Hanford Nuclear Reservation | KNKX

Hanford Nuclear Reservation

A federal watchdog agency said Wednesday that it's hard to prove that Hanford’s Waste Treatment Plant is safe. 

The U.S. Department of Energy is launching a federal investigation into a demolition site at the Hanford nuclear reservation where radioactive waste from the site has been spreading in unexplained ways.

Northwest Senators had a lot of questions for U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry during a Senate committee hearing Tuesday morning. They grilled him on the safety of steel in a massive treatment plant under construction at the Hanford nuclear site.

The U.S. Department of Energy is demanding thousands of pages of documentation from one of its top contractors at Hanford. They want to know exactly what grade of steel is being used in a massive radioactive waste treatment plant at the decommissioned nuclear site. 

Prompt communication between workers and management at the Plutonium Finishing Plant did not occur,  so radioactive waste continued to spread at Hanford. That’s according to a new report out Thursday.

As many as 11 workers may have ingested or inhaled radioactive contamination at the Plutonium Finishing Plant demolition site at Hanford in southeast Washington state. Ten workers are confirmed to have tested positive and one needs more testing to confirm the results.

Hanford workers have called a “stop work” at the Plutonium Finishing Plant demolition site because of worries about radioactive contamination inside government vehicles.

Reaction in the Pacific Northwest was swift to President Trump’s proposed cuts to the cleanup budget at the Hanford Site.

Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, called the proposed $230 million cut “downright dangerous for everyone who lives near the Columbia River.”

Washington health officials penned an uncommonly stern letter to the U.S. Department of Energy this week. It details concerns over the radioactive contamination spread at a Hanford demolition site.

The five-page letter highlights six main issues the state has with the management of the demolition at the Hanford Plutonium Finishing Plant. 

Radioactive waste keeps spreading at a demolition site at Hanford. This week, officials have found more contamination on a worker’s boot, on a work trailer and a personal vehicle.

Now, a rental car that’s possibly contaminated has ended up in Spokane. It’s now on a trailer headed back to the Tri-Cities for testing. 


Top state health officials are concerned that radioactive waste in the air is spreading around the Hanford site in southeast Washington. It’s mostly from that same demolition site that’s contaminated two workers, dozens of vehicles and closed down nearby offices.

Two Hanford workers have tested positive for radioactive waste in their bodies. It happened at the Plutonium Finishing Plant—a massive factory being demolished at the nuclear cleanup site in southeast Washington state.

The discovery of an "overwhelming presence" of radon gas has forced more than 100 workers at the Hanford Site to move their offices Thursday. This follows a series of radioactive contamination issues at that same demolition project on the southeast Washington nuclear site.

A new report about the radioactive tank waste at Hanford says the cleanup could take decades longer and cost billions more than estimated. The document, called “System Plan 8”, proposes 11 complex scenarios for how the 56 million gallons of radioactive tank waste could be moved out of those tanks and treated. 


The U.S. Department of Energy is about start shoring up another train tunnel full of old radioactive equipment at the Hanford Site in southeast Washington state. This is all happening because a similar train tunnel full of waste—called Tunnel 1—collapsed this spring.

Cleaning up radioactive waste contained in tanks at the Hanford nuclear reservation is one of the top challenges facing the U.S. Department of Energy. That’s according a new special report by the department’s Inspector General.

A major milestone is approaching at the Hanford Site in southeast Washington state. After nearly two decades of work, contractors have just finished cleaning out the first group of 16 radioactive waste tanks.

After the tank farm is officially declared cleaned out by Washington’s Department of Ecology, the federal government has to decide what to do with the tanks themselves.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is one of the government watchdogs monitoring the cleanup of the Hanford nuclear reservation. But recently the EPA’s Hanford office has shrunk in half.

Back in May, a train tunnel at the Hanford nuclear site partially collapsed. Federal contractors have now just finished filling it up with grout. It took about 520 truck loads of grout to fill the tunnel.

Crews had been doing the work mostly at night since early October.

At the Hanford Site, the job to seal in a tunnel full of radioactive waste is nearly half done according to the federal government. It became a high-priority project when the tunnel partially collapsed this past May, causing an emergency at Hanford.

At the Hanford Site in southeast Washington state, a powerful group of citizens who keep watch on the nuclear reservation hasn’t met in months. Northwest tribes, environmental watchdogs and nuclear cleanup experts all sit on the Hanford Advisory Board—nicknamed the HAB. 


This spring, an underground train tunnel full of radioactive waste was discovered partially collapsed at the Hanford Site in southeast Washington state. Now, federal contractors are prepping the site to fill the unstable tunnel with grout. They’re planning to start Tuesday night.

Crews at the Hanford Site in southeast Washington state are running through rehearsals and last minute details. In early October, they’ll begin pouring grout, a kind of thin cement, into a partially collapsed tunnel full of highly contaminated radioactive waste.

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry toured the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Hanford site outside of Richland, Washington, Tuesday.

Washington state officials have been waiting to see how the U.S. Department of Energy plans to deal with an unstable tunnel filled with radioactive waste at the Hanford nuclear site.

The U.S. Department of Energy rolled out several options at a public meeting Thursday night to stabilize what’s known as Tunnel 2 at the Hanford nuclear reservation in southeast Washington. Stabilizing the tunnel became a priority after nearby Tunnel 1 was found partially collapsed this spring.

Tunnel 2 is filled with highly-radioactive equipment leftover from a plutonium plant, and the feds say it's also in danger of collapse.

At the meeting, they presented a raft of ideas to stabilize it:

In the wake of a tunnel collapse at the Hanford nuclear site in May, the U.S. Department of Energy plans to take public comments at a meeting in the Tri-Cities on July 20 on how it should proceed with the clean-up.

Smoke From Silver Dollar Fire Sends Hanford Workers Home

Jul 3, 2017

The estimated size of the Silver Dollar wildfire has grown in southeast Washington state Monday. More than 20,000 acres were burning near the Hanford nuclear site. The fire is 30 percent contained.

About 90 minutes north of Stockholm lies an ancient defensive hillfort called Broborg. Northwest scientists are digging up and studying pieces of the ancient Swedish fort and trying to figure out how the structure has lasted around 2,000 years.

Grouting up a tunnel that was found collapsed last month at Hanford is the best option according to Washington state’s top expert on Hanford. And it won’t preclude further cleanup of the radioactive waste inside.

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