On Friday, Washington Governor Jay Inslee confirmed that radioactive liquids are leaking from tanks at the most contaminated nuclear site in the United States at Hanford, further heightening concerns experts have shared about the integrity of other storage facilities which have not been investigated and may also be leaking.
The U.S. Department of Energy confirmed the leak was decreasing levels in at least 1 of 177 underground tanks and said the rate of leakage was between 150 to 300 gallons per year and is will begin work required to start assessing the other tanks.
The single-walled tanks are capable of storing some 447,000 gallons of highly radioactive nuclear waste. They were constructed during the 1940s and are previously known to have leaked over one million gallons of waste threatening the Columbia River. Only 28 of the tanks have double walls which provide more protection for the radioactive materials but already have very little space available for any additional capacity.
Technical problems at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation have brought a massive $12.3 billion super-project to an absolute crawl, and several workers have raised lawsuits in recent months, claiming they were retaliated against for raising concerns about the plant’s design and safety.
According to a report by the House Appropriations Committee, over 1,000 of the nearly 9,000 total Hanford workers would be placed on unpaid leave for at least 6 weeks if the March 1st automatic federal budget cuts are enacted.
Source: ABC News
Source: Hispanic Business