Six single-shell underground radioactive waste tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation along the Columbia River in Washington state, one of the most contaminated nuclear sites in the US, are leaking, governor Jay Inslee said on Friday.
Inslee, who met federal officials in Washington D C last week, warned there could be more leaky tanks and sought an investigation to plug the leaks immediately before it gets out of hand.
In fact, Inslee said, outgoing US energy secretary Steven Chu also on Friday told him that a total of six of the ageing, single-shell tanks were leaking radioactive waste.
He said there seems to have been some confusion over the data that and there was no proper analysis, which must have led the department to initially miss the other five leaking tanks.
"This certainly raises serious questions about the integrity of all 149 single-shell tanks with radioactive liquid and sludge at Hanford," he said.
There are a total of 177 nuclear waste tanks at south-central Washington's Hanford Nuclear Reservation site.