Federal officials may ship 3 million gallons of radioactive waste from Hanford Nuclear Reservation to New Mexico.

The Department of Energy says it will provide the option to deal with leaking tanks at Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

The waste would ultimately be disposed at a massive repository near Carlsbad, New Mexico.
 
The transfer would only account for a fraction of the roughly 50 million gallons of waste currently at Hanford but would impact some 20 tanks.

Federal officials have identified six leaking tanks.

Governor Jay Inslee says the proposal is a good start in the process of getting rid of Hanford's waste.

But, to complicate matters, the sequester has slashed the federal budget, which may slow cleanup efforts.

State and federal officials have said the leaking materials pose no immediate threat to public safety or the environment, but the leaks raise concerns about the potential for groundwater to be contaminated and, ultimately, reach the neighboring Columbia River about 5 miles away.