October 2, 2009 in Region

GAO suggests leaving more waste in Hanford tanks

Report questions whether radiation reduction worth the cost
Associated Press
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Background and the latest updates

TRI-CITIES — The Government Accountability Office says the Energy Department should consider leaving more waste in underground tanks at the Hanford nuclear reservation.

The Tri-City Herald says the government questions whether the billions of dollars in clean-up costs are justified by the reduction in radiation risk.

A GAO report says the price tag to empty the tanks could be $86 billion to more than $100 billion, compared to the $77 billion DOE estimate.

The report was prepared at the request of a U.S. House subcommittee responsible for energy spending.

Hanford has about 53 million gallons of radioactive waste left from decades of nuclear weapons production. The waste will be turned into glasslike logs for permanent disposal.

Information from the Tri-City Herald.

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