Six Underground Nuclear Tanks Leaking at Hanford

On the heels of last week’s announcement that one of Hanford’s single-shell underground tanks is leaking upwards of 300 gallons of radioactive waste into the ground every year, Governor Inslee announced on February 22nd that six single-shell tanks are leaking. “It is shocking and unacceptable,” stated Brett VandenHeuvel, Executive Director of Columbia Riverkeeper.  “These high-level nuclear waste leaks are another blow to the public’s confidence in Hanford cleanup. We need Congressional oversight and immediate answers.”

Secretary Chu informed Governor Inslee that six single-shell tanks are leaking radioactive waste into the ground at Hanford on the 22nd. This announcement is a stark reminder of the imminent danger Hanford poses to the public and the Columbia River. This news came less than four months after the Department of Energy learned that, for the first time, a double-shell tank leaked radioactive and chemical waste into the annulus space, the 30-inch space between the inner and outer tank. On top of the existing contamination at Hanford, the public cannot afford delay in responding to tanks leaking radioactive waste. Action is now needed on Capitol Hill.

Read Riverkeeper's full press release.