People of Northwest Public Radio
Tue August 27, 2013
Washington State Claims Part Of Hanford Treatment Plant Behind Schedule
Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 3:47 pm
Washington state officials say that a court-ordered construction deadline has been missed on part of the Hanford’s radioactive waste treatment plant.
The federal government disagrees.
The Waste Treatment Plant at Hanford has had its share of construction and technical trouble. The federal plant should be completed by 2019, and will treat 56 million gallons of radioactive sludge. Currently, that gunk is stewing away in aging underground tanks near the Columbia River. Some of those tanks are believed to be leaking.
The new treatment plant will have a scientific lab facility to test the waste. According to the court order, that lab was supposed to be mostly complete last year. But the state says the integrity of some waste holding tanks in the lab are in question.
The U.S. Department of Energy counters that the work completed so far meets the deadline, and the tanks will be fully compliant by this December.