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Audit Report: IG-0456

January 21, 2000

The Management of Tank Waste Remediation at the Hanford site

The production of nuclear weapons materials by the Department of Energy and its predecessor agencies generated a significant amount of highly radioactive and hazardous waste. Much of this waste, approximately 54 million gallons, is stored in 177 underground tanks at the Hanford Site in southeastern Washington State. Hanford has the largest number of underground storage tanks in the Department of Energy complex and many of these tanks have already leaked or are suspected to have leaked radioactive waste into the ground. Tank waste radionuclides have reached the groundwater that flows into the Columbia River.