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icymist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:09 AM
Original message
Hanford injury reports doubted
Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Hanford injury reports doubted
Audit finds nuclear-cleanup projects understated numbers for three years

By LISA STIFFLER
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER

Contractors have underreported the number of injuries and illnesses at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and other nuclear-cleanup projects, creating a false image of safety and possibly masking threats to workers, according to a federal audit.

The inaccuracies, which had gone undetected by the federal department responsible for overseeing the Hanford cleanup, also helped boost payments to contractors by millions of dollars, critics charged yesterday.

The revelations have Washington's senators, watchdog groups and the Department of Energy's Inspector General's Office, which performed the audit, calling for improvements at Hanford and elsewhere.

"The Department of Energy cannot credibly claim that worker safety at nuclear-waste cleanup sites is a top priority if it can't accurately track work-related injuries and illnesses," said Sen. Maria Cantwell. "I hope and expect the DOE will take the results of this audit to heart."

More at this Link
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:12 AM
Response to Original message
1. Having worked there for 5 years (1992-1997) ...
... I have no doubt that such corruption is widespread and systemic.
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. hubby worked there too and they send him "health surveys"
quarterly. Are you getting them too?
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. Since I worked at the lab (PNNL) and not in waste remediation, no.
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. he worked in Phone Ops-- nowhere near the waste sites
hmmmmm interesting
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Well, it might be a matter of who employed us.
Edited on Tue May-25-04 05:39 PM by TahitiNut
I was employed as a Senior Research Scientist by Battelle who was the contractor for the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory located at the southeast end of the Hanford site. Westinghouse, GE, Bechtel, SAIC, and dozens of other companies had/have contracts at the Hanford site. Actual DOE employees are relatively rare. Health Services itself was contracted.
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htuttle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. I used to hear stories about Hanford
Do they really (or still) have huge leaky barrels of toxic stuff from the 1950's that they have no idea what is in them now?

Yikes!
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Underground tanks in arrays called "tank farms"
Each with many thousands of gallons of radioactive waste with chemical processes virtually unknown to science. They've been leaking into the ground and groundwater for many years. It's also a place where submarine reactors come to die and be resurrected.
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icymist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:42 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. A really good friend of mine works for the EPA and in '93
he told me that Hanford was the 'biggest mess' he'd ever seen!
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. It's staggering.
Hundreds of square miles ... the "heritage" of the Cold War nuclear arms race. Hanford is most infamous for PUREX ... the plutonium processing and weaponization. It was started in 1943 as a part of the Manhatten Project and was the source of the Nagasaki bomb. (Los Alamos produced the Hiroshima bomb.)
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Submariner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. I worked at Hanford '93-'97
Remember they all panicked when the tank "burped"? There was the panic that the burp could be a flammable radioactive gas that could explode. They went to the giant paint-mixer rig to keep it stirred.

I used PNNL to conduct the lab analysis of the hex-chrome leaching from groundwater into the salmon spawning beds off of D/DR and H reactors.
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icymist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Holyshit!!!
eom
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