State, feds extend talks on Hanford cleanup

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RICHLAND — State and federal negotiators have agreed to extend their talks on the cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

The dispute is over deadlines for removing radioactive waste from Hanford’s underground storage tanks. The U.S. Department of Energy says most of the remaining deadlines in a 2010 court settlement could be missed, and it wants the deadlines eliminated, allowing it to complete the work as it can.

Washington state objects to that. The Tri-City Herald reports that a 40-day period for resolving disputes between the sides expired June 2, which allows either to request the involvement of a federal judge. Instead, the state and the feds agreed to extend their talks until June 27.