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Toxic Soup Leaching into Columbia River?
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bob1



Joined: 27 Apr 1998
Posts: 100
Location: San Carlos, CA

PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 2:13 am    Post subject: Toxic Soup Leaching into Columbia River? Reply with quote

Whoa! Did you guys catch that 60 Minutes segment about the DOEs old Hanford, WA cold war nuclear weapons site . . . the most contaminated piece of real estate in the world outside Chernobyl is just upriver from the Gorge and steadily leaking into an acquifer feeding the Columbia! As an occasional Gorge tourist, Id never heard of this mess . . . and I was worried about the Dougs closure . . . I hope the govt gets a handle on this uber-toxic witches brew or its game-over for the Columbia.
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bob1



Joined: 27 Apr 1998
Posts: 100
Location: San Carlos, CA

PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 2:39 am    Post subject: RE: Toxic Soup Leaching into Columbia River? Reply with quote

BTW, heres the text of the segment if youre interested: http://www.ocnus.net/artman/publish/article_24002.shtml
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WMP



Joined: 30 May 2000
Posts: 616

PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 10:14 am    Post subject: RE: Toxic Soup Leaching into Columbia River? Reply with quote

Hanford brew makes for good motivation to make all your jibes when ya come to the Gorge. Course, some Gorge sailors like glowing green so they can sail at night.

-- Pete
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14476

PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 10:46 am    Post subject: RE: Toxic Soup Leaching into Columbia River? Reply with quote

1. How on earth can Hanford be a surprise to anyone? Its the biggest, nastiest, most toxic chemical and radioactive waste dump in the free world.

2. The gummint has already spent many billions cleaning it up, and will spend many more billions on it. They have made great strides at halting the sources of the spread, but permanent neutralization is still a long ways off as its cost keeps rising into the 11-figure stratosphere. The biggest single problem is the incompetency of the Dept of Energy; they are a classical political bureaucracy without a clue of program management principles and practice. If the DoD were in charge, this would probably have been history years ago, as they have a far greater handle on program management.

3. This was 60 Minutes, not Nightline. I and/or my wife work with and windsurf with dozens of Hanford insiders, sometimes AT Hanford, and the 60 Minutes piece is typical alarmist TV network news crapola. The plume -- thats what the water-bourne underground blimp of toxic waste is called -- will probably reach the Columbia some millennium, but not in the one you and I live in.
A. The guy whose career is tracking the plume told me his kids play on the shores of the Columbia AT HANFORD in safety. This is the most closely monitored big piece of real estate on the planet -- above, on, and below the surface.
B. He also informed me the greatest source of radioactivity in the Columbia water is natural radiation leaching from the soil of the mountains of eastern WA and ID.

4. The Solution to Pollution is Dilution, and the Columbia flows more water than any other river in the nation or maybe even the continent, if I recall correctly. If and when the plume reaches the river, itll be like someone with radioactive seeds in his prostate cancer peeing over Niagra Falls. You probably get more radiation flying to the Gorge.

5. Historically, if this toxic heap didnt exist, youd speak Japanese or German . . . if they had chosen to let your great-grandparents live.

6. Its WINDSURFING, man; whats a little plutonium in your ears? Enjoy in peace.

Mike \m/
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trburl



Joined: 10 Apr 2000
Posts: 187

PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 12:17 pm    Post subject: RE: Toxic Soup Leaching into Columbia River? Reply with quote

Locals act like the goverment has it handled. I worked with a DOE employee from the Yakima area. He is convinced it is a non-issue. Unfortunately for many Oregon/Washington residents, ignorance will not be bliss. Those containers are leaking and the water will hit the Columbia.
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Windlover



Joined: 06 Sep 2000
Posts: 623

PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 7:31 pm    Post subject: RE: Toxic Soup Leaching into Columbia River? Reply with quote

You have the jist of it Mike. It will take millenia for the toxins to show up in the river. Mainly due to the fact that the water in the river is from rain, snow, runoff, etc. Where the toxins are going is into the aquafir, which is basically below the river.

Also, due to most of the contaminants being heavier than water, they will usually sink to the bottom of any body of water they encounter. The radioactive isotopes are especially heavy and it is very unlikely that any would make it as far as the Gorge. Much less being where any of us would actually come in contact with them.

So, we sail on the top of the water and usually are never more than a few feet under. With all the junk at the bottom, no problem.

I do agree that the mess needs to be controlled and cleaned up. But until then, Ill keep enjoying one of the best sailing spots in North America.
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pacspeed



Joined: 14 Sep 2000
Posts: 612

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 5:29 pm    Post subject: RE: Toxic Soup Leaching into Columbia River? Reply with quote

Yup, this heres oooold news. Doesnt make the idea any more palatable, but Hanford has been a disaster since the 50s. Any serious health problems related to going in the river would have surfaced by now.

As far as I can tell, the whole planet is a sewer, the Columbia just happens to be one of the 30 mains.

A head scratcher:
Do you thnk heavy metal contamination in the water makes a board more bouyant?
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WMP



Joined: 30 May 2000
Posts: 616

PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2006 11:45 am    Post subject: RE: Toxic Soup Leaching into Columbia River? Reply with quote

Im more concerned about the untreated pesticides and animal waste in the Columbia River. My advise is to avoid sailing those days when the water turns brown because of a flash-flood storm in the eastern Gorge.... thaaaats when the water is most polluted by things that can really harm ya.

-- Pete
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14476

PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2006 5:57 pm    Post subject: RE: Toxic Soup Leaching into Columbia River? Reply with quote

The only part of the
Columbia that has given me obvious problems -- sinus infections, eye irritation, penis inversion, etc. -- has been west of Clatskenie, at Jones Beach/ Nuke Alley. That place is outright nasty, by far the worst section of the 320-mile span of the river Ive sailed on.

Mike \m/
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vadler



Joined: 20 Apr 1999
Posts: 82

PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2006 12:23 am    Post subject: RE: Toxic Soup Leaching into Columbia River? Reply with quote

Im wondering about the pesticides and other toxins in the Columbia as Im headed there in July, and I have a toddler who will not be restrained from going in the water. How bad is the water?

BTW, I sailed once at Candlestick and had such a bad reaction, Ill never sail there again.

thanks,
Vic
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