Wyden voices concerns about leaking tanks

February 19, 2013 

— U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden said he’s concerned about single- and double-shell tanks leaking during a press conference today in Richland after his first fact-finding visit to Hanford since taking over as chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

But he’s not ready to say more double-shell tanks are needed. His visit comes after last week’s announcement about an underground single-shell tank at Hanford leaking up to 300 gallons of radioactive waste a year.

Wyden also said today he’s concerned about technical issues at the Hanford vitrification plant, which is being built to start treating radioactive waste for disposal.

As chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Wyden will play a key role in legislation to create a Manhattan Project National Historical Park, which would include Hanford’s historic B Reactor. The Oregon Democrat supports formation of the park.

In addition to touring B Reactor, Wyden also saw the tank farms — where 56 million gallons of radioactive waste are stored in underground tanks — and the vit plantl.

As the new committee chairman, Wyden said there will be no shortage of hearings about Hanford.

Hanford's vitrification plant

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