RICHLAND, Wash. – It’s weigh-in time for engineered containers of radioactive sludge from the Hanford Site’s K West Reactor. The containers are in safe interim storage at the site’s T Plant, a former chemical reprocessing facility. Workers with Hanford contractor CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company check the 20 containers each year to ensure protective water layers for the sludge are safety maintained at appropriate levels. Workers have checked 14 containers so far in this first annual weigh-in and will finish the other six by the end of the year. The transfer of 35 cubic yards of highly radioactive sludge from the reactor’s fuel storage basin next to the Columbia River to T Plant on the site’s Central Plateau was finished in September 2019. That work reduced a critical risk to the Columbia, the largest North American river flowing into the Pacific Ocean. At top, T Plant Operations Manager Francis Buck performs weigh-ins via a video monitor and remote crane. Pictured immediately above are the containers of sludge at T Plant.
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