Hanford Communities understands how crucial Hanford Site cleanup is to Tri-Citians and surrounding communities. This complicated and precarious task has been a topic of vast importance for decades, and the recent progress we have been seeing is the result of years of milestones and achievements.
To recap, the Hanford Site is home to dozens of cleanup projects as a result of more than forty years of nuclear weapons production during World War II and the Cold War. With plutonium production ending in the late 1980s, the focus turned towards cleanup of the Hanford Site. With approximately 56 million gallons of nuclear and chemical waste stored in 177 underground storage tanks, the cleanup effort has been no simple feat.
Over that time, Hanford leaders and experts determined that removing waste from the tanks, stabilizing and immobilizing the material, and putting it into safe storage is the best and safest path forward. This risk reduction approach to the cleanup effort is what led to the construction of the Waste Treatment Plant and Direct-Feed Low-Activity Waste facilities. In 2021, the underground waste tanks and the Waste Treatment Plant were officially connected by transfer lines, which was a massive step in the right direction to begin treating tank waste.
For the second video in this series, we feature Delmar Noyes from the U.S. Department of Energy and Jeff Lyons from the Washington State Department of Ecology to help the public better understand the Hanford Site’s tank waste storage and regulation alongside the solutions that we hope to see come to fruition in the near future. Please watch and share Tank Waste – An Overview.
Photo credit: Bechtel National, Inc