Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Training Kicks In

As I read these articles and watched The Tri-City Herald’s video on this event at the Hanford Site in Washington State, my emergency response training kicked in.

But before I continue, a few provisos:

  1.  I’m speaking here as a private citizen who knows next to nothing about what’s going on currently at Hanford.
  2. I’m speaking here as a private citizen, not as a representative of Fluor Idaho LLC, my employer.
The news stories I’ve read have all the tells of a notification specialist and an information center doing their jobs. They’re offering basic information on the incident and their reaction to it, but nothing more. This is not out of secrecy, but out of a plan to study the event and decide how to react to it, react to it, and then offer information. There is no speculation.

What I fear is that this incident – no matter what comes of it – will add to the fear of nuclear power, though this is clearly related to the leftovers of nuclear weapons production. One does not equate the other, though the science is similar.

Also of concern is the increased hand-wringing this event might bring up over waste storage and removal at The Department of Energy’s legacy sites. We’ve already seen such handwringing  delay fuel research at the Idaho National Laboratory because of missed cleanup deadlines here.

So far, the media reactions have been pretty muted. Waiting for a talking head to flip, however.

Not that the place is the cleanest in the world.

How do I feel about the place I work?

INL and the ICP have taken their bruises, rightfully so. However, I feel safe here.
And I wonder what Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry, currently visiting us in Idaho, is thinking of his job now there’s an emergency on his hands.

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