People of Northwest Public Radio
Hanford Radiation Leak
Mon February 13, 2012
Small Radiation Leak Contained At Hanford
RICHLAND, Wash. – Hanford Nuclear Reservation managers say they have contained a few drips of radioactive condensation found near a waste container. Federal Department of Energy officials say the contamination did not get off site, and is not a danger to workers at the southeast Washington facility.
The condensation slipped down a 12-foot-high steel and concrete container in central Hanford. That box holds radioactive waste dug up from Cold War-era trenches. It’s destined for a long-term storage facility in New Mexico.
Last week, someone doing routine monitoring recorded some gamma radiation from the area. The Department of Energy has applied a fixative to drips to prevent any of the radioactive particles from moving or becoming airborne.
“Our job is to make sure that the waste is stored safely and to test it all the time to make sure we are not seeing anything out the ordinary," says Cameron Hardy, a spokesman for the Department of Energy. "So this is a very routine thing for us to do and everything got taken care of.”
Washington’s Ecology and Health departments are monitoring the situation.
Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio