Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Governor: Six underground nuclear tanks leaking

YAKIMA, Wash. — Six underground tanks that hold a brew of radioactive and toxic waste at the nation's most contaminated nuclear site are leaking, federal and state officials said Friday, prompting calls for an investigation from a key senator.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said the leaking material poses no immediate risk to public safety or the environment because it would take a while — perhaps years — to reach groundwater.

But the leaking tanks raise new concerns about delays for emptying them and strike another blow to federal efforts to clean up south-central Washington's Hanford Nuclear Reservation, where successes often are overshadowed by delays, budget overruns and technological challenges.

Department of Energy spokeswoman Lindsey Geisler said there was no immediate health risk and said federal officials would work with Washington state to address the matter.

Regardless, Tom Towslee, a spokesman for Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said the senator will be asking the Government Accountability Office to investigate Hanford's tank monitoring and maintenance program.

Wyden is the new chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

State officials just last week announced that one of Hanford's 177 underground tanks was leaking 150 to 300 gallons a year, posing a risk to groundwater and rivers.

Inslee traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to discuss the problem with federal officials. He said Friday that he learned in meetings that six tanks are leaking waste.

"We received very disturbing news today," the governor said. "I think that we are going to have a course of new action and that will be vigorously pursued in the next several weeks."

Hanford's tanks hold 53 million gallons of highly radioactive waste and many of those tanks are known to have leaked in the past. An estimated 1 million gallons of radioactive liquid already leaked there.

Governor: Six underground nuclear tanks leaking 02/22/13 [Last modified: Friday, February 22, 2013 9:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Kentucky recruit, former Tampa Catholic star Kevin Knox among top prospects for 2018 NBA Draft

    Preps

    Less than 24 hours after the NBA Draft, analysts have already begun looking ahead to 2018.

    Tampa Catholic star Kevin Knox finishes a layup during the McDonald's All-American game in March at the United Center in Chicago. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  2. Editorial: Pinellas cannot ignore homeless families

    Editorials

    They are living on our streets and in our parking lots, in cheap motels and spare bedrooms if they're lucky and in old cars if they are not. Their kids attend our schools, and parents often are afraid to seek help. Pinellas County has made progress in recent years in providing temporary shelter for the homeless, but …

    
Ariana Turner, 22, and her daughter, Namine Cowell, 2, are living at St. Petersburg Free Clinic Family Residence after falling on hard times. Pinellas County has made progress in recent years in providing temporary shelter for the homeless, but homeless families with kids are virtually shut out. It's a crisis that requires public and private leadership to find an answer that is both compassionate and cost-effective.
  3. Report: USF faculty complained of a hostile, sexist, boorish boss

    College

    TAMPA — A certain University of South Florida academic may be an unpopular and insensitive bully, but he did not break USF rules, a lengthy legal review has concluded.

    Herb Maschner was removed last fall as the head of a technology center at the University of South Florida after the school learned his previous employer found he engaged in inappropriate, on-campus sexual behavior. A new report looks at Maschner's tenure at USF. [Idaho State University]
  4. Oh, deer! Two bucks seen on video duking it out in Tennessee

    Wildlife

    Deer generally are seen as calm and serene creatures, but that was not the case in this video posted Wednesday on the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency's Facebook page.

    A video, shot by Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency wildlife officers Amy and Bubba Spencer on one of their trail cameras, shows two bucks on their hind legs and flailing in an open field. [Facebook]

  5. Pedestrian dies after being struck by vehicle near USF Tampa campus

    Accidents

    A pedestrian was killed near the University of South Florida Tampa campus on Friday after he was struck by a car on Fletcher Avenue, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.