Governor wants more waste storage tanks at Hanford
Governor Jay Inslee wants to add more tanks at Hanford to hold radioactive waste, after one of the tanks at the site started leaking last year.
The Governor's office does not have an exact date for when they would like the tanks to be built, but they want this done as soon as possible.
Late last year, Hanford crews found out one of the double shell tanks at the site was slowly leaking.
The radioactive waste only leaked through the inner shell, not the outer shell of the tank.
The leak isn't the only reason why the Governor wants to build new tanks.
He also wants them to ensure there is enough storage space for all the waste being transferred at the site.
Hanford crews are filling the double shell tanks with waste from old single shell tanks, and there may not be enough room to store everything there.
"So it's not just because of the leak itself, but sort of the larger question it raises about how much storage those tanks can provide and whether they're adequate, and it does not seem in fact that we have adequate storage at this point" said Jaime Smith, spokesperson for the Governor's office.
The waste from the tanks is supposed to go to the Waste Treatment Plant.
But construction of the $12 billion plant has hit multiple road blocks, and isn't expected to be operational until 2019 at the earliest.
Those delays are also creating a storage problem, because the waste is piling up and there's nowhere to put it yet.
The Waste Treatment Plant will turn the radioactive waste into glass-like logs for longterm storage.
The Governor's office is not sure where the money will come from to pay for the new tanks.