Hanford Finds New Waste Leaking in Double Shell Tank - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Hanford Finds New Waste Leaking in Double Shell Tank

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Area between the walls of tank AY-102 Area between the walls of tank AY-102

RICHLAND, WA - Workers at Hanford say they've found more waste leaking between the walls of a double shell nuclear waste storage tank.

Hanford employees say the waste was found in a new place between the walls of Tank AY-102. It is dry waste covering an area of 7 feet by 21 inches, but no waste is believed to have escaped into the soil beneath the tank. 

Hanford authorities have known the tank was leaking for about a year.

The Washington State Department of Ecology has urged the U.S. Department of Energy to empty the tank and has criticized the federal government for not taking action.

"The key to the state is to get that waste out of those old tanks. So they need to tell us how they're going to continue to do that. Particularly, with the fact that the Waste Treatment Plant appears that it will be delayed," said Jane Hedges, Department of Ecology Nuclear Waste Program.

DOE continually sends the Department of Ecology visual inspections of parts of the tank and the last time this new leaking portion of the tank was seen was last summer.

The Department of Ecology has been pressing DOE for a pumping plan and it is finally due to be released Friday.