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More Hanford Waste Could Be Headed to New Mexico

Radioactive Waste Cleanup Continues At Hanford Nuclear Reservation
(Photo by Jeff T. Green/Getty Images)

There is a proposal to ship three million gallons of waste to Carlsbad, New Mexico. This would reportedly give officials more flexibility to deal with six leaking tanks at Hanford. Some waste has already been sent there.

Energy Department’s Environmental Management Program Director, Dave Huizenga said the transfer would only affect a small portion of the 50 million gallons at Hanford. It could, however, impact up to 20 of the 177 underground storage tanks.

Gov. Jay Inslee toured Hanford Wednesday to learn more about the leaking tanks:

I will be insistent that the full cycle of technical review and permitting is resolved so that any grouted material does not remain in the state of Washington,”

The Department of Energy says because of sequestration cuts, some 2,800 Hanford workers could be furloughed or laid off. This could slow the cleanup effort. Because Hanford is the largest contaminated sites it usually gets at least one third, or more, of the entire cleanup budget (which is in excess of $6 billion).

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