RICHLAND, Wash. -

Some Hanford Nuclear Reservation workers are worried about raising concerns about exposure to chemical vapors escaping from nuclear waste storage tanks.

That's according to a report by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Inspector General.

The Tri-City Herald says the report was released Wednesday and found that seven of 52 workers interviewed were worried about fear of retaliation related to potential vapor exposures.

But the report said most workers felt they were free to express their concerns with management and had not experienced retaliation.

Chemical vapors associated with nuclear waste held in underground tanks have been blamed for symptoms such as shortness of breath and nosebleeds and may cause serious neurological and respiratory illnesses.

The waste is left from the production of plutonium for nuclear weapons.