- Associated Press - Monday, March 17, 2014

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz met Monday with Gov. Jay Inslee to present a draft cleanup plan for the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, but the governor said the draft fell short of what the state expected.

Inslee and Moniz met at the governor’s office to discuss the cleanup of millions of gallons of radioactive waste from the site near Richland. Inslee says that in light of the meeting he will consult with the state’s attorney general and the state Department of Ecology to discuss next steps.

Inslee says the plan presented to him “did not contain the comprehensive and level of detail” that the state has requested for months. Hanford stores about two-thirds of the nation’s high-level radioactive waste left over from production of plutonium for nuclear weapons.

“The federal government has a moral and legal obligation to oversee the successful cleanup of the waste that remains,” Inslee said in a written statement. “I and others have called for a comprehensive plan that will lead to an effective cleanup plan. We have eagerly awaited an acceptable plan to protect the public health, the environment of our state and Columbia River.”

Hanford contains more than 50 million gallons of high-level radioactive wastes from the production of plutonium for nuclear weapons. They are stored in 177 underground storage tanks, of which 149 date back to World War II and are single-walled models. Some of those have leaked.

One of the 28 newer double-walled storage tanks has leaked and six others have flaws that officials worry could lead to additional leaks.

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