It has been more than a year since officials at Washington's Hanford Nuclear Site have known that radioactive and hazardous chemical waste was leaking from a double-shell tank, and the U.S. Department of Energy has been warned that its lack of action is "unacceptable."
In February 2013, we first told you that the DOE had acknowledged declining levels of liquid in tanks at Hanford.
And now, this morning's Tri-City Herald reports that Washington Department of Ecology has fired off a letter to DOE, saying Washington officials were "deeply disappointed" and feds can't delay any further in emptying the leaking tank. But the Herald reports that DOE officials are estimating that they need another 18 to 20 months to remove sludge from the tank.
"However, this does not relieve you from the regulatory requirement to remove it at the earliest practicable time," Washington state officials wrote to DOE. "We cannot support merely waiting for conditions to worsen before taking action."