Report: Hanford nuclear waste capsules at risk

Report: Hanford nuclear waste capsules at risk

Report: Hanford nuclear waste capsules at risk

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by Associated Press

kgw.com

Posted on April 3, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Updated Thursday, Apr 3 at 10:37 AM

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) -- Nearly 2,000 capsules containing radioactive waste at Hanford should be moved because of earthquake danger.

That's according to a new report by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Inspector General.

The 1,936 capsules contain radioactive cesium and strontium and are held in giant pools of water on the Hanford site, which is near Richland.

The Tri-City Herald says a severe earthquake could cause a loss of power or water in the storage facility.

The report suggests the capsules should be moved to dry storage as soon as possible.

The capsules, which are about 22 inches long, hold material with 106 million curies of radioactivity, or 32 percent of the total radioactivity at Hanford. The 13 feet of water covering them helps cool the capsules and protects workers from radiation.

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