29 September 2009

K East Basin excavation begins

Work began this past weekend to excavate contaminated soil in the K East Basin at Hanford.  This basin once held 1.2 million gallons of irradiated fuel from the K East Reactor, which produced weapons-grade plutonium.  When plutonium production ceased, the waste in the basin was left to sit without any processing. 

This was one of the major environmental risks at Hanford, as the basin is located just 400 yards from the Columbia River.  Contamination is documented to have leaked from the basin in the 1970s and the 1990s.  Excavating the soil should be completed by the end of 2009.

News articles:
Read the Tri-City Herald article here.
Read The Oregonian article here.

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