Hidden nuclear sites

Letter, from Riverrider

I was just over a JWR’s site reading a post about hidden nuclear sites, like military and research reactors. One huge site was missed, and is poised to ruin his “American Redoubt” forever. It’s in the north-east corner of Oregon, housing spent fuel rods and nuclear waste as well as chemical munitions by the thousands of tons.

They are constantly struggling to keep the water levels up, drawing from the river that leads to major metro areas in the west. The constant radioactive leakage from the cooling tanks is going who knows where, they can’t find it. now, in grid down, how are they planning on keeping the water level high enough to prevent nuclear firestorm? good question, nobody knows.

If it were to flame up, its close proximity might set off thousands of rounds of deadly vx nerve gas, sarin, dobin, mustard, who knows what else uncle sugar has stored there. It’s so dangerous and vulnerable to terrorists they have their own high-speed ninja security detail, swat doesn’t come close to these ex seal/sf gunners.

Hows JWR’s redoubt look now? As for my area I just found out we have several research reactors in close proximity, and even a site that dismantles nuclear devices for the military. Joy joy……………. Happy memorial day, think of a trooper this weekend. ltc Kelley, ssg Booker, shot down over Iraq, you are not forgotten. Patrolman Glenn Lawson, killed in the line of duty, rest easy my friend….

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of TheSurvivalistBlog.net. He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. Most people don’t realize there are such reactors at most major universities. We live close to a major university here in Kansas. And that same school has a reactor located on campus. Recently, a nasty tornado hit that town and one of the concerns expressed was the safety of the reactor.

  2. The most practical solution to the spent fuel rod situation is deep burial back where the ore came from in the first place, but this is resisted fiercely. As far as storage sites goes, I would be extremely uncomfortable about living in the area around Arco Idaho in a SHTF situation.

  3. Damon Locke says:

    Are you refering to the Umatilla Chemical Depot???

    They burned up all WMD, and they have never stored nuclear anything. The only thing of value left on this 20,000 is some old ammo cans. The Nat. Guard is taking it over along with Fish and Wild Life.There “SWAT” teams are just normal guards with added training. Some of the guards have never spent a day in the armed forces.

    • riverrider says:

      dl, it was up in that area. can’t remember the name ,thats why i didn’t give it. i got a job offer at umatilla 10-15 years ago and found out it was near this nuclear waste site so i passed. later it was featured on a Frontline story. the point remains, there are a lot of hazards we don’t know about unless we really do the homework, like the dismantling facility 10 miles from me, downwind thankfully. still, ten miles is nothing if somebody goes “oops” while taking apart a 20 megaton warhead. they say they only handle tactical warheads. either way that means there are nukes riding the rails within 4 miles of my home. not good. i don’t worry about the research reactors so much, they are tiny in comparison to power plants, well, the ones near me are anyway. and to my knowledge they don’t store waste onsite. i don’t fear a meltdown reactor as much as nuclear fire in the spent fuel rod ponds. they have been kind of an afterthought in the industry. good to know umatilla is clean, vx is some bad stuff.

      • worrisome says:

        Near Hanford, which is right on the river and it has been a superfund project since forever! This is another place where those fools in DC keep kicking the can down the road instead of being forced to fix it! At one time is was considered sooo bad and the chemical brew so uncertain they didn’t know what they were going to do.

      • JeffintheWest says:

        Don’t think we have any 20MT bombs left — the largest I ever heard of was rated 25 MTs in the ’50s and those were gotten rid of by the mid-70’s. The largest we had while I was on active duty were 1.6MT bombs, and those were phased out before I left the service in 2004. The Russians built some really big bombs (including one rated at 100 MT, if memory serves — look it up on line; the “Tsar Bomba”), but we don’t disassemble theirs.

        I would note that Hanford has been closed now for many years. Disassembly of nuclear devices actually takes place at the Amarillo facility in the Texas Panhandle. Something like 20,000 warheads (actually not the warheads, just the nuclear fissile material and the “pits,” the conventional explosives and the triggering mechanisms (what makes it a “warhead” or “warshot”) have been pulled off by the time the device gets to PANTEX) are stored there — making it the single largest nuclear ammunition depot in the world as far as I know. Everything there is slated for destruction and that process is slowly being accomplished (slow due, primarily, to safety concerns for the workers doing the job).

        • riverrider says:

          jeff, some may be disassembled in amarillo, but i know for a fact that some are being disassembled/reclaimed right here in a plant 10 miles from me. its public info.they even let a local tv crew in… a device is different than a bomb. merv’s can run 20 meg and do still exist. besides, i thought the sarcasm in that statement was apparent, my bad. closed and empty are two different things as well. there are many closed gov sites that are far from safe. on ft jackson crews dug up canisters of mustard agent from ww1, in our housing area in 1994. a few years ago uxo was found on a public virginia beach. at a former ww2 army base where i worked they dug up thousands of old lead acid batteries from decades of dumping during vehicle maintenance. buried doesn’t mean safe.

  4. An Actual Oregonian says:

    To expand on Damon’s comment:

    1) The Umatilla Army Depot, the storage site for chemical and biological munitions he/she references, is now empty. They’ve succeeded in finishing a decade-long incineration all of the agents which were stored there. Nothing is left except some empty concrete buildings that are being cleaned of any leaked material as we speak (and may in fact have been completed by now):


    2) There is no nuclear waste stored in that area of Oregon. The waste pool is in Hanford, WA, some 50 miles due north. They certainly do have containment issues up there, but it’s hardly close enough that runaway fission would ever have caused any problems with the weapons which used to be in Umatilla.

    It’s obvious that Riverrider doesn’t live here!

    • riverrider says:

      never said i did, but yeah it was hanford. fifty miles is too close for me in a nuclear fire, which is different than unrestrained fission, not to mention leakage into the ground water/river. point in fact: i didn’t post this, MD did. i just commented on the friday misc post and never intended on it being an article up for discussion, but have at it if you must, its a free country. point one being, look more closely around you to be aware of hidden threats. point two being (the main point) was remember the dead who died so you can troubleshoot someone just trying to help you.

      • Tinfoil Hat says:


        Best to ignore folks like that.

        • new prepper says:

          The point of RR comment should be listened to, but at the same time it is good to have updated accurate info to base our actions on. Hanford is and has been a HUGE problem, probally already contaimenated more area than they let us know. I live down river from it and have been concerned anout it far longer that prepping. By the way RR on days when I do not have time to read all the comments, yours our one the few I scan for. Thanks

      • JP in MT says:


        After reading your article/letter and comments, I’m glad I’m on the down hill side of the water flow from OR/WA.

        Thanks for the info

      • Rob Crawford says:

        What is “nuclear fire”?

        • illuminoughtu says:

          Nuclear fire is where the heat generated from ongoing nuclear fission (which continues inside reactor fuel rods after they have become too low power to use in the reactor) causes oxidation of the rods when they are exposed to air. This is why ‘spent’ fuel rods have to be kept well separated from each other and bathed in ‘spent fuel rod pools’. They are far from being truly ‘spent’. This raises a question, in my mind, as to whether this is why there is such a huge industry for ‘depleted uranium projectiles.’

  5. You would think that it would be better to launch all that crap into space and send it drifting .

    • riverrider says:

      tr, what goes up must come down:) but seriously, i agree. i asked about it. they aren’t so confident in their launches that it would make into space, especially shielded in lead and concrete.

      • Jarhead 03 says:

        River, we don’t have a space program anymore so I propose we launch it into space by way of black band giant slingshot! Or get Jerry Brown to talk to it and it will collapse and dissolve faster than Greece!

        • riverrider says:

          j, i think we should get all the ows folks to sit around it singing kumbai ya until it feels better.

        • worrisome says:

          Launching it seems better than taking it to Yucca Mountain. And Jarhead? The “first” time Brown was “guvner” he got so tiresome that we used to say if it is Brown flush it! Don’t understand how short the memories are of Californians are!

          • I actually think it went “If it’s yellow, let it mellow, if it’s brown, flush it down”. And I understood it was in reference to trying to cut down water usage during a major water shortage in the early 70’s(?) directed at making citizens think twice before flushing the toilet when it wasn’t absolutely required. But, hey, if the shoe fits…

  6. charlie (NC) says:

    Sorry to cram this in here but I can’t do it any other way.

    MD, if you read this the reply links in the email notifications have been taking me to a dead page for 2 days. Not complaining. Just letting you know.

    Some of you have been replying to me or replying to my comments by name and I haven’t replied because the links I mentioned abover are screwing up and I don’t have the time to go through manually and find the appropriate place to reply so if you read this and I owe you a reply please accept this as my apology for not doing so.

    MD. I tried going to your site through the home page and pasting the rest of the link behind the home page address but that produces the same dead page result.

  7. Jarhead 03 says:

    M.D., I have had a few instances were it was off only by a few posts but not to far off when going through email link.
    I did notice the site was down for maintainnance the other night, probably related to that.

  8. charlie (NC) says:

    M.D. I just checked and it’s still doing the same thing on my end.

    On a totally different topic but still Internet related some might find this article interesting and useful.


  9. The Russians power the majority of their country with nuclear power and most buildings are tied into a nuclear driven steam network that provides heat during the winter. A vast number of US ships and subs are driven by nuclear power. Why are so many Americans afraid of nuclear power? As I understand physicists have even found a way to use the spent rods as fuel. Let’s end this fear of nuclear power and start producing energy for America before we eco friendly ourselves out of existence.

    • Fear of the unknown (pink slime, nuclear anything, Y2K, etc, etc) and a human need to experience fear. It’s a very powerful emothion in a rather boring everyday life. Thats why we like scary movies. Its why the 6 o’clock news has it’s “Fear of The Week”.

    • Charlie (NC) says:

      France is almost completely powered by Nukes

      • riverrider says:

        well thats not a ringing endorcement in my book 🙂

        • Mexneck – Now why do you want to go and bring rational thinking into this discussion?

      • Pineslayer says:

        Charlie, France also recycles all their rods. they have a very good system, paid for by large tax rates. Nuclear power is clean, until you figure in the initial costs and end costs. Just drove thru Wyoming, very conservative state. saw gobs of windmills. I think they look great, look like national security. BTW they were surrounded by cattle and Antelope. I am anti-nuke, sorry.

    • riverrider says:

      mex, i don’t fear u.s. nuclear power. it is as safe it can be at this point. its the handling of waste that seems to be an afterthought of the industry that worries me. i have read up on nuclear waste fires, it is not nice. a meltdown of a plant is very bad, but relatively quick. nuclear fire in a pool of spent fuel rods could last a very long time, depositing fallout over a wider area in the long run. building more powerplants without finding a longterm solution to the waste problem is downright irresponsible. same goes for chemical/ biological waste, and if you look at it, garbage as well. we need to do a better job..just my view.

      • Rob Crawford says:

        Handling waste is not an “after thought”. Like too many things, government got involved and screwed things up. There’s a perfectly good waste depository that isn’t being used because… well, because religious fanatics and ignoramuses keep blocking it.

  10. George is Learning says:

    I read a story not long ago about the storage building in Japan that holds the spent fuel. If it collapsed and lost water the fire and radiation would kill most everyone in the northern hemisphere . If this is true Im sure these other storage areas hold similer amounts of fuel or more. Does 50 miles really matter when we’re talking about everyone in the northern hemisphere?

    I know pretty much zippo about nuke stuff other then its bad but powers my ac unit.
    Has anyone else heard about this storage in Japan and is this a possibility?

    • “I read a story”… That explains everything George. ( :

    • Yes, I read this article (It wasnt a “story”), and have seen many other articles and videos where various nuclear experts have expressed this concern and possibility. It is a very real threat, and poses a danger to our health and lives.

      Maybe the Russians are more responsible with their nuclear plants. Its clear the US is not, and that is why I am against it and wish we could dismantle all of them.

  11. Just me says:

    I have only posted on this site twice, they did not go to the post I was replying to. I even asked if anyone knew what I was doing wrong. ??

  12. JeffintheWest says:

    I’ve driven past Umatilla a few times, and most of the buildings on there look like they’re about to collapse from exhaustion. But nothing important is stored there (though I DID hear they had some depleted uranium rounds stored there for several years. Rumor has it that the place is about to revert to Federal park status (once clean-up is complete) and will eventually become some kind of wildlife refuge or something.

    Hanford was shut down many years ago, but has a long history of issues, accidents (several fatal) with nuclear material, and poor maintenance. I remember a Navy buddy of mine had gone rafting down the river through there a couple of decades ago and had a picture he’d taken of an old reactor containment vessel just laying out in the open near the river! Bottom line — they have a LOT of work to do on fixing THAT place. In their defense, it was one of the original three facilities built and operating under the Manhattan Project (actually the Navy did it on their own, and the Manhattan Project took it over when it looked like Oak Ridge wouldn’t be able to come through in time), so it was in place before they ever really knew what they were dealing with. Still, the Navy did a poor job on keeping the place up to date and cleaning up problem areas over the decades and now it’s probably qualified to be declared a “disaster area” on any given day you’d care to name.

    • Sounds like a SUPER place for a National Park – will there be a campground and swimming?

  13. Steve A says:

    Back in my Air Force days I got the dubious pleasure of being around nuclear material. While it can be spread, and particles can be dispersed in a fire, stored nuclear material is very, very hard to get released into an environment. Leakage in faulty storeage systems is the biggest threat, as well as direct radiation poisoning if the containment is breached. Even in a grid-down scenario, some one would have to physically open and remove the material, then find a way to disperse it, for it to be a threat, unless they were very keen on a horrible way to commit suicide.

    Chemical weapons, though, that’s another story. I’m not going to say the military has no chem weapons, but the Cold War stockpiling is long over. If anything, they are stored even tighter than nuclear material, but an accident, act of God, or intentional release by very bad guys could happen.

    Best to know your area very well, and set what you determine to be your safety limits. Even better, know what civilian companies – like chemical companies and gaseous processing – are in the area too. They are more likely than military or government sites to be the problem should things drop in the pot.

  14. I have to say this kinda freaked me out as I boat on the Columbia River. As old as I am you’d think I’d have realized and pieced it all together. As a teen I remember hearing something about Hanford but I never connected the dots. Wikipedia has a time line about it if anyone’s interested.

  15. Dear Wolf Pack Readers:

    M.D.’s guest “riverrider”‘s post is one of the most poorly-informed I’ve ever seen in the blogossphere. Not only was he off by an entire state (Hanford is in Washington, not Oregon), he has a dearth of genuine FACTS. Most notably, the east and west K Ponds have LONG SINCE had their spent fuel rods REMOVED and safely packaged in small sealed containers that are designed to stay at subcritical temperatures for TENS OF THOUSANDS of years. Those have all now been safely BURIED.

    See: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002071958_hanford25m.html

    The bottom line is that there is VERY LITTLE risk of contamination from anything at the Hanford Reservation.

    Yes, the Columbia nuclear power plant is still on line, but I DID mention that in my article. So I “missed” nothing.


    ~Jim Rawles~

    • Jim,

      I posted the letter so other readers living in the area could comment and shed some light on the issue. That is why I allow comments on my blog so others can share what they know and we can learn from each other… That is what we are about here… I try to make this blog about the readers and the Wolf Pack and not about me. I am only a small part here…

      Thank you for your comments on the subject…

    • riverrider says:

      wow, jwr, i feel honored your majesty mentioned me. i stand by my comments with the exception that the info may be dated, but the point remains a valid one. but how dare i suggest your highness’ “redoubt” might be anything but perfect, oh my god! off by a whole state? 50 miles hardly constitutes a whole state. and if you believe hanford is clean and safe i have a bridge for sale in saudi arabia. one benefit of tshtf is that you’ll finally pull the hatch closed on your little bunker go away. you know, a true leader knows how to make a correction gracefully. i guess you missed that block of instruction. you have shown what a small man you are indeed. sic semper tyrannus.

      • River,
        I can tell your answer was within the 24hr cooling down period of writing when in anger.
        ps now I have to take your last in Latin and do the Google translate thing.. 🙂

        • I believe that is what John W. Booth yelled after shooting Lincoln as he leapt to the stage. ‘Thus to all Tyrants’ or something very similar. RR?

        • riverrider says:

          “thus ever the tyrants”, sometimes “thus unto tyrants” depending on the latin teacher:) the virginia state motto sybolized by liberty standing over a roman with a spear in his heart…..its been 24 hours, i stand by my response 🙂

      • Rob Crawford says:

        Uh, riverrider, the problem with your piece wasn’t lese majeste. It was the complete lack of basis in science.

        • riverrider says:

          rob, assuming you are correct, and i’m not, there is a civil way to say someone is mistaken and then there is a wrong way. just simple respect.

    • A real survivor says:

      Jim Rawles or is it John?

      In your comment you state that you mentioned that in “your article” you missed nothing – I thought that the article was a guest post on your blog that was written by someone else… Are you trying to take credit for their hard work? Just asking…

      Oh, ya and while we are at it I have another question and that is – why do you not have any photos at all in your books (most how to books of the type have photos) or on your blog?

      I know you say bandwidth for the blog but that is not a concern with books. Could it be that you only write about survival and don’t test or live what you write in your books?

      After all you do claim to be a novelist fiction writer (and not a very good one I might add). Just asking…

      To be honest I’ve read your books and Mel Tappan’s books and it seems like you rely heavily on his content when putting together your book “How to survive TEOTWAWKI”. Why did it seem like I was reading a bad rewrite of Mel’s book when I was reading yours? Just asking…

      And one more question – why do you seem to have such a huge self-inflated ego? I mean honestly 98% of the U.S. population has no idea who Jim Rawles (with a comma no less) is nor do they care.

  16. Sounds like an Alex Jones comedy routine. Sure seems an aweful lot is known about a supposed secret? I have to wonder what they were drinking when they made this one up?

  17. Wayne Perry says:

    Read about the “VIT” Plant at Hanford -the largest most expensive nuclear clean up plant/effort in history. The plant will only be able to process a fraction of the waste (if it works this has never been done before) thus a second plant will ultimately be needed.

  18. Here are a list of the Canadian Nuclear areas;

    List of states with nuclear weapons (countries)

    List of Nuclear Power Reactors

    U.S. Nuclear Power Plants

    Wiki Nuclear power in the United States

    US nuclear power reactors under construction, planned and proposede

    wow, you guys have a lot of Nuclear sites

  19. I wouldn’t worry too much about the University Reactors. I toured one on my campus and it had a tiny fuel source, maybe 1000 W. At full power all it did was warm the water in the pool. It didn’t need cooling towers or a pressure vessel. The pool was sufficient to dissipate the heat. They will also be designed such that their natural state is off. To produce heat from the reactor will require raising the control rods.
    Who knows about the Military reactors though.

  20. Uncle Charlie says:

    Jim Rawles: read your own words: “safely packaged in small sealed containers that are designed to stay at subcritical temperatures for TENS OF THOUSANDS of years. Those have all now been safely BURIED.”

    Are you really that trusting? I’m probably less paranoid about the GOVERNMENT than most of the Wolf Pack, but from time to time the Feds may issue certain misinformation especially if their ass is in a crack and they can do anything about. To tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth might cause panic in the streets and they would expected to do something to fix it when they can’t afford it or don’t know how. Besides, other than nuclear waste, do you know any man made thing that lasts 10 of thousands of years?

  21. I’m just a country boy and don’t know all the politics involved, but anytime I see ANYONE doing ANYTHING to prepare themselves for the massive changes that are taking place and are, in my opinion, increasing every day, it makes me feel better. I am sure that everyone has their own favorite place to go for information, but I don’t think that any of those places intend to be mutually exclusive. Our community already has enough people who, by their very beliefs, are opposed to what we are attempting to do, do we really need to foster dissent within our own ranks? I think that time and energy might be better utilized in pulling together rather than pulling apart.

  22. For those living in the Salt Lake/Provo area, just stay away from the Dugway proving ground area. Far away. Look up its history and you’ll find out about the VX gas they tested there. According to the gub’mint though, all VX gas has been destroyed….I used to work in the area, and I am a healthy guy, normally getting sick with a cold or something minor once a year (I was working at a college before going there), but when I was around that area in UT, I was sick about twice a month, and it was pretty severe. The dust blowing around there kicks up some nasty stuff leftover from the old days of testing things there. Some mornings it looked like the antelope were glowing green!! just kidding….

  23. M.D., this sort of thing is why I don’t sweat bullets about not being able to move to The Perfect Place To Ride Out TEOTWAWKI–since we can’t predict the trigger event(s), and those events will cause things to play out differently (IE, in an EMP event, cities will be death traps, but in a pandemic event, they’ll be where you want to be just as soon as the $bug burns out), we don’t know where the perfect place is. Add in the secret places, the places we forget and those not widely known, and it becomes an exercise in futility as far as I’m concerned. I’ll stick where I’m at and concentrate on being able to survive as many things as I can.

  24. riverrider says:

    seems poor jw,r’s site got crashed. isn’t karma a vengeful spirit? texas racist? more like jw marketing ploy, or face saving. either way, i’m done with him. yawl are free to worship at his altar. i have better things to do.

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