A federal judge will consider the U.S. Department of Energy's proposal to delay a deadline to empty the next nine leak-prone tanks on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

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RICHLAND, Wash.  — A federal judge will consider the U.S. Department of Energy’s proposal to delay a deadline to empty the next nine leak-prone tanks on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

But U.S. District Court Judge Rosanna Malouf Peterson will also give the state more time to oppose that proposal in court.

The state opposes allowing DOE an extra year, until 2023, to empty the tanks of radioactive waste.

The Tri-City Herald reports that the Energy Department and the state filed competing proposals in late 2014 to amend deadlines after it became apparent that DOE could not meet them.

Hanford for decades made plutonium for nuclear weapons, producing the nation’s largest collection of nuclear waste in the process. The most dangerous wastes are stored in underground tanks, some of which are leaking.