Sunday, January 8, 2017

Radioactive contamination spreading within Hanford plant

Radioactive contamination is spreading within one of Hanford’s huge processing plants, and the problem could escalate as the plant, unused since the 1960s, continues to deteriorate.

A new report on the Reduction-Oxidation Complex, more commonly called REDOX, recommends that $181 million be spent on interim cleanup and maintenance of the plant. REDOX is not scheduled to be demolished until about 2032, or possibly later because the nearby 222-S Laboratory in central Hanford will be needed to support the Hanford vitrification plant for another 30 to 40 years.

Doing some work on the building soon could reduce the threat of contamination spreading outside the building, including by animals, a break in a utility pipe or a fire, according to the report. Recommended work also would help protect Hanford workers.

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