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Hanford in Richland, Wash., was the first large-scale nuclear reactor. It was built during WWII and retired in 1968. / H. Darr Beiser, USA TODAY

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - A leaking waste tank at the nation's most contaminated nuclear site is raising new concerns about delays in cleaning up the Washington state site.

The U.S. Department of Energy says liquid levels are decreasing in one of 177 underground tanks at the Hanford nuclear reservation, though it's not clear by how much.

The tanks hold millions of gallons of a highly radioactive stew left from decades of plutonium production for nuclear weapons.

The agency says monitoring wells near the tank have not detected higher radiation levels.

Gov. Jay Inslee said Energy Secretary Steven Chu says the federal government must not waiver in its commitment to clean up the highly contaminated site.

A plant under construction to treat the waste is billions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule.



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Tank at Hanford nuclear site in Wash. is leaking

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