AP News

Nuclear board warns of Hanford tank explosion risk


YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — A nuclear safety board has warned a key U.S. senator that underground tanks holding radioactive waste at the nation's most contaminated nuclear site pose a possible risk of explosion.

Concerns that hydrogen gas could build up inside the tanks and lead to an explosion at south-central Washington state's Hanford Nuclear Reservation have been known for some time. The Defense Nuclear Facility Safety Board recommended additional monitoring and ventilation of the tanks last fall, and federal officials are working to implement that recommendation.

But the board highlighted those concerns to Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, who is chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Wyden had asked the board for input in advance of confirmation hearings for Energy Secretary-nominee Ernest J. Moniz next week.


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