Workers study cause of fluctuations in nuclear waste tank

AP News
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Posted: Apr 18, 2016 3:48 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Fluctuations inside a huge tank of radioactive waste are raising concerns on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state, and workers are preparing to pump out the area of the leak.

A federal contractor said Monday that the amount of nuclear waste that was leaking between the two walls of the underground tank for three years grew dramatically this weekend.

The contractor, Washington River Protection Solutions, says none of the waste appears to have escaped into the environment. Workers were trying Monday to determine why the waste that leaked between the tank walls rose by about 8 inches over the weekend and then dropped by half an inch.

Hanford for decades made plutonium for nuclear weapons, including the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, and contains a huge volume of radioactive waste.