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Earliest weapons-grade plutonium found in US dump

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16447-earliest-weaponsgrade-plutonium-found-in-us-dump.html
An old glass jar inside a beaten up old safe at the bottom of a waste pit may seem an unlikely place to find a pivotal piece of 20th century history. But that’s just where the first batch of weapons-grade plutonium ever made has been found – abandoned at the world’s oldest nuclear processing site. The potentially dangerous find was made at Hanford, Washington State, the site of a nuclear reservation, established in 1943 to support the US’s pioneering nuclear weapons program. Hanford made the plutonium-239 for Trinity, the first ever nuclear weapon test, on 16 July 1945. Just three-and-a-half weeks later, more Hanford plutonium was used in the nuclear strike on the Japanese city of Nagasaki. But sloppy work by the contractors running the site saw all kinds of chemical and radioactive waste indiscriminately buried in pits underground over the 40 years Hanford was operational, earning it the accolade of the dirtiest place on Earth.
…meanwhile, the US media has the gall to complain about about North Korea obtaining weapons grade plutonium.
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January 22, 2009 - Posted by | New World Order "Environmentalism"

3 Comments »

  1. “meanwhie, the US media has the gall to complain about North Korea obtaining weapons-grade plutonium?” Are you for real dude? You’d be in favor of NK having access to nuclear weapons? Which planet did you come from?

    Comment by CleanRiver | January 29, 2009 | Reply

    • Just pointing out the hypocrisy of this country. I object to psychopaths of all stripes from any country in the chain of command of weapons of mass destruction. I just merely pointed out the fact that while we bitch about North Korea having WMDs, WE are careless anough to toss nuclear fuel for arms in a common dump (as well as Cheney’s flight of the Albatross in 2007 flying a B52 from North Dakota to Lousiania with live nukes).

      Comment by informationalwarfare | January 29, 2009 | Reply

  2. Let’s get it straight, the Pu as not discarded in a common dump (if you’re suggesting it was in an uncontrolled, municipal garbage dump). The disposed sample was in a nuclear trench used back in the early 1940s for this type of disposal. The find was a bit of a surprise to DOE, since records of the sample were long lost after 60+ years, but the disposal was in an approved nuclear dump specifically used for such items — hardly a careless act — and contractors were doing “nuclear cleanup”, so, not much of a surprise there. They’re uncovering nuclear materials every day….that’s their job.
    Let’s also be accurate. The jug contained a large quantity of slurry (maybe a quart) with trace amounts of Pu-239…about 2/10ths of a gram. Weapons require about 6 kilograms of Pu-239. Do the math…about one / 30,000th enough for a weapon.
    I don’t have a problem with anyone’s political position about nukes, but let’s use accurate, credible information lest it diminish the intended message and the weaken the argument.

    Comment by CleanRiver | January 30, 2009 | Reply


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