuclides released on particles; (2) the computer model used in the study did not simulate the behavior of particles; and (3) the Dose Reconstruction Project has not yet estimated doses from the hot particle releases.
The chemical form of the radionuclide is very important in assessing how the body might handle the material. The chemical form may significantly affect the dose a person receives from incorporating the material into the body. One aspect of the chemical form is whether it is soluble or insoluble. The Hanford Environmental Dose Reconstruction Project assumed that plutonium and cerium were released in soluble forms.
Possible Health Effects: Bone, liver and lung cancer; leukemia; chromosome aberrations
Description: The isotope of plutonium for which the Dose Reconstruction Project is calculating dose estimates is plutonium-239.
Estimated Amount Released from Hanford: 1.78 curies
Chemical Form of Release: Assumed to be soluble4
Range of Representative Dose Estimates: 0.03 mremEDE to 3.6 mrem EDE
Summary of Scientific Studies
Studies of plutonium workers and many animal studies have focused on exposure to insoluble forms of plutonium. The Hanford Environmental Dose Reconstruction Project assumed that the plutonium released to the air was in a soluble form. The potential health problems of soluble and insoluble plutonium are described below.
When plutonium is inhaled in an insoluble form, most of it that is retained in the body remains in the respiratory tract. In this kind of exposure, cancers of the lung are possible. Plutonium workers are usually exposed to the insoluble forms of plutonium. Studies of these workers have not found an increased risk for lung cancer that is related specifically to plutonium exposure.5 In animal studies, nearly all animals that were exposed to high doses of insoluble plutonium died either of extensive lung damage or lung cancer.
Most insoluble plutonium particles that are inhaled are removed from the body within a few days. Some particles are removed via the lymph nodes. Some of these particles may remain in the lymph nodes for years. In animal studies, high exposure caused the lymph nodes to stop functioning properly. Dr. H. Metivier with the Experimental Toxicology Laboratory in Montrouge, France, has suggested that plutonium could weaken the immune system in humans and lead to the development of cancers outside of the lymph nodes.6
In 1987, a study of Rocky Flats workers by Dr. Gregg S. Wilkinson (then at the Los Alamos National Laboratory) and others concluded that workers who had plutonium inside their bodies had an increased risk of lymphopoietic neoplasms (tumors affecting a kind of white blood cells).7
The DOE is also lying about harm being caused to nuclear workers at this and other facilities.

sallyJune 24, 2014 Injured Hanford workers deceived by Federal Gov.

Plutonium in a soluble form acts differently in the body than the insoluble form. Instead of remaining in the lungs and the lymph nodes, as the insoluble form does, soluble plutonium enters the blood relatively quickly and deposits on bone surfaces and in the liver. About 40 percent of the plutonium that enters the blood goes to bone surfaces, 40 percent to the liver and the remaining 20 percent to muscle.9If a person is exposed to soluble plutonium, cancers of the bone and liver are possible, with the likelihood dependent on the dose.
Some scientists stress the need for additional studies on humans because of the long time lapse between exposure and when cancers are diagnosed. This period is called the latency period. For plutonium, the latency period is estimated to be more than 30 years, but may vary depending on the dose received.10
There are conflicting opinions in two studies regarding plutonium exposure and the risk of leukemia. Leukemia is a cancer of the blood and begins in the blood cells formed within the bone. Metivier stated at a symposium presented by the French Society of Biophysics and Nuclear Medicine in 1982 that there is a possibility of leukemia if the bone marrow is exposed to plutonium. 11 However, the 1988 BEIR IV report stated there is no evidence that plutonium can cause leukemia.12 In humans, relatively little plutonium is found in the bone marrow, and the dose to this tissue is quite small compared to the dose to the bone surfaces. The risk of leukemia from exposure to plutonium is likely to be far less than the risk of bone cancer.
Chromosome Aberrations
E. Janet Tawn and her colleagues in the Medical Department at British Nuclear Fuels, Sellafield, England, did a study of the chromosomes of 54 plutonium workers who were exposed to plutonium mainly by inhalation. Each plutonium worker had a higher number of chromosome aberrations compared with workers not exposed to plutonium. The scientists concluded that the exposure to plutonium increased the number of aberrations.13


Possible Health Effects: Leukemia, bone cancer, weakened immune system
Description: The isotope of strontium for which the Dose Reconstruction Project is calculating dose estimates is strontium-90. In the body, strontium is chemically similar to calcium. Therefore, the body is likely to use strontium in the same way it would use calcium.
Estimated Amount Released from Hanford: 64.3 curies
Chemical Form of Release: unknown
Range of Representative Dose Estimates: 0.0007 mremEDE to 0.07 mrem EDE
Summary of Scientific Studies


Strontium may cause leukemia. 14 More than 90 percent of the strontium that remains in the body is in the bones.15
According to M. Thomasset, MD, Director of Research at the National Center of Scientific Research, National Institute for Health and Medical Research, Le Vesinet, France, “continuous low doses” of strontium cause relatively more cases of leukemia than high, one-time doses.16
Because strontium deposits in the bones, bone cancer is also a possible health effect. Animal studies have shown that high doses of strontium produce a relatively large number of bone cancers. At lower levels of exposure, there are very few cases or none. A Utah study conducted on beagles did not find bone cancers at low doses.17
Immune System
Thomasset reported that continuous low doses of strontium weakened the immune system for up to one year after the exposure.18


Possible Health Effects: Leukemia; and bone, liver, and nasal cavity cancers
Description: The isotope of cerium for which the Dose Reconstruction Project is calculating dose estimates is cerium-144.
Estimated Amount Released from Hanford: 3,770 curies
Chemical Form of Release: Assumed to be soluble19
Range of Representative Dose Estimates: 0.05 mremEDE to 5.4 mrem EDE
Summary of Scientific Studies
All of the information on cerium’s health effects comes from animal studies. Cerium concentrates in the bone marrow. Because of this, the risk of leukemia is the predominant potential health problem.
When insoluble cerium is inhaled, it remains in the lung. When soluble forms are inhaled, cerium moves into the bones and liver. Bone and liver cancers, as well as liver damage, are possible. The National Council on Radiation Protection has stated that cancers of the nasal cavity are also possible.20


Possible Health Effects: Cancer, skin burns
Description: There are two isotopes of ruthenium for which the Dose Reconstruction Project is calculating dose estimates: ruthenium-103 and ruthenium-106.
Estimated Amount Released from Hanford:
ruthenium-103: 1,160 curies
ruthenium-106: 388 curies
Chemical Form of Release: unknown
Range of Representative Dose Estimates: 0.009 mremEDE to 0.89 mrem EDE
Summary of Scientific Studies
Very little information is available on the potential for ruthenium to induce cancers. One study that considered the possible health effects from ruthenium did not distinguish between ruthenium-103 and ruthenium-106. In animals exposed to ruthenium, cancers did develop. However, a report on the study by R. Masse, a veterinarian and Chief of the Experimental Toxicology Laboratory in Montrouge, France, did not specify where in the body the cancers developed.21
Skin Burns
Ruthenium particles released from Hanford posed a hazard if any of the particles had fallen onto a person’s exposed skin. This could have caused skin burns. (Imagine what happens if this is inhaled.)


Many callers to the Hanford Health Information Lines have questions and concerns about the release of plutonium and other radioactive materials from Hanford. Some downwinders have health problems and believe that they are, or might be, related to Hanford. The following personal perspective is offered to help readers understand these experiences and concerns.
“My father worked at Hanford as an ironworker/rigger, heavy equipment operator and supervisor from 1947 until his death from lung cancer in 1985. He was 60 years old when he died. Thirty-four of his years at Hanford were spent in the 200 Areas (where the plutonium was processed and separated). He and his crew buried contaminated dry waste such as lab equipment or, in some cases, even trucks and cranes in the ground. He helped to construct the tank farms and was involved in the transfer of liquid wastes to the underground tanks.
“Dad was aware of the problems with the stacks and release of plutonium particles onto the ground and he worried because his crew was there.
“Years later, in 1974, dad discovered that the Hanford doctors had for four years withheld evidence that he had scarring in his lungs. During his annual medical checkup, a new doctor mentioned that the scarring in his lungs was getting worse. He asked the doctor, ‘What scarring?’ Being concerned about getting proper medical care, dad went to Seattle for another exam. After a thorough work-up at the Virginia Mason Clinic, he was diagnosed with ‘silicosis, caused by particles in the lungs.’ His condition continued to deteriorate, eventually becoming lung cancer.
“I can’t help but wonder, what were those particles? Were they ‘hot’ particles released from the stacks at Hanford decades earlier? Were they just sand? And why did the Hanford doctors, year after year for four years, withhold my dad’s medical condition from him?”
This perspective was contributed by a woman whose father worked at Hanford. She was born in 1948 in Richland and lived there until 1966. She recalls that much of her family’s milk and vegetables came from her uncle’s farm in Kennewick. Name withheld by request.


During the preparation of this report, the technical reviewers raised several important points that should be included.
Karl Z. Morgan, Ph.D., expressed great skepticism with the estimate for the amount of plutonium released from Hanford. The current estimate from the Hanford Environmental Dose Reconstruction Project is 1.78 curies of plutonium released to the air.Based upon his experience at the Oak Ridge (Tennessee) nuclear weapons facility and his knowledge of Hanford processes, Morgan believes that the current estimate is “a gross underestimate.” Morgan is regarded by many as the father of health physics and was chief of radiation protection at Oak Ridge. He was chairman of the Internal Dose Committees of both the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) and the National Committee for Radiation Protection (NCRP) from 1949 to 1971. These committees set the maximum permissible radiation exposure limits on the international and national level, respectively.
Professor Ronald L. Kathren felt it was important to state that, given the current low radiation dose estimates from the selected radionuclides, it is “extremely unlikely” that there will be any measurable health problems among those exposed to Hanford’s radiation releases. “Measurable health problem” means an effect that could be determined by an epidemiological study as being related to exposure from Hanford’s radiation. Kathren is the director of the United States Transuranium and Uranium Registries and a professor at Washington State University.
Tim Connor stated that the assumption by the Hanford Environmental Dose Reconstruction Project that all of the plutonium released by Hanford to the air was in a soluble form is tenuous at best. Connor is concerned that even if the plutonium separated at Hanford was initially dissolved by nitric acid, further steps in the separation process would have resulted in transforming at least some of the soluble plutonium to an insoluble form. Thus, a considerable fraction of plutonium escaping to the atmosphere may have been in an insoluble form. Connor is a researcher with the Energy Research Foundation in South Carolina and was a staff member of the Hanford Education Action League (HEAL) for several years.


While comparisons to specific individuals are often uncertain, the information in this report may help identify potential health problems from exposure to Hanford’s releases of plutonium, cerium, strontium and ruthenium. An important point to recall is that the estimates of the amounts released and the doses received are not yet complete.
The Technical Steering Panel completed its role in 1995. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now working with the HEDR Task Completion Working Group to continue public participation and to assure completion of the remaining HEDR activities.
References for the History of Hanford’s Hot Particles
Stohr, Joe. Memo to the Technical Steering Panel and the Centers for Disease Control: “Preliminary Review of Documents Describing Hanford Particulate Releases, 1944-1954.” December 26, 1990.
Thomas, Jim. Hanford Education Action League (HEAL) Memo to the Technical Steering Panel: “Request for Independent Calculations on the Active Particle Problem.” April 20, 1992.
Till, John, Ph.D., and Charles Miller, Ph.D. Memo to the Technical Steering Panel: “Active Particle Problem at Hanford.” Undated.
U.S. Senate, Majority Staff of the Committee on Governmental Affairs. “Early Health Problems of the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Industry and Their Implications for Today.” December 1989.
Published Fall 1994
Office of Radiation Protection
7171 Cleanwater Lane, Building 5
PO Box 47827
Olympia, WA 98504-7827
(360) 236-3220
Last Update : 01/06/2011 11:56 AM

Send inquires about DOH and its programs to the Health Consumer Assistance Office


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