Jay Inslee, currently serving as Governor for the state of Washington, now says that a nuclear tank located at the Hanford site is leaking radioactive material into its surrounding environment.
The Governor's claims are based on the fact that, as recent measurements carried out by employees of the US Department of Energy have shown, this tank's liquid levels have been steadily decreasing as time went by.
Seeing how radioactive material is not known to simply disappear into thin air, the only possible explanation is that this container is leaking its load and therefore constitutes a threat to the natural ecosystems and the human communities found in the Pacific Northwest region.
reports that, for the time being, the US Department of Energy are yet to find evidence of higher radiation levels in the area surrounding this nuclear tank.
However, as Governor Inslee points out, estimates have shown that, within one year's time, this leakage could translate into about 150-300 gallons of nuclear waste making their way into the environment.
By the looks of it, the nuclear tank only started leaking due to the fact that it has been used to store nuclear waste for a period of time significantly longer than recommended.
Thus, such tanks have a life span of just 20 years, after which they should be replaced with new ones. However, the leaking container was built back in the 1940s, which basically means that it has long passed its retirement date.
The same source informs us that this tank has experienced other leakages in the past, but that it was stabilized back in 2005.
The tank holds about 447,000 gallons of radioactive sludge, whose consistency is fairly similar to mud and which constitutes a major threat to both the environment and public health.
“I am alarmed about this on many levels. This raises concerns, not only about the existing leak, but also concerning the integrity of the other single shell tanks of this age,” Governor Jay Inslee commented with respect to this piece of news.