Hanford workers pump leaked waste back into tank

FILE - In this March 6, 2013 file photo, a portion of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation is seen from the air near Richland, Wash. A Department of Energy contractor is checking after more waste leaked from the inner tank of a double-shell waste storage tank at the reservation over the weekend of April 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren,File)

Workers have succeeded in their first attempt to remove leaked waste from between the shells of the oldest double-shell tank at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

More than 3,000 gallons of radioactive waste leaked April 17 from the inner tank of a giant double-walled tank known as AY-102 into the space between the two walls.

The Tri-City Herald reports that workers on Thursday pumped some radioactive waste that had leaked back into the primary tank.

Inspections have found no evidence that any waste has breached the shell's outer tank. The Washington State Department of Ecology has said there is no risk at this time to the public.

Hanford for decades made plutonium for nuclear weapons, and now contains millions of gallons of radioactive waste stored in 177 underground tanks in southeastern Washington. The government is spending $2 billion a year to clean up the site.

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