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Inslee: Hanford Tank Waste Removal Will Take Years

Anna King / Northwest News Network
/
Northwest News Network

RICHLAND, Wash. – It may take two to four years to even begin clearing radioactive waste from leaking tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. That’s according to Washington Governor Jay Inslee. He toured the southeast Washington nuclear site Wednesday.

Governor Inslee strode around the Hanford site in smooth chestnut-leather cowboy boots. He was tailed by an entourage of two bus-loads of government officials and reporters. Inslee briskly walked between mammoth buildings at Hanford’s waste treatment plant and then drove by some of the six leaking underground waste tanks.

Anna King / Northwest News Network
/
Northwest News Network

After his tour, Inslee told me in an interview that he views the leaking tanks at Hanford as urgent as if they were spilling out into his front lawn.

Anna King / Northwest News Network
/
Northwest News Network

“I’m going to do everything humanly possible to move as quickly as humanly possible," the governor said. "In regard to these leaking tanks I think this is the fastest thing technologically possible and that is what we should demand.”

Anna King / Northwest News Network
/
Northwest News Network

Inslee says the plan to empty the tanks will likely take years. Meanwhile, the Department of Energy announced its preferred resting place for a small portion of that radioactive tank waste is a federal storage site in the New Mexico desert.

On the Web:

Anna King / Northwest News Network
/
Northwest News Network

http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/northwestnews/files/201303/030613AK_InsleeQ%26A_0.mp3

Q&A with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee at Hanford  

Copyright 2021 Northwest News Network. To see more, visit Northwest News Network.

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Triââ