New report: Nuclear waste storage tanks at Hanford continue to deteriorate

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SPOKANE, Washington — A new report says underground nuclear waste storage tanks on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation continue to deteriorate.

The report was released Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office.

Hanford, located near Richland in eastern Washington, contains 177 nuclear waste tanks, many of which have leaked in the past. The wastes are left over from the production of plutonium for nuclear weapons.

The GAO report found that both the older single-walled tanks and newer double-walled tanks are deteriorating. Some of the tanks date back to the 1940s and have long passed their designed lifespan.

Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon says the U.S. Department of Energy must come up with a plan to deal with tanks that are leaking waste into the environment. Wyden is demanding a plan be produced in the next 90 days.

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