Monday, September 24, 2007

Apatite Barrier Appears to be Stopping Strontium-90 Migration in Groundwater at Hanford

Annette Cary of the Tri-City Herald has an interesting article on the latest efforts to keep radioactive strontium from reaching the Columbia River. Worth the time, for sure.
"Less radioactive strontium appears to be reaching the banks of the Columbia River at Hanford thanks to an underground chemical barrier still undergoing testing. This spring Fluor Hanford injected a 300-foot-long natural chemical barrier along the river near Hanford's N Reactor as part of a test of technology developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory."

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Proposed Reservoir May Negatively Affect Groundwater at Hanford: Updated

The Yakima Herald-Republic has weighed in with a powerful editorial calling again for the Hanford cleanup to get moving.
"The possibility of a Black Rock reservoir indirectly helping push more radioactive material into the Columbia River is, of course, a concern that cannot be overlooked. On the other hand, shouldn't the overriding issue in that scenario be: When in the name of common sense and the environment is the most polluted nuclear site in the country ever going to be cleaned up?"

No matter what your views on the reservoir, and the Herald-Republic is a strong supporter, I think we can all agree that the Hanford cleanup is going way too slowly.

Bureau of Reclamation

"A technical report released [September 18th] by the Bureau of Reclamation presents findings of a water seepage study for the prospective Black Rock reservoir in Central Washington. The report estimates a range of volume and direction of seepage that might be expected if the Black Rock reservoir were to be constructed. The report is available online

The analysis released today indicates that a majority of seepage from the proposed Black Rock reservoir site would move in the direction of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The modeling is based on previous hydrogeologic studies of the Columbia Plateau and also incorporates results of recent geologic drilling and aquifer testing by Reclamation at the proposed dam site.

An earlier report prepared for Reclamation by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory described the effect that a rise in the water table at Hanford would have on certain contaminants buried in the sediment layer. This report is available at the same website.

Water seepage impacts and possible mitigation measures are currently being analyzed in the Yakima River Basin Water Storage Feasibility Study. A draft version of the feasibility study's planning report and EIS will be available for public comment in early 2008. "

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Dike Removal on the Skokomish Estuary

The Olympian reports on an interesting project on the Skokomish River, where it flows into the beautiful fjord known as the Hood Canal.

"A 5,000-foot-long, earthen seawall that created part of the Nalley Farm in the 1940s will be dismantled by heavy machinery this week, marking a milestone in Skokomish River estuary restoration efforts by the Skokomish Tribe, Tacoma Power and Mason Conservation District.

The $1.6 million project just west of the river mouth within the Skokomish Tribe’s reservation boundary is the largest estuary restoration project in Hood Canal and could pay dividends on several environmental fronts, noted Keith Dublanica, senior lands planner for the tribe."

The Pacific Northwest Salmon Center, together with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, is planning a similar project on the Union River estuary in Belfair, at the head of Hood Canal.