Work to empty some Hanford nuclear waste tanks nearly done

The wastes are left over from the production of plutonium for nuclear weapons.

By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS

Associated Press

Published on November 28, 2017 10:09AM


SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — After almost two decades of work, the government has nearly finished removing radioactive wastes from a first group of underground storage tanks in eastern Washington.

Work began 19 years ago to remove radioactive sludge and salt cake from 16 underground tanks known collectively as the C Tank Farm. The wastes are left over from the production of plutonium for nuclear weapons on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

The U.S. Department of Energy said last week that a contractor is in the final stages of removing waste from tank C-105, a 530,000-gallon capacity tank. That tank has stored radioactive wastes since 1947, and is a suspected leaker.

Hanford was established by the Manhattan Project during World War II and made most of the nation’s plutonium for nuclear weapons.



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