Inslee visits the Hanford Site advocating for more funding

HANFORD, Wash. — Governor Jay Inslee visited Richland on Thursday. He was there to advocate for more funding for the Hanford Site, as well as learn more about what’s going on at the nuclear plant.

Gov. Inslee started with a private meeting with tribal representatives, Hanford stakeholders and community leaders. He then attended the grand opening of the Ligo Exploration Center. He concluded his Hanford visit with a trip to the cold-test facility and the waste vitrification plant.

The Department of Ecology says that every year Hanford is underfunded, cleanup work gets more delayed, and the cost increases. The tanks built to last 25 years have been there for 60 to 70 years. The Department of Ecology says that Hanford cleanup is over 25 years behind schedule, with two tanks actively leaking.

The Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agent, and the Department of Ecology signed the Tri-Party agreement in 1989. The TPA enforces cleanup milestones and ensures Hanford’s radioactive nuclear waste is in compliance with federal and state law.

Governor Inslee is advocating for $3.35 billion for Fiscal Year 2023, and $3.75 billion for Fiscal Year 2024.

They say each year of underfunding adds up to three years of cleanup needed. Underfunding toward the site has lasted for the last eight years.

According to the Fiscal Year 23 Budget, the largest portions would go toward radioactive tank waste stabilization and disposition and major construction. Significant, but smaller parts of the budget would go toward facility, soil and groundwater, services and security, and solid waste management.

They concluded, “One of the best actions we can take to protect the nearby Columbia River and all it encompasses is to have compliant funding for Hanford cleanup.”

RELATED: Hanford announces major milestone in waste removal

READ: Tour the B-Reactor again starting Memorial Day Weekend!