State Demands Pumping of Hanford Tank

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) -- The state is demanding that the federal government begin removing radioactive liquid waste from a leaking double-walled tank at Hanford by September. 1.

The state Department of Ecology's order today requires pumping to begin about 18 months sooner than what the U.S. Department of Energy has proposed.

Hanford for decades made plutonium for nuclear weapons, and the site contains the nation's largest supply of radioactive wastes.

Double-walled Tank AY-102 was found to be leaking between its walls in October 2012.

The Ecology Department says that after months of discussions it is clear the Energy Department is not willing to pump the tank in a timely manner. The agency says failure to comply with its order could result in fines for the federal government.