Washington state and the U.S. Department of Energy just gave themselves a 40-day deadline. They need a clear cleanup plan for leaking tanks of radioactive waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
If you think you’ve heard that before, it’s because you have.
The deadline follows an earlier 40-day deadline that expired at the beginning of June with no clean up plan in place. State and federal officials hope this second deadline will fare better.
Hanford experts and a gaggle of lawyers from both sides plan to meet privately next week in the Seattle area. It’s about how to clean up 56 million gallons of radioactive waste stored in aging underground tanks at Hanford.
The State of Washington says it wants the federal government to set and keep its cleanup deadlines, something that’s been lacking so far. The U.S. Department of Energy will only say talks with the state have been productive. Both sides are trying to avoid legal action that could further delay actual cleanup work at Hanford.