Here are a set of questions that I ask my students to answer as they
are listening to the program. Feel free to copy and use with your
This radio program was aired on National Public
Radio on April 3, 1998. It is available at the
Science Friday Archives (RealAudio required) at
1. How many of the 177 underground storage tanks
at the Hanford nuclear reservation are leaking?
2. Who was the Secretary of Energy in 1993?
3. Name 2 kinds of materials other than nuclear
wastes that are stored in the tanks at Hanford.
4. About how far below the surface of the ground
are the tops of the tanks? ___________________
5. What does the term "preferred pathways" refer
6. About how many gallons of radioactive waste
have leaked out? __________________
7. The "edge effect" refers to the interaction of
(A) granite and iodine
(B) granite and stontium
(C) mica and technetium
(D) mica and cesium
8. How many square miles of contaminated ground
water are there around Hanford? _____________
9. How many gallons are being held in the single
and double-shelled tanks? ___________
ANSWERS: 1. 68 2. Hazel O'Leary 3. caustics,
organics, sludges, salts 4. 20-40 ft.
5. channels in soil that wastes could travel
through 6. 1,000,000 7. D 8. 85 9. 54 million