Feds move closer to testing a cheaper way to treat Hanford radioactive waste

By Annette Cary, Tri-City Herald | June 29, 2021

The Department of Energy is taking an initial step that could result in more of Hanford’s radioactive tank waste being turned into a concrete-like grout and shipped out of Washington state for disposal.

Supporters of the technology say full-scale use of grouting to treat waste could save billions of taxpayer dollars and speed the emptying of waste from leak-prone underground tanks.

It could reduce risk to workers, the public and the environment, according to DOE.

The project also has the support of the Tri-City Development Council and Hanford Communities, a coalition of local governments near Hanford.

“We continue to be concerned about the long-term costs of tank waste treatment,” said David Reeploeg, who represents both organizations.

“So moving forward with Phase 2 and exploring opportunities to potentially treat low activity waste sooner, cheaper and having it stored permanently outside the state of Washington is an important step forward,” he said.