SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) – Workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation have started the first large-scale treatment of radioactive and chemical wastes from large underground storage tanks, a key milestone in cleaning up the site.
Hanford for decades made plutonium for the U.S. nuclear arsenal and is the most radioactively contaminated site in the nation’s nuclear weapons complex.
It was created by the Manhattan Project and made the plutonium for the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, at the end of the World War II.
Officials for the U.S. Department of Energy on Wednesday called the new $130 million cesium removal system a major milestone.
The newly operational system removes radioactive cesium and solids from waste stored in huge underground tanks at Hanford.