KENNEWICK, Wash. -Governor Jay Inslee says a Hanford tank leaking hundreds of gallons of radioactive waste a year is not an immediate threat to the public. Even so, many people say they are worried about their health and the environment.
Although the single-shell tank could be leaking as much as 300 gallons of radioactive waste per year, monitoring wells located near Tank T-111 have seen no significant changes in concentrations of chemicals in the soil.
The tank currently holds about 447,000 gallons of sludge and was built between 1943 and 1944. The Department of Energy says they are keeping a close eye on the wells in the area of the leak, but some locals are still concerned.
"Its not good for the environment, for plant life,for animals, most importantly, the people," said Wendy Price.
"It concerns me a little. My concern is that the federal funds are so stretched, there won't be any funds to do anything with it if it is a problem," said Grant Marr.
Brenden Pavel was not as concerned though. "If it leaks any more maybe, but I trust Hanford to do what they do," he said.
The specific cause of the leak in the underground tank has not been determined, and DOE says they are evaluating the possible next steps to fix the problem. They also add that the safety of the environment, the public and workers at Hanford is their top priority.