Hanford tank AP-102 safely holds nuclear waste

A robotic crawler inspects the floor in between the inner and outer shells of tank AP-102.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is committed to the safety of its workforce, the public and the environment. The DOE Office of River Protection (ORP) and Hanford tank farms contractor Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) have been evaluating the structural integrity of Hanford’s double-shell tanks. While the ongoing inspection program did identify some thinning in spots of the outer carbon-steel tank shell of tank AP-102, visual and electronic ultrasound inspections have found no breaches in the outer shell of the double-shell tank. The inner shell of the tank continues to safely hold the radioactive and chemical waste. There have been no indications of any breach in the inner tank shell nor any indications of waste leaking into the tank annulus.

DOE-ORP and WRPS manage robust tank integrity inspection programs that proactively seek to identify areas of concern regarding Hanford’s tanks and manage associated risk. Early identification of issues is key to understanding Hanford’s underground tanks and safely maintaining them through the duration of the mission. The Washington State Department of Ecology has been fully involved in the evaluation program and is being kept informed on its progress.

The full version of the Washington State Department of Ecology letter is available here.