hanford tank farms

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said workers at Hanford tank farms who say radioactive waste is making them sick need to be heard.

Workers at the Hanford tank farms in southeast Washington state stopped work Monday after a group of unions in Richland called for a halt in the early morning. A union leader said that could mess with about 2,000 people’s schedules at the site.

An apparent surge in leakage from a huge tank of radioactive waste set off alarms at the Hanford nuclear site in south-central Washington. This involves an aging, double-shelled tank that contractors were slowly pumping out.

Hanford Nuclear Reservation officials Tuesday made public their plan to improve safety for workers in the so-called “tank farms.”

Anna King / Northwest News Network

For decades workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington have been complaining of vapors from radioactive sludge. Workers at the tank farms say the fumes give them sore throats, headaches and dizziness. Now Washington State says it intends to sue the U.S. Department of Energy in 90 days if more isn’t done to protect these workers.