Washington State Sets New Deadlines For Hanford Waste Cleanup

A new sign graces the entrance onto the Hanford site near Richland, Washington. CREDIT: ANNA KING
File photo. A new sign graces the entrance onto the Hanford site near Richland, Wash. CREDIT: ANNA KING/N3

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The state of Washington is setting new deadlines to clean up a former plutonium production site that contains a massive quantity of radioactive waste.

Such deadlines are usually set through negotiations among the Washington Department of Ecology, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

But the Tri-City Herald reports that the state has become frustrated with a lack of legally-binding deadlines related to the 56 million gallons of radioactive waste in underground storage tanks on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

The Energy Department had not negotiated the deadlines as required by 2015.

Among other things, the state is requiring the Energy Department to design new underground storage tanks by 2023.

DOE has long objected to building new tanks.

Hanford for decades made plutonium for nuclear weapons.

Copyright 2019 Associated Press

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File photo of Hanford's PUREX plant. COURTESY MICHELE GERBER/N3

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