Contact Us

Gov. Inslee to Tour Hanford This Wednesday – Seeking Answers to Leaking Tanks

Gov. Inslee to tour Hanford this week
(Photo by Jeff T. Green/Getty Images)

Gov. Jay Inslee plans to tour the Hanford site to gather information about the six leaky tanks and others that could pose a significant problem down the road.

While U.S. Dept. of Energy officials say current leaking tanks present no direct health hazard, if left untreated the waste could cause significant problems in the future. Inslee will be spending several hours touring the site, including the Waste Treatment Plant, T and C tank farms, and a new groundwater pumping and treating facility.

Since his inauguration, Inslee has paid a significant amount of attention to the site. The new DOE information came about after re-examining testing data from the tanks. Because the tanks are too hazardous to peer inside, a variety of methods are used to determine the levels of sludge and ooze inside them. If levels drops, DOE officials are pretty sure they’re leaking.

Groundwater tests, dry wells and test drills are done all over the site to monitor contamination in the soil. So far, the waste is nowhere near the Columbia River or other important resources. Inslee says the leaks reinforce the need for a vitrification plant and a strategy to stop the leaks.

Inslee has favored building more double-shell tanks to transfer the waste.

One of the issues facing Hanford scientists is that most of the liquid waste has been removed from all of the 177 tanks at the site. What is left is a mixture of hard crystals, brittle material and sludge – ranging from the consistency of peanut butter to thick Slurpee. These elements are harder to transfer.

Best of Newstalk 870

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for Newsmembers quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive Newsmembers contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.