RICHLAND, Wash. - The Obama Administration says it plans to appoint a blue ribbon panel soon to determine the fate of the nation's radioactive waste. For years now the waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation has been destined for a deep hole in Nevada's Yucca Mountain. But as he promised in his campaign, President Obama stripped funding for Yucca. Now, Hanford officials are wondering where all the high-level waste in Washington State will go. Richland Correspondent Anna King reports.
(Photo: Hanford officials are testing a new robotic arm to clean up radioactive sludge stored at Hanford near the Columbia River in southcentral Washington.)
The Hanford Nuclear Reservation still has 53 million gallons of radioactive sludge sitting in leak-prone underground tanks. Now, the federal government is testing a new robotic arm that officials say will clean out those tanks more quickly.
A power outage has kept 1,400 workers off the job for two days at Hanford’s massive vitrification plant in southeastern Washington. The factory, called the “Vit Plant” by locals, is currently the federal government’s largest construction project in the nation.
Hanford Nuclear Reservation officials are showing off the new projects that are on the fast track because of federal stimulus dollars. These demolition jobs have long been on the cleanup wish list, but were pushed off in favor of other, more pressing radioactive waste cleanup.
RICHLAND, WA - At the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington you just never know what you could dig up. Two dumps there are being considered for the National Register of Historic Places, so cleaning them up requires extra care. Contractors expect to find just household items, but as Correspondent Anna King reports there could be some surprises.
(Hanford workers struggle to empty waste from tank C-110. There are 177 tanks full of radioactive sludge at the nuclear site in southcentral Washington. Photo courtesy of Washington River Protection Solutions.)
RICHLAND, WA - At the Hanford Reservation in southcentral Washington, 53-million-gallons of radioactive waste sits in underground tanks. That’s enough to fill 80 Olympic-sized swimming pools. The government’s been trying to clean up that mess, but it’s slow going. This year, President Obama’s federal stimulus package includes $2 billion to speed up the pace of cleanup at Hanford. But getting rid of nuclear waste is incredibly complicated. Correspondent Anna King uses a series of food analogies to examine the complexities of just one of those tanks of waste: It’s called C-110. (Full Story)
RICHLAND, WA - The Federal Ninth District Court of Appeals ruled that Washington State doesn’t have to store other states’ dangerous radioactive waste forever. It also ruled that the state has the right to enforce cleanup deadlines for certain kinds of waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near the Tri-Cities.
RICHLAND, WA - For two decades the plan at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation was to send the worst radioactive waste to a storage facility deep inside Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Now the Obama administration appears to be changing that plan. The president’s recently released budget would cut money for most everything at Yucca. That news has Hanford officials scrambling to come up with a plan B.