Washington state governor Jay Inslee said Wednesday that there is no available technology to plug the radiation leaks at Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
Radioactive waste tanks may be leaking some 1,000 gallons per year at the Hanford Nuclear facility.
Inslee said Wednesday officials are still evaluating how to effectively remove the remaining material from the problematic tanks.
The 1,000-gallon figure is a rough estimate based on the early assessment of six identified leakers. Inslee said the leakage numbers are still being evaluated to determine exactly how much has been lost and how fast the waste is leaving the tanks.
The Energy Department has expressed concern that contamination from the single-shell tanks might be leaking toward the Columbia River, that supplies drinking water and agricultural irrigation.
Hanford has 177 aging tanks storing millions of gallons of radioactive sludge.
Faulty data analysis meant officials did not properly catch signs of leaking before now, according to Inslee.
The governor expressed concern about the other tanks at the reservation.