OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington Governor Jay Inslee says the state has a “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to radioactive leaks from the Hanford reservation in southeast Washington. The Democrat made his comments Friday in response to news of an apparent leak of high level nuclear waste from an underground tank.
This would be the first leak of its kind since 2005. That’s when the US Department of Energy completed efforts to stabilize dozens of tanks that had released more than a million gallons of waste into the ground.
“One of the reasons this is disturbing news is we were told that this problem was dealt with years ago and was under control," Inslee said. "We cannot leave 149 single shell tanks with high level radioactive liquid and sludge in the ground for decades after their design life.”
Inslee says there is no immediate threat to public health or the Columbia River. But he’s calling on the federal government to fund additional interim storage for Hanford waste while construction continues on a troubled multi-billion dollar waste treatment plant.
On the Web:
Governor Inslee's full statement - Office of the Governor