Inslee Raises Concerns Over Storage Tanks at Hanford

Governor Jay Inslee says the state is willing to resort to a lawsuit to push ahead with cleanup at Hanford.

This came during a news conference in response to the governor learning that a single-shelled tank that holds radioactive waste near the Columbia River may be leaking.

Inslee says the state has a good partner in Energy Secretary Steven Chu but that he's concerned about whether Congress is committed to the cleanup.

Inslee says the leak raises concerns about the integrity of other storage facilities at the highly contaminated site.

"Let me be clear, Washington State has a zero tolerance policy on radioactive leaks.  We will not tolerate any leaks of this material into our environment," Inslee said.

The tanks hold millions of gallons of highly radioactive stew left from decades of plutonium production for nuclear weapons.

The Office of River Protection says it has not determined why the level of fluid is dropping in the tank, nor have monitors detected contamination to nearby soil.