Plutonium leak from Washington site, seen to pose 'long-term threat'
18 Feb 2013
A plutonium leak from a contaminated nuclear waste site in Washington has prompted the governor of the state to sound the alarm over the threat it posed.
Governor Jay Inslee on Saturday said the lack of an immediate threat did not in any way be allowed to reduce the recognition of the long-term threat of this material reaching the ground water or the Columbia River.
According to The US Department of Energy the confirmed liquid levels were dropping in one of nearly 200 underground tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, around 400 kilometres southeast of Vancouver.
While the leak posed no immediate threat to human health, critics are worried it was only a matter of time until the toxic sludge found its way into regional food systems.
According to Tom Carpenter, executive director of Hanford Challenge, a non-profit monitoring the nuclear reservation state officials were now waiting for the federal government to patch the leak.
According to Carpenter, a plan was in place to drain the tanks and solidify the waste into glass, but the treatment plant meant to do there were problems at the was plant meant to do the work.