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Six tanks at Washington nuclear site leaking ‘radioactive waste`

Last Updated: Saturday, February 23, 2013 - 13:19

Washington: Washington governor Jay Islee has revealed that six tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in the southeast part of the state are leaking radioactive waste, branding the news as disturbing despite no immediate health risks.
Inslee said on Twitter that news of six leaking tanks at Hanford raises serious questions about integrity of all single tanks, CNN reports.
Inslee added that he got the latest information about the site during a meeting in Washington with U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

One week earlier, Chu called the governor to tell him that a single-shell tank in the same location was leaking liquids at a rate of 150 to 300 gallons per year, the paper said.

Believed to be the first to lose liquids since 2005, that tank was built in the 1940s and can hold roughly 447,000 gallons of sludge, according to the governor’s office, it reported.

Inslee said Chu told him that his department did not adequately analyze data it had that would have shown the other tanks that are leaking.

The sprawling, 586-square mile Hanford site houses a total of 177 underground tanks full of radioactive sludge, of which 149 are single-shell tanks.

On Friday, Inslee also said there is still no current health risk tied to the leaks.

Inslee had made similar comments a week earlier, saying it would be quite some time before these leaks could breach groundwater or the Columbia River, and at the same time, the governor stressed that the problem must be addressed, the paper added.


First Published: Saturday, February 23, 2013 - 13:19
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