State fines Department of Energy $500,000 for Hanford Waste Spill - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

State fines Department of Energy $500,000 for Hanford Waste Spill

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Associated Press - December 4, 2007 2:05 PM ET

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) - Washington state has fined the U.S. Department of Energy $500,000 for a radioactive hazardous waste spill at the Hanford nuclear reservation.

The spill occurred July 27, 2007, when a cleanup contractor was pumping waste from an underground tank. Workers tried to unblock a pump by running it in reverse, but more than 80 gallons of waste spilled onto the ground.

There are 177 underground tanks that hold at estimated 53 million gallons of radioactive and hazardous waste at the south-central Washington site.

The state Department of Ecology issued the fine under the Tri-Party Agreement, a cleanup agreement signed by the state, Energy Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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