The Energy Department has completed an exhaustive technical review of the plant designed to treat waste from the former Hanford nuclear weapons site and ordered the manager of the project to fix more than 500 problems that could compromise its future operation.
The government also told San Francisco-based Bechtel to comply with 10 major recommendations from the study, including some that would require design changes to the partially built plant in central Washington.
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Two things are rather astonishing about this situation:
1. Over 20 years ago, Bechtel constructed a similar plant in South Carolina for radioactive waste produced at the Savannah River Site. Lessons learned from that project should have resulted in far fewer problems when the Hanford plant was designed and constructed.
2. There still is no place to store the radioactive waste logs produced at the Savannah River and Hanford facilities. The logs were supposed to go to Yucca Mountain for permanent storage, but that project has been stalled for years and may never be completed.
Nuclear waste storage in the US is serious joke, one which has consumed tons of money while producing little of value. And the waste is still there and still will be radioactive long after our species has died out.
And now some of the fossil fuel haters want us to build more nuclear power plants to save the planet from climate change. To do so before the radioactive waste disposal problem is fixed would be incredibly stupid.