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Free ice cream party — and nuclear safety awareness — in Volunteer Park

This summer, advocacy and nuclear clean-up group Hanford Challenge is bringing its ice cream social party to  Volunteer Park. According to the flyers posted around 15th Ave E, you can stop by the park Tuesday evening from 5-7p for free Half Pint ice cream, games — and some awareness on nuclear safety:

Our work: We work to hold Hanford accountable.  We do this by protecting whistleblowers, promoting discovery of common ground among traditional opponents, conducting environmental sampling, and generating creative resolutions and collaborative opportunities for improving the cleanup.  Our goal for Hanford is a site that performs its cleanup obligations in a transparent, efficient, creative manner at a reasonable cost to the taxpayer and in a fashion that protects health and safety, the environment, and future generations.


Hanford Challenge works closely with concerned employees, insiders, retired employees, and whistleblowers to assure that their voices can be safely heard within the Department of Energy and contractor communities.  We conduct investigations and create public and private venues for disclosure and discussion.  We use dialogue when possible to resolve conflict, and litigation when less contentious methods fail.

The decommissioned Hanford reactors along the Columbia river are considered to be the most contaminated in the nation.

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4 thoughts on “Free ice cream party — and nuclear safety awareness — in Volunteer Park” -- All CHS Comments are held for moderation before publishing

  1. Sounds fun! Glad these folks are keeping an eye on the cleanup. For the good of the land, I feel obligated to point out the difference between weapons-producing hanford nuclear reactors and normal, electricity-producing nuclear reactors. They pulled bare, un-clad nuclear fuel out of the hanford reactors and threw them in vats of acid to extract the weapons-grade plutonium (we had machines to get it into the vat. The russians used men with wheelbarrows). Along with it, into the acid sludge went all the hideously radioactive and dangerous fission products and actinides. The plutonium was pulled out chemically but the other crap stayed, sitting… corroding… and eventually leaking! Since they were liquid and mobile, they seeped into the ground and caused all the grief that’s unfortunately being dealt with today.

    Conversely, electricity-producing reactor waste lives its whole post-irradiated life within sealed little metal cans (cladding) where none of the bad stuff can get out. It’s mostly solid and immobile. Once the reactor pulls an astounding amount of energy out of a small amount of fuel (E=mc2), the waste comes out and is packed into these incredible waste containers that you can find on youtube being dropped from cranes onto spikes and smashed into brick walls while riding rocket-powered trains (no joke!) Fun fact: if you got all of your electricity (ALL OF IT) from nuclear reactors, you’d be personally responsible for producing 39.5 grams of nuclear waste per year. That’s 7 US quarters, which can conceivably be properly contained until it stops being dangerous. Compare…
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    at to 10,000,000 g of CO2 that just goes out the stack into the air you’re responsible for with coal.

    So, while Hanford waste totally sucks and definitely needs to be cleaned up, don’t think that it’s a good argument against nuclear electricity. Sure there are plenty of arguments against that, but Hanford is not a valid one. Just saying. ok bye.

  2. Thanks! Glad to hear you thought so. The 39.5 grams thing comes from a calculation (with references to the data) shown on this pdf: http://www.whatisnuclear.com/articles/waste_per_person.pdf
    The acid-based plutonium extraction process that went on there is called PUREX (Plutonium-Uranium Extraction). I just know about because I’m one of the three capitol hill nuclear reactor designers (that I know of) and you learn that kind of thing in reactor design school (in the how-not-to-do-it class). While that might make me sound biased (and therefore not credible), I should at least say that I got into the field not as a diabolical mastermind captain planet villain (“bahahaha! SLUDGE!!”) but rather as a kid who wanted to help with the energy problem.