Cleaning up radioactive waste contained in tanks at the Hanford nuclear reservation is one of the top challenges facing the U.S. Department of Energy, according to a new special report by the department’s Inspector General.

The independent oversight arm of the U.S. Department of Energy didn’t mince words. 
It says there are about 88 million gallons of radioactive tank waste across the nation that need to be cleaned up. And most is at Hanford. 


And the report notes that the factory meant to treat all of Hanford’s waste isn’t going so well. It’s behind schedule and will cost billions more than planned. 


The report also highlights problems that Hanford has had with its subcontractors. Specifically, several companies have agreed to pay a $125 million settlement for using substandard materials.

Hanford’s tank waste and treatment plant were ranked at the top of the Department of Energy’s concerns along with cybersecurity and safeguarding the nation’s nuclear stockpile.