RICHLAND, Wash. – Some of the decisions made over the last 40 years at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation are coming back to haunt the site’s current managers. A new report out this week examined why a double-hulled tank of radioactive waste recently sprung a leak in its inner shell. That has raised the possibility of having to pump out the waste from the tank.
The tank is called AY-102. And it’s about the size of a house. It’s buried in the sandy soil north of Richland.
RICHLAND, Wash. – Workers the Hanford Nuclear Reservation are readying pumping equipment at a slow-leaking radioactive waste tank in case the leak gets worse. A newly released report details why the tank became unstable.
Hanford officials say so far they’ve found no waste leaking into the environment from the tank called AY-102.
The new report says many of the tanks original welds from 40 years ago didn’t meet standards and had to be fixed before it was filled. Later, super-hot waste was added that was likely corrosive to the tank’s metal walls.
RICHLAND, Wash. – Energy Secretary Steven Chu is bolstering the scientific brain power at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation’s waste treatment plant. A memo released to employees Thursday says the aim is to solve nagging technical problems at the plant more quickly.
The massive factory at Hanford is supposed to treat 56 million gallons of radioactive waste. That goo is currently in leaking, aging underground tanks near the Columbia River.
RICHLAND, Wash. – Managers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation have confirmed that a radioactive waste tank has a slow leak. That waste isn’t getting into the environment.
This house-sized vessel is known as AY-102. It’s made of steel and concrete and buried underground to shield workers from high levels of radiation. It’s full of hazardous radioactive sludge left over from plutonium production here.
It was designed to last for about 40 years, and it’s already had its 44th birthday. The tank is leaking into the space between its two hulls in two spots.