What happens as infrastructure decays
An emergency has been declared on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Apparently a train tunnel containing radioactive materials has collapsed.
HANFORD EMERGENCY INFORMATION
Event Summary 5/9/2017
HANFORD SITE ALERT
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Richland Operations Office activated the Hanford Emergency Operations Center at 8:26 a.m., after an alert was declared at the 200 East Area. There are concerns about subsidence in the soil covering railroad tunnels near a former chemical processing facility. The tunnels contain contaminated materials.
Actions taken to protect site employees include:
Facility personnel have been evacuated
As a precaution, workers in potentially affected areas of the Hanford Site have gone indoors
Access to the 200 East Area of the Hanford Site, which is located in the center of the Hanford Site, has been restricted to protect employees
The public can request information regarding the event by calling (509) 376-8116. The media may call (509) 376-3322.
No reports of injuries or fatalities, and I hope that is the case.
Hazardous infrastructure will get MORE hazardous over time, as it decays without enough engineers, or a healthy economy, to maintain it. When Hanford was built, politicians, managers, and engineers used to assume that in the future, people would figure out ways to solve problems & reduce risks. They projected an expending economy and more powerful technology into the future, forever. They didn’t even consider the possibility of temporary peaks followed by declines.
Someone I used to know used to work at Hanford. I thought of him as a friend, and only later realized that was not really the case.
More often than not, a man’s career is an integral part of his identity, or at least it used to be in those days. Nowadays, a lot of young men don’t have careers and don’t even seem to be interested in having one. Of course, they also don’t have families to support. When he was faced with the prospect of losing that job, he went off the deep end, and blamed me.
I had nothing to do with the situation, other than helping him find another one. The damage was done, and even before those hard feelings, he was holding other things against me I had no idea about. Part of it was my own problem; I had lots of potential but little to show for it. I was deemed unworthy. The coup de grace was him getting caught up in a hostile 3rd party’s elaborate deceptions. And aside from sacrificing me as a friend, he paid a horrible price getting tangled with someone with borderline personality disorder.
Despite how it ended, I count him as a positive influence in my life. Some of his better personality traits are now part of me. Ironically, being told that I wasn’t good enough to be his friend was the shock I needed to motivate me to take my life to the next level. It was an unlikely series of events that could only have happened the way they did. Sometimes dark clouds really do have silver linings.
I’m glad he ended up in a safer and better job.