Another Tank at Washington's Radioactive Storage Facility May Be Leaking

Posted by K R on

Last week, a leak in a storage tank at the country’s largest radioactive dumpsite expanded substantially, sparking concerns that other tanks are on the verge of failing, too. This fear may have already been realized. Rumors are flying that a second of Hanford’s 28 double-shelled radioactive waste tanks is exhibiting early signs of failure. King-5 News, which broke the story of the expanded waste leak at Hanford site’s AY-102 storage tank, is now reporting evidence of a second tank breach, citing anonymous sources familiar with the situation. The tank in question, AY-101, is the same age and has the same design as AY-102, which began leaking in 2011. Both tanks, along with ten others at the Hanford facility, share a construction flaw identified by the Department of Energy several years back as a potential risk factor for failure. Hanford is a legacy site that produced plutonium for the world’s first nuclear bomb, and for almost 60,000 more nukes during the Cold War. Its last nuclear reactor was switched off in 1987, and a year later, it was taken over by the DOE, the Washington State Department of Ecology, and the EPA for long-term environmental remediation. Due to the site’s aging infrastructure, that remediation process has been slow and dangerous. Read More: Gizmodo

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