Grade: Senior
Subject: Science

#1990. Science Friday: Hanford Nuclear Waste Cleanup

Science, level: Senior
Posted Wed Nov 1 07:40:46 PST 2000 by Frank Virzi (
April 3, 1998, Hour 1 - Nuclear Waste
North Middlesex Regional High School, Townsend, MA
Materials Required: Computer connected to internet, RealAudio
Activity Time: approximately 45 minutes
Concepts Taught: Discussion regarding nuclear waste contamination at Hanford nuclear reservation in Wash. state

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

to? _____________________________________________


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