Hanford Site

City of Richland workers recently rediscovered many documents from the Manhattan Project era. They are finding old records from when the southeastern Washington city was a high-security government town that sprung up to build the Atomic Bomb.

The City of Richland recently hired a public records consultant. It needed help sorting out just what to keep, what to throw out and how to organize it all.

Tobin Fricke / Wikimedia Commons

Washington Governor Jay Inslee and the state attorney general say they’re "extremely disappointed" that the U.S. Department of Energy may miss several key deadlines for cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

Workers are back on the job at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation’s waste treatment plant. Work stopped this week when radioactive soil was found under the nests of some swallows.

Swallows used some radioactive mud to make nests on exposed beamwork in Hanford’s waste treatment plant. That’s the $12 billion factory designed to bind-up radioactive sludge in glass logs. The nests were found during routine tests, but this is the first radioactive contamination of the new plant.

Washington Senator Patty Murray says she’s looking for some change at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation with new leadership at the top. A new manager is taking over at a key contracting company that handles the leaking radioactive tank farms. And the Department of Energy has a new secretary, Ernest Moniz.

Murray toured the southeast Washington nuclear site Thursday to get briefings on the massive waste treatment plant being built and the ongoing cleanup of radioactive waste.

The Obama administration’s new secretary of energy says his top priorities are responding to climate change, safely managing the nation’s nuclear stockpile and fostering scientific research. Ernest Moniz made the comments at his swearing-in ceremony Tuesday.

He also mentioned the need to clean up the nation’s Cold War legacy waste. That would include work at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington, “Including attention to the communities and workforce as we go into a somewhat uncertain future again, especially in terms of the budget environment.”

The people overseeing the cleanup of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster are learning some valuable lessons from the long-running cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. A Japanese government delegation recently toured some of the southeast Washington site.

In Japan, workers in gloves and masks are grinding down sidewalks and roads, wiping down rooftops and bagging contaminated soil. Now, the problem is where to put all that radioactive waste from Fukushima.

Cleanup of a hazardous chemical called hexavalent chromium in the groundwater at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington is going faster than expected.

Hexavalent chromium is the nasty stuff that made Erin Brockovich famous down in California. The chemical was used to inhibit rust in coolant water in Hanford’s reactors. But that water was dumped into the desert, and now the cancer-causer is making its way toward the Columbia River in large groundwater plumes.

President Obama’s pick for energy secretary can expect a lot of questions about the Hanford Nuclear Reservation at a confirmation hearing Tuesday in Washington, D.C. Oregon Senator Ron Wyden chairs the committee considering physicist Ernest Moniz to head the sprawling federal agency.

Hanford Waste Plan Under Debate In New Mexico

Apr 4, 2013

CARLSBAD, N.M. - Last month, the U.S. Department of Energy announced a plan to send some nuclear waste from leaky storage tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation to southern New Mexico. The proposed new storage site is near Carlsbad and it's called the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. WIPP, as it’s known, has been prohibited from receiving Hanford tank waste for nearly a decade. Now, New Mexicans are debating whether to reverse course, and accept some of the waste.

Washington Closure Hanford and MSA

Hanford Nuclear Reservation managers are trying to figure out who left a time capsule in the wall of a building there nearly 60 years ago. Demolition workers found a coffee can recently while they were tearing down a building near a reactor at the southeast Washington site.

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