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.
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.
“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.”
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:
Q&A with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee at Hanford