Federal Government: It Will Likely Be Years To Pump Out Leaking Hanford Tank

By Anna King

At the Hanford Nuclear Reservation it may take six years to start emptying a leaking double-hulled tank of waste there, the federal government says in a new report.

Washington State law says any leaks must be dealt with as soon as possible – but the federal government’s soon as possible is maybe years away. That’s because it would take maybe a year-and-a-half to just to get and set up equipment to pump sludge from the leaking double-hulled tank called AY-102. In addition it will take about six years to secure appropriate tank space to put all that sludge. Ken Niles, says these new timelines are troubling. He’s in charge of looking over this waste for the State of Oregon.

Ken Niles: “ …there doesn’t seem to be a pressing issue that the environment doesn’t seem to be at risk today, but that tomorrow, a month from now or 19 months from now.”

The internal leak from tank AY-102 was first detected late in 20-11.

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