Thursday, June 20, 2013

Learn about tank leaks at Hanford

By Erika Holmes, Community Outreach & Environmental Education, Nuclear Waste Program

Single-shell tanks B-203 and B-204 under construction.The Department of Ecology knows the public and the news media want and deserve answers about the leaking tanks at Hanford, so we created Frequently Asked Questions: Leaking underground tanks at Hanford to answer some of the most common questions:
  • How many tanks are leaking and when did they start?
  • What is the threat to public health?
  • What are the options for dealing with leaking tanks?
  • How are the tanks monitored?
  • Wasn't all the liquid pumped out of the SSTs years ago? If so, why are these tanks leaking again?
  • What has been done to slow tank leaks?
  • What has been done to keep water from intruding into the tanks and prevent contaminants from moving toward groundwater?
  • How hard is it to get the waste out of tanks?
  • If the waste is pumped out of the tanks, where will it go? Don't you need additional storage space? If so, how much time and money is it going to take to build new tanks?
  • Is there any good news about Hanford tanks?
  • Why didn't Ecology know about the leaks sooner?
  • Will Ecology take enforcement actions if USDOE does not act soon?
In the right sidebar of this page, you can link to news stories about the leaks, the U.S. Department of Energy's proposed plan for pumping leaking double-shell tank AY-102, Ecology presentations and other resources on the subject, and Washington’s regulations for tank systems.

Ecology hopes you find the page useful and informative, and we welcome your input. Please submit other questions you would like to see answered by emailing or calling 1-800-321-2008.

More Information

To learn more, view these Frequently Asked Questions:

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