No Exterior Leak From Hanford Tank, According To Department Of Energy

Jul 22, 2013

Here’s an update on a double-hulled tank that’s leaking internally at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington. The Department of Energy said Friday that recent tests show there is no leak of radioactive material outside of the tank. But the State of Washington says it still wants Hanford managers to pump the liquids out of the tank immediately. Correspondent Anna King has more.

  Tank AY-102 holds more than an Olympic-sized swimming pool’s worth of toxic radioactive waste. Federal managers say video and water tests found no leaks so-far outside of the tank. But Washington State officials aren’t convinced this tank will stay sound. That’s why they are asking the Department of Energy to pump out all the liquid it can from AY-102. John Price is with Ecology.

Price: “I think in this case when you’re looking at highly radioactive chemical waste in a tank you want to error on the side of being conservative, conservative in terms of protecting human health and the environment.”

Price says some liquids would have to be left because the toxic stew in the tank is also temperature hot and needs water for cooling.

Copyright 2013 Northwest Public Radio