State, Federal Government Continue Talks Over Hanford Tank Cleanup

By Anna King

Washington State and the federal government just gave themselves a new deadline to resolve leaking tanks containing radioactive waste at Hanford. If you think you’ve heard that before - you have.

The deadline follows an earlier 40-day-deadline that expired at the beginning of June with no clean up plan in place. State and federal officials hope this second try will fair better. Hanford experts and a gaggle of lawyers from both sides plan to meet privately next week in the Seattle area. It’s all over how to clean up 56-million-gallons of radioactive waste stored in aging underground tanks at Hanford.

The state of Washington says it wants the federal government to set and keep a timely schedule, something that’s been lacking so far. The U.S. Department of Energy will only say talks with the state have been productive. Both sides are trying to avoid legal action that could further delay actual cleanup work at Hanford.

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