Hanford vapor case headed to mediation

Radioactive waste is stored in large underground tanks at the Hanford Site. This Dept. of Energy photo shows several tanks under construction decades ago.
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RICHLAND, Wash.- Parties in a lawsuit over employee concerns about exposure to chemical vapors at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation are headed to mediation.

The Tri-City Herald reported Wednesday that both plaintiffs and defendants have asked a federal judge to move back the lawsuit's trial date in order to allow them to pursue a resolution out of court.

Dozens of Hanford workers have been sickened by vapors escaping from underground nuclear waste storage tanks. The tanks contain wastes left over from the production of plutonium for nuclear weapons.

Workers who smell the vapors are told to leave the area and are offered medical checks. Nearly all workers are medically cleared to return to work the same day.

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