WASHINGTON — Six single-shell radioactive waste tanks at the Hanford site are leaking, not just the one tank that was reported earlier, Gov. Jay Inslee announced Friday.
Inslee made the announcement after a meeting in Washington with Energy Secretary Steven Chu and three of Chu’s aides.
“We have some … disturbing news,” Inslee said in a conference call with Washington state reporters. “Secretary Chu advised me that we have six confirmed leaking single-shell tanks at the Hanford site – and not one that was reported earlier this week.”
Inslee said one or two of the leaking tanks are in different tank farm sites at Hanford than the earlier leaking tank. “The amount of leakage differs from tank to tank,” Inslee said.
The increased number of leaking tanks was only discovered at this time because previous data was “not properly evaluated” at the federally run Hanford site, the governor said Chu told him. Inslee said because of that, more tanks would be evaluated.
“This raises the prospect we have leakage in additional tanks beyond the six,” Inslee said. “There are six leakers; there may be more.”
Inslee said Chu assured him that “there is no imminent health threat connected to these leaks,” but agreed action has to be taken to prevent the radioactive waste from leaking into the state’s ground and groundwater.
The governor said he would be meeting with Energy Department in the coming weeks to discuss options on how to deal with the leaking tanks.
Nice double standard. Ride private industry hard and s(*t all over the place. I guess government radioactive material isn't as bad and private radioactive material. Or maybe it gets easier to clean up after it spreads.
A lot of the Portsmouth USEC Plant management went to work at Hanford. Some of them were very high quality personnel. Hanford has two problems: the government does a horrible job of regulating itself (stuff gets "classified" and swept under the rug), and today's problems are the result of yesterday's practices. Yesterday's practices were developed before we knew any better. For instance, today a radioactive storage tank would be double-walled. Hanford was never given money to upgrade. They only get money to fix disasters.