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Wash. State, Feds Set New Deadline For Hanford Cleanup

Tobin Fricke

Washington state and the federal government just gave themselves a 40-day deadline to come up with a cleanup plan for leaking tanks of radioactive waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

If you think you’ve heard that before, it’s because you have.

This is the second 40-day deadline the state and the U.S. Department of Energy have given themselves. The last one expired the first week of this month, with no cleanup plan in place. State and federal officials hope this second deadline will fair better.

Hanford experts and a gaggle of lawyers from both sides plan to meet privately next week in the Seattle area. It’s all over how to clean up 56 million gallons of radioactive waste stored in aging underground tanks at Hanford.

The state of Washington says it wants the federal government to set and keep its cleanup deadlines, something that’s been lacking so far. The U.S. Department of Energy will only say talks with the state have been productive. Both sides are trying to avoid legal action that could further delay actual cleanup work at Hanford. 

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.