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Attorney general to announce action on Hanford safety

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Hanford Site. From Getty Images.

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson says he will hold a news conference Wednesday to announce a “significant action” regarding worker safety at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

In June, Ferguson said he would oppose a U.S. Department of Energy request to have more time to empty the next group of waste storage tanks at Hanford.

Federal officials want a one-year extension on its deadline to retrieve radioactive waste from nine leak-prone tanks, which would give them until to fall 2023 to complete the work.

The agency said it needed more time because a recent requirement for air respirators for most tank farm workers to protect them against chemical vapors had reduced efficiency by 30 to 70 percent.