Inslee, who was given the update by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and other top DOE officials Friday, said there could be more leaks of what he called a "witches' brew" among the 149 single-shell tanks at the Hanford nuclear site in eastern Washington, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.
"Secretary Chu advised me we have six leaking single-shell tanks at the Hanford site, not just one as was previously reported," Inslee said. "The amount of leakage varies from tank to tank.
"There may be more."
Inslee said a new strategy needs to be developed to deal with the radioactive waste being kept at the decades-old, 560-square-mile site that once held 53 million gallons of radioactive waste, the
The first tank confirmed to be leaking, first constructed in 1943-44, still contains more than 440,000 gallons of radioactive sludge.
"We will have to have a system for removing the waste in the most expeditious way possible," Inslee said. "That could take five years or more than five years."