July 29, 2009

Mercury a threat to Hanford cleanup

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The state of Washington is concerned about the possible impacts on the environmental cleanup of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation if the federal Department of Energy picks Hanford for long-term storage of the nation’s mercury, the Tri-City Herald reports today. A state official made the comments at a public hearing Tuesday held by the federal agency, which is considering Hanford and six other sites to store up to 11,000 tons of mercury from private sources over 40 years, and possibly 1,300 tons of mercury left from the nuclear weapons program. A federal law passed last year prohibits the export of mercury beginning in 2013 and requires DOE to have facilities to manage and store mercury by that date.

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