Hanford Contractor Fails To Check Radioactive Tanks For Months

Jan 14, 2014

A federal contractor at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation failed to check some single-shell radioactive waste tanks for the buildup of hydrogen gas. It was an eight-month lapse that could have been dangerous for workers and the public.

Federal contractor Washington River Protection Solutions says some of the radioactive waste tanks should have been checked as far back as last March, and weren’t. The overdue tanks were checked in late December, and no gas buildups were found.

John Britton, the spokesman for Washington River Protection Solutions, says the incident didn’t end up posing a threat to worker or public safety. Nonetheless, Britton says failing to check the single-shell tanks was an unacceptable lapse in the company’s operations.

In a written statement, the Department of Energy says it takes any violation seriously. The federal government also says it is reviewing the quality of it’s contractor’s data management and surveillance procedures.