People of Northwest Public Radio
Wed September 4, 2013
Hanford: Tank Farm Closure From High Radiation Reading Given Federal All-Clear
The tank farms at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington have the all-clear for work to resume after a high-radiation incident briefly shut down much of the site last month.
In late August, Hanford workers responded to an emergency of a high radiation reading near a tank known as C-101. In a new letter to Hanford workers, tank-farm manager Kevin Smith says it turns out there was no leak. He says “pre-existing contamination” on some concrete near the tank “could have been exposed when insulating blankets shifted.”
There is a four-inch square of contamination where elevated beta radiation levels were detected, he says. Smith says a Hanford contractor is preparing to re-start pumping activities. And some pre-pumping work will begin this week. Washington State Ecology officials say they are encouraged that radioactive waste removals will start up again and that the delays were fairly brief.
Copyright 2013 Northwest News