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The investigation began last year when a local hospital alerted the state health department to an unusually high number of babies born with a rare birth defect called anencephaly, in which parts of the baby’s brain and skull are missing.
The investigators identified 23 women in a three-county area whose babies had anencephaly between January 2010 and January 2013. The anencephaly rate was more than 8 per 10,000 births, which is four times higher than the national average of one or two cases in every 10,000 births, according to the report.
On February 15, 2013, Governor Jay Inslee announced a tank storing radioactive waste at the site is leaking liquids on average of 150 to 300 gallons per year. He stressed that the leak poses no immediate heath risk to the public, but said that fact should not be an excuse for not doing anything. On February 22, 2013, the Governor stated that "6 more tanks at Hanford site" than previously thought were "leaking radioactive waste"