An unfinished nuclear site in Central Washington poses a danger of leaks and explosions, said a new report by the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board. However, the Trump administration says otherwise. The Hanford site was claimed by the government during World War II as a secret site for producing plutonium, an element used in the creation of nuclear bomb dropped on Nagasaki. Nine nuclear reactors were opened up at Hanford but slowly shut down, with the last one closing down in 1987. The unfinished pretreatment plant has for years been designated as an important part of cleanup operations. If completed, it would have the ability to filter out solid, high-level radioactive waste with the help of more than 100 miles of piping and four stainless-steel tanks. However, the safety board in 2010 identified a number of issues that raise concerns over the risk of explosion from the buildup of hydrogen gas in the pipes and the danger of radioactive releases from Hanford nuclear complex. Despite the assessment, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the major issues previously identified were now “resolved” and it is now rearing up to resume its design work. Furthermore, the energy department wants to downsize or completely abolish the safety board all together.
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