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The Hanford, Washington High-Level Waste Facility viewed from the Pretreatment Facility.

The highly radioactive dregs of WWII and cold war bomb-making continue to evolve explosive hydrogen gas, corrode and leak through tanks, while plans to clean them up continue to fail. 53 million gallons of high-level defense waste are held in 177 underground tanks, 149 of which are single-shelled and leak-prone. One million gallons of radioactive waste, leaked into groundwater, is seeping towards the Columbia river. The Bush-Cheney administration fast-tracked a risky, untested, plan to simultaneously design and build a waste processing and vitrification facility to dispose of the highly radioactive residue of plutonium production. Costs have already run 3 times over the original $4.3 billion budget and the promised completion date in 2011 has been put off indefinitely. The basic design of the waste processing system called the "pretreatment facility" may be critically flawed. The GAO has written multiple reports finding multiple faults with the safety, design, construction, and management of the Waste Treatment Plant (WTP) project. Multiple whistleblowers have exposed severe safety, design and management problems with the project.

One of the project's managing engineers, Walter Tamosaitis, Ph.D., the Manager of Research and Technology found that design problems that could lead to hydrogen explosions within the "pretreatment facility" had not been met by Bechtel, the prime contractor, before it claimed a $6 million timely performance payment. He discussed his safety concerns with Bechtel managers, presenting them with a 50 item problem list on July, 1, 2010. On July 2, 2010 he was escorted from his office, demoted, then sent to an offsite basement office with no furniture and no work assignment. The Seattle Weekly obtained e-mail evidence that Frank Russo, who Bechtel named Director of WTP  in January 2010, orchestrated the crack down on Tamosaitis.

In an e-mail dated March 31, 2010, Russo updated President Obama appointee Inés Triay on the situation. Triay, who did not return calls seeking comment, served as Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management and oversaw the DOE’s Hanford work until July, at which time she stepped down.

“It was like herding cats,” Russo wrote Triay about a meeting he’d had with senior contract scientists and engineers regarding his quest to stay on schedule. “Scientists . . . were in lock step harmony when we told them the science is ending. They all hated it . . . I will send anyone on my team home if they demonstrate an unwillingness or inability to fulfill my direction.”

“Walt is killing us,” Russo later e-mailed Bill Gay of URS on July 1, 2010, who though removed from the chain of command still had to sign off on Tamosaitis’ removal.

“Get him in your corporate office today.”

“He will be gone tomorrow,” Gay replied.

The waste processing facility, known as the "pretreatment facility", where the tank wastes are chemically processed and separated into high-level and low-level wastes, in preparation for vitrification and disposal, is the focus of safety concerns about WTP. In the mid-90s, a British design firm chose a "black box" closed cell design, used for nuclear reprocessing in the UK over open "trench" designs which had been used in U.S. reprocessing. The closed cell design was attractive because it had the potential of reducing radiation exposure to workers, but it is virtually impossible to repair if anything goes wrong. Scaling up the closed cell design to the volume, complexity and explosiveness of the waste at Hanford has, to date, been an intractable problem. Because the tank waste is not fully characterized, we don't know what's in some of the tanks, the design safety of the closed cells has been contentious.
Hanford Waste Treatment Plant schematic cartoon
One of the whistleblowers, Dr. Donald, H Alexander, a DOE Hanford nuclear waste chemistry expert, worked with me for over 5 years at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission before he joined DOE. After joining the DOE he led a mission to Russia to study the most deadly nuclear accident in history, the explosion of a reprocessing facility in central Russia.
Alexander knows his nuclear disasters well, as he led one of the DOE’s first scientific delegations to Russia’s Mayak nuclear facility in 1990. Mayak, one of the largest nuclear production plants in the former Soviet Union, suffered a deadly accident in 1957 when a tank containing nuclear materials exploded. The Mayak facilities are comparable to the plutonium production units built at Hanford, which is considered a “sister facility.” Since they are so close in design and makeup, Mayak is often seen as an example of what can go wrong with the production of plutonium and the storage of nuclear waste at Hanford. Alexander’s team negotiated the transfer of data collected by the Soviets on the health effects of Mayak’s radioactive release, establishing a program that allows Russian and U.S. scientists to share nuclear cleanup technologies and research.
He has applied the lessons learned from that disaster to his oversight of WTP safety. In February, 2012 he filed a differing professional opinion concluding that the stainless steel pipes and radioactive waste processing cells were not durable enough to contain the highly abrasive and corrosive radioactive wastes for the 40 year planned plant lifetime. Some of the solids that settled to the bottom of the waste tanks are very hard, abrasive, insoluble oxides. These hard solids would abrade the relatively soft stainless steel used in the waste processing facility. He determined the pretreatment facility would likely fail because of abrasion many years into its 40 year lifetime when it would be highly radioactive and impossible to repair.

An expert panel agreed with him and the other whistleblowers.

A treatment plant that the Energy Department is counting on to stabilize the radioactive waste at the nation’s largest environmental cleanup project, at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State, has design problems that could lead to chemical explosions, inadvertent nuclear reactions and mechanical breakdowns, a federal advisory panel warned on Tuesday.
The Pretreatment Facility control room pad (fore) & the Low-Activity Waste Facility (back)

Treating and stabilizing the radioactive wastes is urgent because the oldest tanks are failing and newer tanks could explode.

The nuclear safety board warned about the risk of explosion to Wyden, who wanted comment on the safety and operation of Hanford's tanks, technical issues that have been raised about the design of a plant to treat the waste in those tanks, and Hanford's overall safety culture.

In addition to the leaks, the board noted concerns about the potential for hydrogen gas buildup within a tank, in particular those with a double wall, which contain deadly waste that was previously pumped out of the leaking single-shell tanks. "All the double-shell tanks contain waste that continuously generates some flammable gas," the board said. "This gas will eventually reach flammable conditions if adequate ventilation is not provided."

The prime contractor, Bechtel, wrote that they have addressed the hydrogen gas problem in the double walled tanks by installing and running active ventilation. However, the board has expressed continued concern that there is no back up if the active ventilation system loses power or breaks down.

The board's concerns about the WTP are even more serious. The experts are concerned the plans won't work at all.

The board described the difficulties in a letter to Senator Ron Wyden, the Oregon Democrat who is the chairman of the Senate Energy Committee. Mr. Wyden said in an interview on Tuesday that the board’s experts had raised “a serious question as to whether this plant is going to work at all.”
The Waste Treatment & Immobilization Plant Project on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.  

In August 2012, a senior DOE manager wrote in an internal DOE memo that Bechtel should be removed as prime contractor for unsafe designs, multiple factual errors and violating federal standards.

In August, Gary Brunson, then the Energy Department's engineering division director, sent a memo to higher-level officials that alleged 34 instances in which Bechtel had committed factual errors, pursued unsafe designs or provided equipment that did not meet federal standards. Brunson said those failures had led to delays and increased costs and that the Energy Department should remove Bechtel as the design authority for the plant.

After the Brunson memo, an investigation by the Energy Department's office of nuclear safety found in November that Bechtel had committed potential health and safety violations, a finding that could lead to a multimillion-dollar fine.

However, Bechtel and it's subcontractors are continuing to suppress safety concerns according to a lawsuit filed this February by another manager turned whistleblower.
Donna Busche, the manager of environmental and nuclear safety for San Francisco-based URS Corp., alleged in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that executives at the $13.4-billion project attempted to suppress her warnings and were working to fire her. Busche, a nuclear engineer and health physicist, alleged that pressure to meet deadlines led the company to retaliate against her for insisting on stringent safety practices at the former nuclear weapons complex.
Bechtel, the huge, politically powerful contractor has run roughshod over the tiny group DOE staff that are trying to manage the contract.
“One of the main problems at Hanford is that DOE is understaffed and overtasked,” Alexander explains. “As such, we cannot conduct in-depth reviews of each of the individual systems in the facilities. Therefore there is a high likelihood that several systems will be found to be inoperable or not perform to expectations.”
Bechtel's management was enabled by DOE's political appointees to bully DOE's technical experts who were assigned to oversee the project. DOE's political appointees ceded project control to the contractor, Bechtel.
In an additional e-mail sent August 2, Alexander writes of how Bechtel management disregarded his early report that their design for the pulse jet mixers was flawed: “In the spring I raised a series of concerns with respect to the performance of the non-Newtonian vessels. Because I raised the issue, Frank Russo directed me to write my issues in a paper over the Easter weekend and deliver the paper on Monday April 5, 2010 . . . As a consequence the [Bechtel] manager labeled my issues as the ‘non- Newtonian curve-ball.’ Since when are DOE staff supposed to take direction from Contractor management? . . . Mr. Russo also directed Dr. Walter Tamosaitis to gather as many top flight PhDs as possible together to discredit my paper. I requested that my paper receive appropriate peer review but that request was denied. Walt had trouble even assembling a team. Walt knew that my issues were technically correct and he never submitted a counter paper.”
The DOE's management structure, which places almost all of its technical expertise in the national laboratories, is incapable of competently and safely directing the WTP. Bechtel's management has gone directly to political appointees at DOE, eliminating all effective technical oversight. Bechtel should be fired for violating federal rules, regulations and standards, but that should be only the first step. The President and congress need to establish an effective management structure within DOE or a new separate organization to safely-control the management and disposal of defense and civilian nuclear wastes.

The expert review board's devastating report follows a scathing December, 2012 report by the GAO. Details follow.

What GAO Found

Waste Treatment Plant overview
Constructing the WTP is a massive, highly complex, and technically challenging project. For example, according to Bechtel documents, the completed project will contain almost 270,000 cubic yards of concrete and nearly a million linear feet of piping. The project also involves developing first-of-a-kind nuclear waste mixing technologies that will need to operate for decades with perfect reliability because, as currently designed, once WTP begins operating, it will not be possible to access parts of the plant to conduct maintenance and repair of these technologies due to high radiation levels.

The Department of Energy (DOE) faces significant technical challenges in successfully constructing and operating the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) project that is to treat millions of gallons of highly radioactive liquid waste resulting from the production of nuclear weapons. DOE and Bechtel National, Inc. identified hundreds of technical challenges that vary in significance and potential negative impact and have resolved many of them. Remaining challenges include (1) developing a viable technology to keep the waste mixed uniformly in WTP mix tanks to both avoid explosions and so that it can be properly prepared for further processing; (2) ensuring that the erosion and corrosion of components, such as tanks and piping systems, is effectively mitigated; (3) preventing the buildup of flammable hydrogen gas in tanks, vessels, and piping systems; and (4) understanding better the waste that will be processed at the WTP. Until these and other technical challenges are resolved, DOE will continue to be uncertain whether the WTP can be completed on schedule and whether it will operate safely and effectively.

Since its inception in 2000, DOE’s estimated cost to construct the WTP has tripled and the scheduled completion date has slipped by nearly a decade to 2019. GAO’s analysis shows that, as of May 2012, the project’s total estimated cost had increased to $13.4 billion, and significant additional cost increases and schedule delays are likely to occur because DOE has not fully resolved the technical challenges faced by the project. DOE has directed Bechtel to develop a new cost and schedule baseline for the project and to begin a study of alternatives that include potential changes to the WTP’s design and operational plans. These alternatives could add billions of dollars to the cost of treating the waste and prolong the overall waste treatment mission.

DOE is taking steps to improve its management and oversight of Bechtel’s activities but continues to face challenges to completing the WTP project within budget and on schedule. DOE’s Office of Health, Safety, and Security has conducted investigations of Bechtel’s activities that have resulted in penalties for design deficiencies and for multiple violations of DOE safety requirements. In January 2012, the office reported that some aspects of the WTP design may not comply with DOE safety standards. As a result, DOE ordered Bechtel to suspend work on several major WTP systems, including the pretreatment facility and parts of the high-level waste facility, until Bechtel can demonstrate that activities align with DOE nuclear safety requirements.

While DOE has taken actions to improve performance, the ongoing use of an accelerated approach to design and construction—an approach best suited for well-defined and less-complex projects—continues to result in cost and schedule problems, allowing construction and fabrication of components that may not work and may not meet nuclear safety standards. While guidelines used in the civilian nuclear industry call for designs to be at least 90 percent complete before construction of nuclear facilities, DOE estimates that WTP is more than 55 percent complete though the design is only 80 percent complete. In addition, DOE has experienced continuing problems overseeing its contractor’s activities. For example, DOE’s incentives and management controls are inadequate for ensuring effective project management, and GAO found instances where DOE prematurely rewarded the contractor for resolving technical issues and completing work.


Walter Tamosaitis, Ph.D., was the Manager of Research and Technology at the Hanford Waste Treatment Plant(WTP) in Richland, Washington. Plaintiff alleges that he was transferred from his contract position at the Hanford WTP in retaliation for raising safety and technical concerns. He had been working at this position since 2003. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Bechtel National, Inc. (BNI) falsely claimed to meet its June 30, 2010, contract requirements to earn a $6 million fee. The next day, Plaintiff allegedly presented a 50-item list at a meeting with BNI and URS managers. Plaintiff alleges that this list detailed a number of safety and technical concerns with the project,which called into question Bechtel’s June 30th claim. On July 2, 2010, Plaintiff alleges that he returned to work for a scheduled 7:00 a.m. meeting. He alleges that he was informed that he was terminated from the WTP project immediately and was directed to turn in his badge, cell phone, and blackberry. Plaintiff allegedly was instructed to leave the site and was escorted out of the building without retrieving his personal effects from his office. Plaintiff was reassigned to a URS facility off the Hanford site. He is now working in an office in the basement and alleges that he has been given little or no meaningful work. Plaintiff is still employed by URS.

Originally posted to SciTech on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:03 AM PDT.

Also republished by Gulf Watchers Group, Koscadia, and PDX Metro.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Whistleblowers must be Rewarded not punished (250+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vico, Rizzo, Simplify, kevinpdx, Bisbonian, DWG, flitedocnm, AnotherAmericanLie, Jim P, eeff, old wobbly, fiercefilms, jnhobbs, cosmic debris, MrJayTee, Mentatmark, indie17, oortdust, cotterperson, implicate order, greenbird, terabytes, Oye Sancho, Gowrie Gal, Deward Hastings, rja, Mary Mike, native, Don midwest, no way lack of brain, worldlotus, GeorgeXVIII, freesia, nailbender, confitesprit, jakedog42, redstella, Bluesee, joanneleon, oldpotsmuggler, lunachickie, Tinfoil Hat, jfromga, Eddie L, Dreaming of Better Days, Lefty Coaster, Ignacio Magaloni, profh, JayBat, GreyHawk, vahana, suspiciousmind, Lujane, KrazyKitten, elziax, addisnana, peachcreek, MarEng, offred, mikeconwell, Ageing Hippie, PhilW, Timaeus, Sunspots, NYmom, No one gets out alive, ColoTim, rapala, ontheleftcoast, roses, tytalus, jwinIL14, LaFeminista, AoT, jeanette0605, Dogs are fuzzy, sfarkash, pyegar, juliesie, LakeSuperior, ybruti, zmom, jasan, DeminNewJ, Danno11, Joieau, Shockwave, JesseCW, raincrow, Aaa T Tudeattack, jrooth, Annalize5, some other george, samanthab, DerAmi, jayden, AshesAllFallDown, tapestry, Smoh, Dauphin, doingbusinessas, Rosaura, One Pissed Off Liberal, Angie in WA State, hubcap, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, asym, Mayfly, tegrat, zerelda, blukat, Kevskos, dRefractor, shaharazade, Shamash, dougymi, AdamR510, Involuntary Exile, OldDragon, slapshoe, linkage, monkeybrainpolitics, ovals49, lenzy1000, Hawksana, Brian B, Ginny in CO, pvasileff, NMRed, limulus curmudgeon, Ree Zen, Byrnt, marleycat, Nulwee, fb, where4art, JekyllnHyde, bookgirl, Ender, Just Bob, catilinus, Orinoco, radical simplicity, FG, CA ridebalanced, mungley, MRA NY, KenBee, JVolvo, BYw, 417els, S F Hippie, Yasuragi, Creosote, Ckntfld, thomask, lotlizard, fumie, mudslide, leeleedee, SeaTurtle, Horace Boothroyd III, Chaddiwicker, DRo, OregonOak, PeterHug, reflectionsv37, anodnhajo, Paul Ferguson, eru, glorificus, pickandshovel, jexter, petulans, also mom of 5, tonyahky, AllisonInSeattle, Doctor Who, carpunder, Buckeye54, chemengineer, cyncynical, Agathena, Debs2, wader, orlbucfan, Nebraskablue, StrayCat, RiveroftheWest, Bozmo2, TomFromNJ, sillia, congenitalefty, blueoasis, chmood, mskitty, chickeee, peptabysmal, chuck utzman, abarefootboy, Liberal Thinking, Mathazar, Regina in a Sears Kit House, Kitsap River, cinnamon68, Alfred E Newman, walkshills, Bule Betawi, joynow, Larsstephens, page394, pgm 01, basquebob, WakeUpNeo, molunkusmol, kurt, Powered Grace, Eclectablog, Andrew F Cockburn, kurious, tbirchard, Brooke In Seattle, expatjourno, Alma, celdd, RLMiller, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, renzo capetti, Linda Wood, Karl Rover, ExStr8, alevei, Aureas2, Glass Navel, yuriwho, glitterscale, Burned, LinSea, RosyFinch, Patango, Williston Barrett, stvnjon, Shippo1776, greycat, Oh Mary Oh, mofembot, Sylv, RunawayRose, SadieSue, AuroraDawn

    In Hanford, at the WTP, whistleblowers may have kept a catastrophe from happening.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:02:27 AM PDT

  •  But it's Green! Clean! No carbon dioxide!! (23+ / 0-)

    surely a little radioactive death in steel barrels full of water should be safe for 10,000 years or so.

    "We refuse to fight in a war started by men who refused to fight in a war." -freewayblogger

    by Bisbonian on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:17:43 AM PDT

      •  So that makes it all OK, right? Right? (5+ / 0-)

        Penn State - Rug too small, dirtpile too big, not enough brooms.

        by WereBear Walker on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:43:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, and there are probably some differences, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kevskos, shaharazade, Paul Ferguson

        but the basic idea is the same.

        "We refuse to fight in a war started by men who refused to fight in a war." -freewayblogger

        by Bisbonian on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:51:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The differences (28+ / 0-)

          in the composition of the waste are crucial.

          Waste from nuclear power isn't safe, but it's nowhere near the level of stuff they are dealing with at Hanford.

          Seriously, let's use a little intellectual honesty here, if you don't know the details, don't pretend that you do, or that the details don't matter.

          •  "Waste from nuclear power isn't safe" (7+ / 0-)

            That's the sum total of my point. How much more unsafe one type is than another is a matter that I will leave to those that know. Is that intellectually honest enough for you?

            "We refuse to fight in a war started by men who refused to fight in a war." -freewayblogger

            by Bisbonian on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:07:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's an odd point (20+ / 0-)

              since waste from producing solar panels isn't safe either.

              Mining ore for wind power isn't safe. Generating power isn't safe, period.

              The question is can those risks be managed and mitigated enough to justify their use. This is a complicated issue that requires honest and informed discussion, not knee-jerk reactions.

              The reoccurring theme that pops up in stories like these is the bypassing of safety and security measures to make more profit. So surely one solution is to push for better oversight, more accountability, and perhaps a complete nationalization of the generation and handling of energy that is too 'unsafe' to leave in the hands of corporations.

              •  Important point (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                alain2112, Ozy, raincrow, Dauphin, Nulwee

                Which is the least-worst method of generating power?

                We aren't ready for all solar and wind, and those aren't without their concerns.  Small, modern, distributed nukes may very well cause fewer deaths than continuing to use fossil fuels.

                •  Sure, if you ignore the fact that it's the most (10+ / 0-)

                  expensive power to build and operate.  We are much readier for wind and solar than nukes.

                  •  We may be ready (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Nulwee, Praxical

                    but our grid is not, which is why nuclear power supplies more energy than wind and solar.

                    Nuclear is not more expensive than fossil fuels once you factor in the externalities of pollution and global warming. Solar is more expensive if you don't.

                    Wind is pretty cheap.

                    But, once again, here we are on Daily Kos trying to evaluate our energy source based on capitalist thinking, what is cheapest? Boggles the mind.

                    •  Nuclear power has benefited from 70 years (11+ / 0-)

                      of immense government spending.  

                      Since resources are not infinite, in makes sense to evaluate choices based on cost even if we lived in a theoretical communist utopia.  We just wouldn't use currency as the means to measure cost.

                      Nuclear is dirty, dangerous, and far from green. It's more expensive than both wind and solar, unless you buy the bullshit only the nuclear industry pedals and pretend that huge decommissioning and insurance costs don't really exist.

                      Renewable energy beats it hands down.  It is a dead technolgy being propped up by fan boys and contractors used to suckling at the government teat.

                      income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

                      by JesseCW on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 01:32:41 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Decommisioning costs are considered (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        when people do cost assessments. If you think that they aren't, then you are mistaken.

                        Compared to the costs of climate change, the resources spent on nuclear are negligible.

                        It's comparable to wind on a per kwh basis. Solar is more expensive.

                        I installed solar on my house with ~50% tax incentives for state+federal, and still it wouldn't pay for itself if I didn't also get government subsidized renewable energy credits. Yeah, I'm sucking off the government teat to reduce my fossil fuel consumption. Yet apparently it's only bad when nuclear does it?

                        •  It doesn't "pay for itself" because other (6+ / 0-)

                          sources of electricity have 70 to 120 years of backed in subsidy.

                          income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

                          by JesseCW on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:38:29 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes, it doesn't pay for itself (0+ / 0-)

                            because electricity is cheap.

                            But I'm not sure what your argument is. That nobody should have subsidies, and electricity should be 5 times the price, or that only energy sources you like should be subsidized.

                            I'm merely pointing out that all energy is subsidized at some level, some more explicitly than others. Fossil fuels are subsidized heavily, not only in production, but also 'protection' from our wars, health impacts, and of course the costs from climate change.

                            Against these costs, trying to call out the subsidies for any other energy source, whether nuclear or solar, is nitpicking.

                            And let us not forget that with solar, for example, we are not even including the environmental costs associated with outsourcing production to China with their lax regulations. How much should we charge for that?

                          •  Did you mention the millions needed for nuke (5+ / 0-)

                            insurance? It's so expensive it has to be paid or subsidized by governments. Insurance is costly because the results of accidents can be dire, a meltdown for example.

                            Higher incidents of leukemia in children living near nukes in Germany. Would any of its proponents build their homes in the shadow of a plant?  They emit radiation every day and the effects are cumulative.

                        •  Only out to 50 years (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          the next hundred centuries, the costs are on the suckers that fell for the plutonium cartels's disinformation.

                    •  Oh please (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Brooke In Seattle, Sandino, Patango

                      It's not particularly capitalist to note that wind only costs $1500/kw investment, and nuclear is up around $5000-6000.  Which means you can build four times as much wind as nuclear.

                      •  The OZY poster (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        is saying people are " NIT PICKING " by pointing out the subsidization of nuke , oil and coal the last 50 years?

                        They have used these subsidies to help destroy any investment in green energy for the last 40 years , but it is nit picking to bring it up? What other criminal behaviour do you want to dismiss and nit picking Ozy?  

                  •  Are you familiar with capacity? (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    FG, Morgan Sandlin

                    Even if solar and wind sustain explosive growth, it will take probably beyond your lifetime before they could be a majority of U.S. energy.

                    And that's assuming rosy, consistent economic growth for decades (which we all should know by now isn't going to happen) and heavy government subsidies. China is currently flooding the solar market, but that's expected to end soon. And when it does, solar's about to get a whole lot more expensive again.

                    Governments care only as much as their citizens force them to care. Nothing changes unless we change -- George Monbiot.

                    by Nulwee on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:29:41 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Sure is a good thing we don't have to mine or (6+ / 0-)

                refine uranium, isn't it?

                income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

                by JesseCW on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 12:27:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Neither waste from solar panel (17+ / 0-)

                production nor mining hazards in general are the Mother Of All Dirty Bombs itching to go off, producing hydrogen gas in flimsy, leaking underground tanks holding the chemically dissociated high-enriched ultra-nasty sludge left over from H-bomb production all these years.

                Geez, you'd think even the most die-hard of nuclear apologists would know enough to steer clear of this gawd-awful mess...

                •  So handle it differently (0+ / 0-)

                  Instead of burying the waste, burn it.

                  This is what I don't seem to understand from your perspective.

                  This waste exists, right now. We need to handle it properly. What would you suggest we do? You can say 'don't make more', but that doesn't address what we actually do with the waste we have.

                  What is your solution for dealing with the waste from bomb making and nuclear power? Ignore it? Resign ourselves to being poisoned by it? What is your suggestion, your solution to this problem? We can't 'steer clear' because this mess already exists. Are you helping solve it?

                  But then, once we actually solve it, we have a solution in hand to apply to new waste. Is this what scares you? That we might actually figure out how to use nuclear power and handle the waste safely?

                  •  burn it!?? (8+ / 0-)

                    perhaps you are unaware that combining oxygen with a radioactive isotope does not alter its radioactivity. That would of course, broadly distribute this pollution worldwide.

                  •  Oh, give us a break. (9+ / 0-)

                    It's been more than 60 years and you've got zip. In another 60 years you'll have exactly as much zip as you've got today. No one ever actually planned to deal in any responsible way with the filth the nuclear Death Eaters have created.

                    The Hanford mess doesn't look like one they can continue to play around with, but play is what they're doing. The single-wall tanks are leaking and threatening to explode any day now, there's no time to fiddle around with known to be bad ideas. Yet they're playing anyway. They cannot even pump the sludge FOR separation - it'll spark explosions both in the tanks and in their fancy new facility (if it's ever more than rebar in a footer frame). Big Bang. For which neither Bechtel nor the U.S. DoE will be responsible when the dead zone claims most of the state of Washington.

                    The FIRST thing to be done when you find yourself in a deep hole is to stop digging.

                    •  Still waiting (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Johnny Nucleo, FG, Morgan Sandlin

                      for your solution. Apparently it sounds a whole lot like 'give up' we're not smart enough.

                      Glad you're not running our research program in the US.

                    •  As far as 'zip' goes (0+ / 0-)

                      according to James Hanson, nuclear has saved millions of lives.

                      Where do you put this in your 'death eater' world view? You're beginning to sound a bit, well, close minded in your discussion here. Unwilling to even consider that nuclear may, on balance, be better for us than even coal and oil, since that is what you're going to doom us to using if you shut down nuclear today.

                      There is one energy industry that is causing whole sale destruction on are planet as we speak, and that is fossil fuels. Nuclear power has already mitigated some of that damage. You want us to embrace more. That is the real 'death eater' of this discussion.

                      I want to get us off of fossil fuels ASAP, which means an all of the above (sans fossil) portfolio including solar (despite its high cost and high mortality rate for rooftop installation, wind (despite it's rather low utilization factor), and hydro (despite its damage to the environment), and yes, nuclear, with its high power density baseload capability.

                      Eliminating any one of the above from the portfolio slows down the elimination of fossil fuels, damages our planet, and kills people.

                      •  The only safe way to get rid of nuclear waste (0+ / 0-)

                        is to shoot it into space towards the sun. You want to give me a ballpark figure of the costs of that kind of waste elimination??

                        Some people make u want to change species! --ulookarmless, quoted w/his permission: RIP good man.

                        by orlbucfan on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:24:45 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You're joking, right? (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          The risks of sending that much high level waste up through our atmosphere, risking an explosion and wide distribution of fallout dwarf the risks associated with, say, geological sequestration or transmutation.

                          Also, it takes a buttload of energy to shed the angular momentum associated with Earth orbit, thus allowing the rocket to actually make it down the gravity well into the sun. It's nothing like dropping a rock down a shaft.

                      •  That is a meaningless piece of propaganda (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        Cute of Hansen to leave climate science and embark on a project in the field of speculative historical epidemiology.  Unfortunately the paper, while full of statistics is completely irrelevant to policy, ignores the inconvenient reality of the very-long-term waste, as most nuktopians must, and cribs patently absurd estimates for the release of radioisotopes and their effect on health from the industry that has apparntly captured him..

                        •  And you base your critique on (0+ / 0-)

                          what, exactly? If you want to dispute his numbers, then you're gonna have to better than: nu-uh!

                          If you think his science is that bad, do you start to question his claims regarding climate change as well? After all, that's also based on statistics and estimates.

                          •  His climate change claims (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Joieau, Patango

                            are based on his field of study, where he is a respected expert.
                            It is clever of you to observe that they both use statistics however.  I have described the way in which his headline is deceitful.  
                            I know the temptation is strong to paint those who oppose continued support for the plutonium industry as AGW deniers or idealistic tree huggers, but it is the nuktopians who are idealistic in their denial of health impacts from NPPs or their catastrophic failures, in their denial of the fact of regulatory capture and the system of perverse incentives that pervade the industry and make every safety decision a balance against the profit margins of private operators who are shielded from liability.  Decade-long multi-billion porkbarrels that create yet another too-big-to-fail central power plant are not a solution, since they add CO2 for years before they start offsetting by generation, and even then, the numbers for CO2 mitigation are based on high-quality uranium ore, which is rapidly vanishing. Lower quality ores require more processing and tilt the balance further against nukes.

                          •  Plutonium industry? (0+ / 0-)

                            I guess that gives an insight into your objectivity right there.

                            Nice talking to you.

                          •  Another effective rebuttal (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Joieau, Patango

                            how convincing.  

                          •  You didn't actually (0+ / 0-)

                            say anything factual to rebut. Apparently, because Hansen is working outside his scientific field, his analysis is questioned, yet your baseless claims and innuendo are supposed to be taken seriously? Is this where I demand your expert credentials?

                            The anti-nuke rhetoric has as much basis in reality, and blood on its hands, as the anti-gun control crowd. I believe in climate change, and the anti-nuclear contingent has been and continues to be part of the biggest problem that threatens our civilization.

                            Yes, millions of lives have been saved by nuclear power in the last several decades, with the necessary corollary that millions more would have been saved if we hadn't given into anti-nuclear hysteria and substituted coal and oil power plants.

                          •  So you accept my claims that (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Joieau, Patango

                            1) Hansen is publishing outside his field, meaning he is using his reputation to claim unearned authority.

                            2) Hansen ignores health effects of long-term nuclear waste and systematic leakage of radioactive materials, and underestimates health impacts of nuclear accidents.

                            3) The NRC is a captured entity and the nuclear industry, with help from the national security establishment routinely compromise public safety for the sake of operator profits.

                            4) The economics of privatized construction and operation with public liability creates perverse incentives which systematically compromise safety, making NPPs TBTFs.

                            5) New nuclear construction is not a good solution because it takes so long, front loads a decade of CO2 production against a long payoff in mitigation.

                            6) Depletion of high quality ore increases the carbon footprint of mining and processing, as well as the kwh cost.

                            I typed this slowly, so you can follow.  So far you have responded by taking affront to my description of an industry that produces plutonium and electricity, and by accusing critics of the current nuclear regime of being responsible for global warming with hyperbole so inflammatory that it makes you look absurd.

                          •  LOL!!! Wow, that's precious. (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sandino, Linda Wood, Patango, melo
                            Apparently, because Hansen is working outside his scientific field, his analysis is questioned, yet your baseless claims and innuendo are supposed to be taken seriously?
                            If you expect Hansen's lay-analysis to be taken seriously, why would you demand any alternative lay-analysis be dismissed?
                            Is this where I demand your expert credentials?
                            Why bother? Hansen doesn't need any. I have some "expert credentials," but you don't need to see them.
                            The anti-nuke rhetoric has as much basis in reality, and blood on its hands, as the anti-gun control crowd. I believe in climate change, and the anti-nuclear contingent has been and continues to be part of the biggest problem that threatens our civilization.
                            ??? My goodness, Ozy. This kind of ridiculous hyperbole is not going to accomplish what you hope it will. Nukes have proven themselves too dangerous - and too filthy for far too damned long - to justify. That is what many people both expert and not believe about it, and whining about climate change won't change that.

                            There is not enough money in the entire world to invest in enough new nuclear capacity to make even the slightest dent in global warming. You know that, so does everybody else. Thus is the weakest of weak arguments in favor of new nukes nobody wants, needs or can afford in the midst of an engineered global depression. Ain't ever gonna happen.

                            Meanwhile, new solar and wind installations continue to come on line as King Coal's antique clunkers are steadily put to pasture. There are kinetic hydro resources being developed and deployed in cooperative situations, to tap flowing rivers and coastland tides, some of the literally hundreds of earthen dam reservoirs built by the Corps back in the 1930s to help address the droughts in Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas and Kansas during Dust Bowl days.

                            I believe in global warming too. Why, USDA changed my growing zone to the next warmer zone just last spring. Obviously the government knows it's happening, just like the farmers do. I don't know how responsible humans are for the situation, but I've known humans are responsible for callously fouling this planet with our filth all my life. I don't care what brand of alarmism the environmental movement uses to impress upon the public the need to clean up our act, so long as it works.

                            The nuclear PR industry's attempted takeover of the environmental movement's anti-GW thrust in order to promote its own filthy self as The Only Answer To Global Warming is absolutely disgusting. You should be ashamed, and so should Hansen.

                      •  Hanson is not (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Sandino, Patango

                        a nuclear scientist, a nuclear engineer or a nuclear technician. He is not a statistician, a medical doctor of any variety, an electrician, or even lineman for the REC. He might have toured a nuclear plant's visitor's center once, but that does NOT qualify him to be an expert on atom-splitting for the purpose of boiling water to provide 'trons for toasting bagels, leaving a quarter million years' worth of seriously deadly waste to our descendants farther down the line from us and our bagels than we are from the first homo sapien sapien who walked the planet. If there are any descendants that far down the line, that is. That hasn't looked very likely since the dawn of the Atomic Age and is looking less and less likely every day that goes by.

                        It's just a propaganda script handed him by his new industry master's PR consortium to parrot in his newer, much more lucrative position as climate change doomsayer and Atomic salesman.

                        You talk like you're in the loop. How much is Hanson being paid by industry lobby and PR consortiums?

                        •  Interesting , thanks for putting Ozy in his place (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Sandino, Joieau

                          It is frustrating to witness the mountain of dishonest retoric one has to wade thru to get too any kind of common sense for american infrastructure,  the cluster fuck happening in the op also confirms it  

                  •  Recycle some of it in LFTRs (0+ / 0-)

                    If we could get DoE to put a fraction of what is spent on nuclear energy into bringing the technology up to date.

                    "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

                    by Ginny in CO on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:09:39 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Re burning, please do not forget the usual path (0+ / 0-)

                    of the Jet Stream, the high wind river which runs across the US, usuall southeast from somewhere near Washington state, across the central rockies and into the lower midwest,  or northeast until it turns and then turns south and becomes the Arctic Express in the midwest. The location of this mess is such that if it ever blows, the US heartland gets it in the chops, all the stuff that the areas near Fukushima are getting now, PLUS the destruction of water supplies and the entire ocean off the mouth of the Columbia river.  Little Seattle is separated by a number of mountain ranges from this but Portland is not, and eastern and southern WA are not. and . . . . .  

                    If you start burning stuff, you either have to massively filter out the smoke and then figure out what to do with the waste from that or watch that waste drift to places even Republicans don't want it. And recall as well that the area including Hanford is in Doc Hastings' district and I do not see him wailing about getting the cleanup done in his lifetime either.

                •  Please recognize (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  That the nature of waste from bomb making is a very different and more dangerous chemical mix that from fission power reactors.  

                  Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescindibles.

                  by Mindful Nature on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 04:32:58 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I do recognize the difference. (6+ / 0-)

                    Which is why I described what's in those leaking, soon to be explosive tanks at Hanford as...

                    the Mother Of All Dirty Bombs itching to go off, producing hydrogen gas in flimsy, leaking underground tanks holding the chemically dissociated high-enriched ultra-nasty sludge left over from H-bomb production
                    This "burn it" garbage is about panning the sludge for leftover U235 and P239 (and a couple other fissile unnaturals), to be mixed with the usual heavy metal filler (U238) and turned into fuel pellets and loaded into rods braced together into assemblies for use in commercial reactors. Fuel. It may be more or less enriched (percentage of fissile material), but the reaction and the waste products are the same either way, and the higher enriched assemblies will be hotter for their entire use-waste cycle.

                    They will not be salvaging the non-fissile elements or the daughters, or the granddaughters, etc. They just want the intact fissile ones. That process will do absolutely nothing to 'burn', bury, stabilize, hide, tuck into bed, or in any other way render ANY daughter or decay chain fragment more stable, less radioactive, or shorten its half-life by a single nanosecond. It all still remains, every bit as deadly as it ever was. They can render it into a solid form (vitrification) so it can be more safely stored - if it doesn't flash the workers to death on the spot or blow up the building - while the salvaged fuel goes right on producing more high level spent fuel waste that will have to be safely stored and managed just like all high level spent fuel waste from our nuclear adventures. The same old few hundred tons' worth that every reactor produces every year it's in operation.

                    The ONLY thing this accomplishes is to diminish the mining and enrichment end by the amount of fissile material they can salvage from the dangerous Hanford slurry. The cost of the salvaging doesn't look to be any cheaper than mining.

                    •  I am curious (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      What the hell can we do with this crap.  Vitrification seems a best option, no?

                      Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescindibles.

                      by Mindful Nature on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:10:04 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I've some hope for vitrification, (4+ / 0-)

                        not at all confident it's a timely - or workable - solution to the issues at Hanford. They thought they'd "done something with it" when they pumped mixed the accumulated sludge into underground tanks. Now the tanks are leaking badly and in danger of explosion. Something definitely has to be done right away, and this project doesn't look very promising in that department.

                        That's why Bechtel is getting such flak - the DoE scientists themselves don't know that much about what's in those tanks or how to safely handle it, Bechtel keeps wasting time and money building junk those same scientists say won't even work. A barrel of slurry can go critical, they've been known to do so on occasion for no apparent reason, killing everybody within range quite quickly and painfully. Very nasty, very dangerous stuff. There's lots and lots and lots of barrels of slurry in those tanks that have been churning unholy mixtures for decades.

                        Seems to me the first thing they need to do is suspend Bechtel's contract for the duration until the Big Brains have come up with something actually workable and receive the power to call the construction shots, throw everything they've got right now into constructing and installing new tanks with proper ventilation and filtration (and reliable off-grid backup power), and get the crap transferred into them. Go ahead and sample while they're at it, learn more about what the mixtures are.

            •  Nuclear waste isn't safe, but you know what it is? (0+ / 0-)

              Nuclear fuel.

              Like a rabbit eating its own poop, nuclear waste can be processed and then used in different classes of power facilities, from thorium reactors to simple RTG thermal power sources.

              There's no good reason to be dumping used nuclear fuel.  It should be reprocessed into, well, more fuel.  And the more cycles the fuel goes through, the more you reduce the half-life of the waste products, generally.  

            •  Yep (0+ / 0-)

              In fact hospital waste isn't safe either.  We ought to shut all hospitals down

              Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescindibles.

              by Mindful Nature on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 04:30:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Where you've got a sound argument (4+ / 0-)

      If you want to use the Hanford situation as an argument against fuel reprocessing to separate plutonium, there you're on much solider ground.

      Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

      by Dogs are fuzzy on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 12:44:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So, outside of Hanford, how widespread (22+ / 0-)

    are the shenanigans companies like Bechtel, and their regulatory captures, in the nuclear industry as a whole?

    Is this the exception, or the rule?

    Also, I'm curious about the:

    data collected by the Soviets on the health effects of Mayak’s radioactive release
    1st, is that publicly available?

    2nd, given the Soviet Union and their obsession with putting the best possible face on everything, how reliable and comprehensive is the data they shared? The 1990 date means that the data would likely have been accumulated before the USSR's fall.

    If Republicans said every 3rd person named "Smith" should hang, we'd bargain them to every 7th. Then we'll see apologia written praising this most pragmatic compromise. There's our losing formula.

    by Jim P on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:22:39 AM PDT

  •  The feds' response is to ship the waste to NM -- (20+ / 0-)

    in violation of the law.

    Letter from NRDC, Hanford Challenge, and Southwest Research and Information Center:

    Proposal to Ship Hanford High-Level Radioactive Waste to New Mexico

    Dear Secretary Chu,

    We write to you regarding the Department of Energy’s (DOE) News Release and subsequent publication in the Federal Register on March 11, 2013 of DOE’s “preferred alternative” to retrieve, treat, package, characterize and certify certain Hanford tank wastes for disposal at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Carlsbad, New Mexico.1 As detailed below, DOE’s proposed course of action would fail to resolve or meaningfully address potential threats to the Columbia River from leaking high-level radioactive waste (HLW) tanks at Hanford. The waste proposed for treatment and transfer to WIPP is too small a fraction of the total inventory of Hanford tank waste to make the investment worthwhile and the proposal does not prioritize the leaking single-shell tanks. Further, DOE’s “preferred alternative” would likely have a disastrous impact on both efforts to arrive at a national nuclear waste strategy and associated progress at the WIPP facility from legal, technical and institutional perspectives...

  •  That is depressing (19+ / 0-)

    What a mess.

    So the harassment of whistleblowers by Bechtel in its DOE contract has continued under the Obama administration. Not good.

    One of the project's managing engineers, Walter Tamosaitis, Ph.D., the Manager of Research and Technology found that design problems that could lead to hydrogen explosions within the "pretreatment facility" had not been met by Bechtel, the prime contractor, before it claimed a $6 million timely performance payment. He discussed his safety concerns with Bechtel managers, presenting them with a 50 item problem list on July, 1, 2010. On July 2, 2010 he was escorted from his office, demoted, then sent to an offsite basement office with no furniture and no work assignment. The Seattle Weekly obtained e-mail evidence that Frank Russo, who Bechtel named Director of WTP in January 2010, orchestrated the crack down on Tamosaitis.

    Be radical in your compassion.

    by DWG on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:29:41 AM PDT

  •  Whistleblowers are punished because (23+ / 0-)

    internal secrecy is a core policy of the Obama administration.  Good luck changing that.  The owners do not want you to know . . .

    Hanford is a disgrace of incompetence, mismanagement and neglect which spans altogether too many administrations . . . no different in that regard than the failure to provide reprocessing and safe storage elsewhere in the industry.  Just a bit more extreme . . .

    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

    by Deward Hastings on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:36:47 AM PDT

  •  lots of work on this diary, thank you ! (21+ / 0-)

    glad to share widely, and thankful to dkos4 for all the handy buttons to make it easy. ;)

    There is no Article II power which says the Executive can violate the Constitution.--@Hugh * Addington's Perpwalk: TRAILHEAD of Accountability for Bush-2 Crimes.

    by greenbird on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:37:40 AM PDT

  •  Business as usual, unfortunately... (6+ / 0-)

    Money talks, public safety and sound science walks.  Absolutely pathetic.  And as "austerity" spreads like a disease across the world, the infrastructure that keeps these deadly genies in the bottle will waste away from lack of proper maintenance and monitoring and, well, that's all, folks...

    Well, it sure is a mess, ain’t it, Sheriff….
    Yep, and if it ain’t it’ll do ‘til the mess gets here.

    Liberal = We're all in this together
    Conservative = Every man for himself
    Who you gonna call?

    •  yes, see my comment above. (0+ / 0-)

      a psychiatrist could..... "eliminate whether Geoffrey was having an affair, or had become gay, whether he had a social disease, or had become a Republican." - Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

      by FlamingoGrrl on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 12:59:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Score another victory for the Obama (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:


      Bechtel's management was enabled by DOE's political appointees to bully DOE's technical experts who were assigned to oversee the project. DOE's political appointees ceded project control to the contractor, Bechtel.
      That would be Steven Chu and the other Obama administration appointees.  And we have another Secretary of energy with questionable ties.  Lovely

      Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescindibles.

      by Mindful Nature on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 04:38:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Chu wasn't mentioned in the stories I reviewed (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        orlbucfan, RiveroftheWest, StrayCat

        And don't forget that OIRA and a number of other politically oriented offices in the executive branch may exert pressure on the DOE.

        look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

        by FishOutofWater on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:32:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I wonder (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          samanthab, FishOutofWater

          Hanford is pretty high profile.  I wonder how much got sign off from the secretary.  As you note, that is pure rank speculation on my part.

          Don't get me started on Cass Sunstein and OIRA or we will be here all night

          Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescindibles.

          by Mindful Nature on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:08:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for posting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, jayden

    There is a lot of good information here that needs to be heard.

  •  B Manning could have prevented gulf oil explosion (10+ / 0-)


    by Greg Palast, April 3, 2012

    The investigative reporter Greg Palast found in the diplomatic cables a discussion of a similar blowout in the Caspian sea. The blowout was kept secret from the stock holders (but was noted in the Guardian.)

    The diplomatic cables released by Bradley Manning described the use of gas to speed up the drying of the concrete used for the seal. This is the problem that happened in the gulf.

    So, here is another whistle blower telling the truth about what the government knows and when they knew it. Why not just put Manning to death as a traitor?

    A traitor to the secrecy in government.

    The further point of this is that the government knew earlier about this problem and they didn't act.

    And needless to say, the public was not informed about it.

    Here is the link to the Palast article

    I found this link in joeshikspack's excellent diary, The Evening Blues, that is posted at about 8PM weekdays. He has lots of music links as well.

    Here is the link to the diary which linked the Palast article

  •  Bechtel (18+ / 0-)

    I can remember reading that Dianne Feinstein's husband sat on the board of Bechtel.

    Here is the entry for the Bechtel Group organization on

    Bechtel Group PAC

    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:08:43 AM PDT

    •  The Reagan cabinet was a bunch of Bechtel guys (15+ / 0-)

      "Shultz is the fourth member of Bechtel Group serving in Reagan's cabinet. Treasury Secretary Donald T. Regan was chairman of Merrill Lynch, whose White Weld unit is investment advisor to the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority. Atty. Gen. William French Smith's California law firm, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, has branch offices in Washington and Riyadh (capital of Saudi Arabia) and represents the Saudi Ministry of Finance and National Economy."
      A long time ago I had a bit of a run in with a Bechtel big wig.  Nasty people.

      I think Sen. Feinstein's husband may be a big shareholder at Bechtel but I don't see him in the BoD.

      Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

      by Shockwave on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 12:43:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, I think (11+ / 0-)

        I got that wrong.  It was a contract.  I still seem to remember some other connection with Bechtel though.  Could be just mixing it up with something else.

        The Center for Public Integrity has reported that US Senator Dianne Feinstein and her husband, Richard Blum, are making millions of dollars from Iraq and Afghanistan contracts through his company, Tutor Perini Corporation.[7] [8] Feinstein voted for the resolution giving President George W. Bush the authority to invade Iraq.

        URS Corp., a San Francisco planning and engineering firm partially owned by California Sen. Dianne Feinstein's husband, landed an Army contract Monday worth up to $600 million.
        The award to help with troop mobilization, weapons systems training and anti-terrorism efforts is the latest in a string of plum defense jobs snared by URS. In February, the firm won an army engineering and logistics contract that could bring in $3.1 billion during the next eight years.

        Read more:

        Okay here is some more on the Bechtel connection.
        The most prominent among this cadre has been Richard Blum. As we detailed in our last CounterPunch article, Blum’s five-decade career as a finance capitalist has been distinguished by the levels of skill and panache he has applied to the time-honored task of siphoning off public money into one’s own corporate coffers, as well as those of one’s financial and political allies. Blum, who is married to US Senator Dianne Feinstein, is one of the leading power-brokers in the Democratic Party within both California and the United States.
        Again, crisis begets opportunity if you’re properly positioned in the most privileged circles, so it’s fitting that one of the two junior partners in the UC-Bechtel management team should be Richard Blum’s now-former company, URS Corporation. At the time Blum became a Regent, URS already had a $125 million contract to perform construction and engineering at Los Alamos. It was a natural extension of his general business philosophy that Blum would have been eying wholesale ownership of the weapons lab at the time. That in mind, perhaps a little Q & A is in order. Which entities now run the Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore weapons labs? The University of California, Bechtel, and URS Corporation, along with a couple of other junior partners. Which UC Regent had a lucrative financial partnership with the Bechtel family, via a $3.5 billion medical technology supplies company named Kinetic Concepts, that precedes the UC-Bechtel weapons lab partnership by eight years? Richard Blum. Who was URS Corporation’s primary financier and vice president for three decades? Richard Blum. Which UC Regent was among a select group of policy wonks who participated in a nuclear weapons policy conference in Oslo, Norway, in 2007, organized largely by a long-time Bechtel executive, George Shultz, who has been instrumental to securing the weapons labs’ recent funding increases? We won’t even bother answering that last question – this exercise has become entirely rhetorical.

        "Justice is a commodity"

        by joanneleon on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:32:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Kind of the other way around I think (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shockwave, FishOutofWater

        Bechtel had been a generic construction company until they decided to go political and hire Schultz and Caspar weinberger after their stints in Washington.  Since then its been GOP corruption city it seems

        I am curious what your run in was.  I bet that's an interesting story

        Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescindibles.

        by Mindful Nature on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 04:42:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent overview-- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, FishOutofWater


    The labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce. Clayton Act, Section 6.

    by Ignacio Magaloni on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:11:23 AM PDT

  •  Would it be correct to say that Bechtel is rushing (11+ / 0-)

    to get the project completed, perhaps before the storage tanks fail? Are they working under some sort of deadline? What exactly would that deadline be?

    Sounds like they've been taking shortcuts to bypass expert advice which, if heeded, might cause considerable delays. Or maybe even stop the project dead in its tracks.

    What would be the environmental costs and risks of delaying progress, as opposed to going ahead with the current, perhaps flawed designs? Would a different contractor be able to take over the project from Bechtel, without making things even worse than they already are?

    Superb diary FOW, thanks.

  •  It's even worse (13+ / 0-)

    Harassment of safety personnel has been going on there at least since the 80s (Seattle Times coverage) and has sometimes been much scarier.

    They need to bring in someone trained by Rickover and give him real power.

    Even then I'm not convinced it will ever be cleaned up.

    Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

    by Dogs are fuzzy on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 12:04:12 PM PDT

  •  Here is today's report from Power Engineering (12+ / 0-)

    Magazine on the Hanford safety board matter:

  •  We were sold a Bill of Goods (8+ / 0-)

    We were told a Pack of LIES when WE asked Questions.

    Now We are Stuck dealing with the Tragic Results of
    all those Decisions that were Made years Ago.

    I Have a Profound Sense of Deja-Vu whenever I Hear
    the Words "Keystone XL Pipeline".

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 12:29:03 PM PDT

  •  My God, Fish.... (9+ / 0-)

    We'd never know about things like this without you.

  •  I thought this waste site rang a bell: (9+ / 0-)

    Cleaning Up After the Cold War

    A DKos diary by Page van der Linden aka plutonium page about the Hanford waste site. Well worth the read.

    Not this mind and not this heart, I won't rot • Mumford & Sons

    by jayden on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 01:13:07 PM PDT

  •  Where Weapons and Civilian Waste Meet (8+ / 0-)

    Yes, the radioactive waste at Hanford is very, very different from civilian nuclear reactor waste.  However, the attitude toward whistleblowers and safety is the same throughout the industry whether it is weapons waste or civilian reactor waste.

    The arrogance of the nuclear industry - military or civilian - is enormous.  Anyone who criticizes nuclear - military or civilian - is an enemy ipso facto.  Honest criticism is treated as totally unwarranted assault.  Someday, this immature behavior of the entire nuclear industry has to stop.

    Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

    by gmoke on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 03:00:00 PM PDT

  •  This is probably the biggest, baddest (5+ / 0-)

    most intractable and most dangerous hazardous waste site in the US (maybe in the world). And how to treat it is really still an unsolved problem I think. They have methods that might work .. but nobody's done this before, on the scale that exists at Hanford, and with the complex and in some cases unknown collection of waste that exists there.

    In the best case it is going to take many decades. In the worse case something really bad will happen before we get cleanup completed.

    We should make the best effort we can, with the knowledge we have, and there shouldn't be any tolerance for bungling. But it is truly the job from hell, and very problematic even without bungling.

  •  Bush, the gift that you can not return (0+ / 0-)

    and keeps giving

    good gods yet another reminder of why democrat > republican

    In the time that I have been given,
    I am what I am

    by duhban on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:49:17 PM PDT

  •  Republicans are right about one thing (0+ / 0-)

    Not for the right reasons, of course, but ...


    Everything DOE touches turns into a multibillion dollar fuckup. There is something deeply wrong with the agency and it's "outsource everything to contractors" model of doing business. Bechtel and the rest of them exist to suck taxpayer money out of DOE without delivering anything. DOE is the worst government agency ever.


    “Americans are fighters. We're tough, resourceful and creative, and if we have the chance to fight on a level playing field, where everyone pays a fair share and everyone has a real shot, then no one - no one - can stop us. ”-- Elizabeth Warren

    by Positronicus on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:12:58 PM PDT

    •  No, you don't eliminate DOE. You clean out (6+ / 0-)

      all the corporate corruption in it and throughout the entire US government--all 3 branches. It took years for these MOFs to corrupt the system; it's up to We The People to clean it up and take it back. For those who have children and grandchildren--the children are owed BIG-TIME!

      Some people make u want to change species! --ulookarmless, quoted w/his permission: RIP good man.

      by orlbucfan on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:45:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  DOE is 85% contractors (0+ / 0-)

        The highest ratio of any agency. DOE exists solely to funnel money to contractors. If you got rid of the contractors, there would be nothing left of DOE.

        Doe is a thoroughly corrupt, lying shitpile. The best thing to do is put it out of its misery.

        “Americans are fighters. We're tough, resourceful and creative, and if we have the chance to fight on a level playing field, where everyone pays a fair share and everyone has a real shot, then no one - no one - can stop us. ”-- Elizabeth Warren

        by Positronicus on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 06:15:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I knew I should have saved the links for this. (3+ / 0-)

    A couple of weeks ago the Hood River weather site had a brief discussion in their scrolling window about Hanford and whether radioactive stuff had gotten to the water.

    We have friends who have been very active in trying to get things moving up there, but it has been delay after delay and cost run amok.

    Anyways, one of the commenters in the usually unpolitical weather thread posted links to hearings where I believe EPA not DOE acknowledged that yes radioactive sludge of various isotopes had reached the river quite awhile back.

    The weather folk are often also windsurfers and kite boarders, so they care about why they get "river nose" and other ailments that seem to go with being with the river.

    I love my state, but my heart aches for the toxins that have been dumped all over that beautiful region, whether for power production (there's coal too) or agriculture with all its runoff.

    Science is hell bent on consensus. Dr. Michael Crichton said “Let’s be clear: The work of science has nothing to do with consensus... which is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right,”

    by Regina in a Sears Kit House on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:40:39 PM PDT

    •  The river was contaminated many years ago (0+ / 0-)

      by fission products. Most of the radioactivity has long since gone out to sea. However, while the river is safe to go into, it is not entirely free of contamination.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

      by FishOutofWater on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 07:05:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If u cn rd ths (0+ / 0-)
    I had never worked in government, always in the private sector with a short stint on campaigns. My goal was to work at DOE in EERE (Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy). I was able to join a contractor 6 weeks after first contacting them, and now work at Department of Energy on interesting EERE projects.
  •  If only we had a Democrat in the White House! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandino, Patango

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

    by expatjourno on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 06:51:59 AM PDT

  •  You obviously are not an engineer. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SpeedyGonzales, alain2112

    In the last two days, since you wrote this gem of a post, about 18 thousand people died from air pollution.

    Not a peep out of you but we hear this, with all kinds of "could" statements about the latest nuclear disaster in your imagination.

    Do you know when the Mayak disaster took place?

    Let me tell you:   It was 1957.    Um, if you knew anything at all about nuclear science - and you don't - and anything at all about history - and you don't - you would understand that the situation in those tanks was necessarily quite different than in tanks that have been under going radioactive decay for several decades.

    Since you don't know a shred of a shard of a nanoparticle about nuclear science, you don't know anything at all about how and why the Mayak tank blew up.    

    It's not at all relevant to Hanford.

    If one were a geologist - a competent one - one might be able to look up and refer to scientific papers, among the many thousands that are around, on the subject of the Hanford tanks.

    Here's one I have in my files that I just pulled up at random for instance:  Computers & Geosciences 29 (2003) 371–383

    In the 9 years since this paper was published, 19% of the cesium-137 in the tank decayed into non-radioactive Ba-137, this without a single loss of life.

    Here's an excerpt from the paper on tanks SX-108 and SX-109:  

    Changes in chemical composition can also be expected as a result of interaction of the leaked tank fluid with sediment minerals. Concentration could occur due to evaporative effects caused by the heat released from the high temperature tanks such as SX-108 and SX-109 tanks.
    The high sodium concentration competes with cesium for exchange sites significantly lowering cesium retardation. However, with time chromatographic separation occurs between sodium and cesium, and cesium becomes more and more retarded due to dilution of the tank leak from infiltrating surface water while sodium continues to advance with little retardation.  Lichtner (2001a, b) found that with increasing sodium concentrations in the tank leak, cesium was able to migrate further from the source; however, following chromatographic separation the cesium became essentially immobile and remained isolated in the vadose zone without further migration.
    The bold is mine.

    There is a school of thought that argues that spending 13 billion dollars to address the paranoia about the Hanford tanks could save infinitely more lives if nothing was done about the tanks, and the money was spent instead on providing decent sanitation to the more than 2 billion people who don't have it.

    There is excellent geological precedent, at Oklo, for the minimal migration of radionuclides in geological formations - Oklos was in porous sandstone.

    Before I gave up under the onslaught of rote stupidity, I wrote at length here about Oklo:  The Natural Nuclear Reactors At Oklo, and Fundamental "Constants."

    I very much doubt that anyone will be around to die from any nuclides leaked from Hanford, given that the planetary atmosphere is collapsing rapidly, with 2013 representing the worst year ever if current trends hold.

    But that's not what people care about.   They'd rather worry about stuff that is trivial and that can be hyped to the point of nonsense by people who just love to scream "fire" in crowded theaters.

    A friend of mine, banned from this site, sent me a fun link that makes me think of the writing at Daily Kos whenever nuclear science is mangled here:

    Actual Expert Too Boring For TV.

    An excerpt:

    Canton was brought in for a test interview based on a recent op-ed in the Boston Globe, in which he argued that increased reliance on nuclear power is "inevitable." When asked to address nuclear power's potentially disastrous consequences, however, Canton launched into a well-reasoned lecture that balanced modern energy demands against safety and environmental concerns.

    "At MIT's Laboratory for Energy and the Environment, we see nuclear-power technology as the best option for the United States and the world to meet future energy needs without emitting carbon dioxide and other atmospheric pollutants," Canton said in the taped pre-interview, which has already been erased...

    ..."I'm sure he knows what he's talking about," Salters added. "But we have a responsibility to educate and entertain our viewers. In the end, we had to go with someone else."

    MSNBC chose Skip Hammond, former Arizona State football player, MBA holder, and author of Imprison The Sun: America's Coming Nuclear-Power Holocaust. Hammond is best known for his "atomic domino" theory of chained power-plant explosions and his signature lavender silk tie.

    "Absolute Armageddon," Hammond said when asked about the dangers increased reliance on nuclear power might pose. "Atoms are not only too tiny to be seen, they're too powerful to be predicted. Three Mile Island? Remember it? I do. Don't they?"

    "Clouds of radiation, glowing rivers, a hole reaching to the earth's core—that's what we're facing, " Hammond continued. "Death of one in four Americans! Count off, everyone: one, two, three, you. Millions of people gone. And no one's even mentioned terrorism yet. You have to wonder why not."

    According to Salters, Hammond was "perfect."

    Did you, um, by any chance play football at Arizona State?

    Have a nice weekend.

    •  You mean Peter Lichtner? He worked on projects (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I managed. You misinterpreted his work.

      Cs has long been known to adsorb very strongly on clay minerals. Cs that reached the Columbia river was transported to sea in the sediment carried by the river.

      You can trace the plume of the river in the Pacific ocean by following the Cs on the sea floor.

      However, cesium has never been the limiting contaminant in does calculations. 90Sr is much more mobile in soil and in the river than Cs. At the N-Reactor strontium was the primary concern.

      Please observe that I have repeatedly written in this post and in the comments that the situation at Hanford has nothing to do with civilian nuclear power. This is all defense waste.

      You are fortunate that few people will see your comment. IMO, it's a train wreck.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

      by FishOutofWater on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 07:26:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A plutonium apologist like NNadir (0+ / 0-)

        will repost his semi-coherent rants with the same disinformed smugness that has won him support from nuke shills and wingnut morons across the spectrum.

      •  Please note that I searched... (0+ / 0-)

        ...Google, for "hydrogen and Hanford" and found thousands of hits, the vast majority of them from the vast circle jerk of anti-nuke panic stricken nothings.

        I search "Google scholar" for the same thing, and found many thousands of hits, not one recent one giving anything like the tone of your hysterical post, not one, which appeals directly to the "nuclear conspiracy" nonsense that lead, among other things, to the average weekly carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere averaging close to 3.00 ppm (2.918 to be precise, as of this writing).

        Heckuva job, panic boy.

        I personally don't give a rat's ass about how far Sr-90 migrates in rock.   I have a reasonable familiarity with the situation at Hanford, and a real sense - which you clearly lack - of risk/benefit analysis.

        How many people do you anticipate will actually ingest over the next 2,000 years from Sr-90 from Hanford if nothing is done about the leaking tanks?

        As I never tire of pointing out, 9,000 people will die today from air pollution.  Nine thousand tomorrow.  Nine thousand every damn fucking day afterwards.

        If the city of Portland were wiped out by the Hanford tanks, something that no rational person suggests will happen, it wouldn't amount to the number of people who will die this year, 2013 from air pollution.

        Because I'm a regular reader of the primary scientific literature, with emphasis on environmental chemistry, I've often mused to myself that whatever the risks of leaked radioactive materials to the environment are, some of them are ameliorating the serious environmental chemical problems you know nothing about, specifically organic halogenated species in water and air, nitrous oxide, and the SF6 and NF3 that all our semiconductor friends, including those in the expensive and useless solar industry, have been dumping in their favorite waste dump, the goddamned atmosphere.

        I can tell you this:  If I had my way, all of the fission products from all of the nuclear reactors that have ever operated would be stored above ground, the cesium as synthetic pollucite - which competent geologists know has survived billions of years - where it might do some good at arresting the consequences of humanity's ignorance.

        To kill as many people as will die this year from air pollution, the Hanford tanks would need to kill everyone in Portland, Oregon and a few surrounding suburbs, immediately.

        Finally, I put my post up here because I don't give a rat's ass "who sees it."   I'm not "lucky," least of all because the anti-nuke cheering squad that lives in a cloud of fear and ignorance "won't see my post."    As far as I'm concerned, the anti-nuke circle jerk here is oblivious.   I note that the other comment addressing your response post is pretty typical of the scientific understanding on this site, where a garbage diary like the present one could receive such cheering.

        If I were "lucky," I won't have to face my two sons each day with the knowledge of what has happened to the planet my generation is handing them.

        As far as I can tell, there isn't a single well educated environmentalist on this site, and those who claim to be environmentalists, well, they seem to be former football players at Arizona State who wear killer ties - as I referred to in my last post in this awful diary.

        You frequently - and let's be clear that I regard you as a rote anti-nuke of the worst sort, the "I'm not an anti-nuke but..." sort - speak of the "incompetence" and "corruption" of nuclear professionals.   You seem to think that the engineers at Bechtel wake up every morning and say "how can I kill a million people today to save a couple of bucks for my company."   Are you out of your fucking mind?   Some of these people live in Richland.   Some of them have children.  

        I sat in last year on some of the lectures hosted by Ken Nash in Philadelphia.   I didn't hear one, not one, lecture by people who work with fission products and actinides, that suggested you have even the remotest clue about these matters.   The young graduate students in those seminars all seemed like fine decent people, trying to save what's left of their planet from the hysterical nutjobs who defined the slash and burn baby boomer generation.   Some of them might take jobs at Bechtel or some other company that gives decent pay to scientists.   I didn't see one among them with blood dripping from their fangs.

        You claim to be a nuclear professional yourself.   Well, I am willing to concede that there are some, at least one, incompetent(s) among nuclear professionals.    Excuse me if I doubt that the vast literature and hard work of tens of thousands of nuclear professionals is all invalidated because your pal got shifted to a lower ranking job.

        In any case, the planet is dying.   Heckuva job on pointing out the single most important piece of environmental news on the entire dying planet, that after three decades, the Hanford tanks are still leaking.

        Jesus Christ!

        Have a nice Sunday.

      •  Errata. (0+ / 0-)

        In my response to your post, one of the first sentences contains this line:

        I search "Google scholar" for the same thing, and found many thousands of hits, not one recent one giving anything like the tone of your hysterical post, not one, which appeals directly to the "nuclear conspiracy" nonsense that lead, among other things, to the average weekly carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere averaging close to 3.00 ppm (2.918 to be precise, as of this writing).
        It should read:
        I searched "Google scholar" for the same thing, and found many thousands of hits, not one recent one giving anything like the tone of your hysterical post, not one, which appeals directly to the "nuclear conspiracy" nonsense that lead, among other things, to the average weekly carbon dioxide concentration increases in 2013 as compared to 2012 in the atmosphere averaging close to 3.00 ppm (2.918 to be precise, as of this writing).
        Frankly, when I read your stuff, it makes me apoplectic.

        It doesn't matter though.   Everything that has ever been written on this website about the environment - including my own - is either useless, or has served in some small way to help make things worse.

        •  Jim Hansen: nuclear power saved 1.8 million (0+ / 0-)

          Keith Pickering wrote an excellent diary. I recommended it. I regret that it wasn't better received here.

          I, too, am bothered about how people seem to accept the gruesome toll caused by burning fossil fuels.

          look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

          by FishOutofWater on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 03:17:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I read it. I commented in it. (0+ / 0-)

            Someone remarked that the author was "channeling me."

            It did no damn good, however.

            Maybe you could write a disaster diary about the dangerous fossil fuel deaths that have been on going - a death toll matching all the deaths in World War II every decade and a half or so - except it won't be quite as popular as your science fiction diaries, since the case, unlike the coming hydrogen explosion in the ion exchange columns at Hanford that you imagined, is, um, real.

            I would say that I've written, among the 399 useless diaries written here, at least 100 that referred to the deaths from dangerous fossil fuels.

            How many, again, have you written on that topic?

            •  Climate change is my no.1 topic (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I am writing about it as we speak.

              look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

              by FishOutofWater on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 09:18:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Really? Here's a recommend then. (0+ / 0-)

                I'm sure your diary will be as effective at stopping climate change dead in its tracks as the Live Earth concert in 2007 was.

                By the way, according to a paper in the scientific journal Environmental Science and Technology which features of course authors who don't know anything compared to climate activist bloggers, there seems to be a question that has arisen about whether or not the magical solar industry, which is going to save us and proves we don't "need" nuclear energy, is a net electricity producer or consumer.

                Environ. Sci. Technol., 2013, 47 (7), pp 3482–3489:  Energy Balance of the Global Photovoltaic (PV) Industry - Is the PV Industry a Net Electricity Producer?

                Quoth the stupid shill authors:

                Our analysis found that the PV industry was a net electricity consumer as recently as 2010, and in 2008 the PV industry consumed 75% more electricity than it produced.
                I'm sure you'll discuss whether or not it was a good idea to bet the entire planetary atmosphere on this wonderful scheme.

                Or maybe not.

                It makes no difference to me.   I'm what they call a "human being" and I know that as such, my goose is cooked, along with the geese of my two sons.

                I'm not sure whether, even as I recommend your wonderful post, it is a good idea to tell the truth or tell people what they want to hear.-

                Have a wonderful evening.  Keep safe.   Stay away from the Pacific Northwest in case a hydrogen explosion takes place.   It's been a pleasure to chat again.

  •  I did the typesetting and layout (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FishOutofWater, Sandino

    for an exposé published about Westinghouse and the Hanford site for the Thomas Merton Center in Pittsburgh some 20+ years ago. At the time — which may yet be the case — Westinghouse not only produced nuclear waste, but had the contract to clean it up.

    Conflict of interest, anyone? And of course there were problems with leaks, spills, insufficient maintenance, security… and here we are 20 years on, with very few changes (except perhaps for names).

    Mon frickin' Dieu/ mein frickin' Gott.

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