WRPS Responds to Tank Farm Vapor Exposure

For the first time today since twenty-six employees were affected by vapor releases at Hanford's Tank Farms, we got to speak one on one with a management representative from Washington River Protection Solutions.

Environmental, safety, health, and quality manager John McDonald says that the company is very concerned about the releases and its effects on the workers.

McDonald says that there are 56-million gallons of radioactive waste at the tank farms, and that the tanks' ventilation systems often release vapors because of how they work. McDonald admits however that the five incidences over the last few weeks does raise the level of concern, as does the fact that no one can be sure exactly what the workers were exposed to.

McDonald says that a combined management worker team is now being put together that will address WRPS's procedures and make recommendations about potential changes over the next several months.

There may also be a review of the tank farm's onsite medical facility. Becky Holland, who was exposed to vapors and spoke to us yesterday, says that the onsite facility more resembles a first aid station than an in depth medical facility. McDonald says that is another issue that may be addressed in the future.

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