Massive Hanford Waste Dump Reaches 15 Million Ton Mark

By Anna King

At the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington, managers say crews have cleaned up 15 million tons of radioactive soil and debris from near the Columbia River. It’s gone to a massive dump at the center of the site.

The massive dump at Hanford marked disposal of 15 million tons of radioactive debris and soil Tuesday. Photo by Anna King.Here in central Hanford, a constant din of beeping trucks and machinery sings on the breeze. We’re at a scalding lookout high above the 52-football-field-sized dump called ERDF. A ceremonial load of soil marks 15 million tons of waste disposed of and dozens of truck horns blare in response. Matt McCormick is a top Department of Energy Hanford manager.

Matt McCormick: “It prevents the contamination from reaching the environment in the future, we eventually will put a barrier on top of EARF to further isolate the waste.”

Meanwhile, there’s a delay in efforts to ship some radioactive tank waste from Hanford to a federal site in New Mexico. State officials there want more hearings.


Watch an audio slideshow of the Hanford waste dump here:

http://video.videolicious.com/1adf5518-0c0c-4742-af5b-c6d5415c59f7

Photo: The massive dump at Hanford marked disposal of 15 million tons of radioactive debris and soil Tuesday. Photo by Anna King.

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