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Report finds little progress to address Hanford vapor concerns

FILE - In this July 9, 2014, file photo, workers wearing protective clothing and footwear inspect a valve at the "C" tank farm on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

It appears that little progress is being made to address employee concerns about exposure to chemical vapors at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

The Department of Energy's Office of Enterprise Assessments recently looked at the issue.

The Tri-City Herald says focus groups conducted with union workers indicated little improvement in addressing their concerns about vapors since 2014.

Several workers said they were concerned about retaliation if they raised issues regarding tank vapors.

Dozens of Hanford workers have been sickened by vapors escaping from underground nuclear waste storage tanks. The tanks contain wastes left over from the production of plutonium for nuclear weapons.

Workers who smell the vapors are told to leave the area and are offered medical checks. Nearly all workers are medically cleared to return to work the same day.

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Information from: Tri-City Herald.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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