Washington Gov. Jay Inslee wants a federal court order to bring more cooperation from the U.S. Department of Energy for cleanup of the Hanford nuclear site.
The court order is in response to a federal lawsuit filed by the state of Washington under the Inslee administration in 2014. The judge sided with the state Friday, saying the federal government has not been up-front about the cleanup of 177 underground tanks full of radioactive sludge. And that technical problems are plaguing a waste treatment plant still under construction that would bind up that waste in glass logs.
Inslee said, “Look, these are really tough technical challenges. And the more people we have approach this from an attitude of partnership, rather than hiding the ball, the better off we’ll be.”
This is the second time Washington state has sued the federal government over these issues in the past decade. If the DOE disagrees with this ruling, they can take it to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
A statement issued Saturday by the DOE said, “DOE is reviewing the Court’s Order and Consent Decree amendment. DOE remains committed to the successful treatment of tank waste at Hanford as soon as practicable.”