RICHLAND, Wash. - A nuclear safety board is warning that underground tanks at Hanford pose a possible risk of explosion.
The board highlighted those concerns to Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, who is chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Wyden had asked the board for input in advance of confirmation hearings for Energy Secretary-nominee Ernest J. Moniz next week.
The risk of explosion at the reservation has been known for some time. Experts say hydrogen gas could build up inside the tanks and lead to an explosion. The Defense Nuclear Facility Safety Board recommended additional monitoring and ventilation of the tanks last fall, and federal officials are working to implement that recommendation.