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Title: A Short History of Waste Management at the Hanford Site

"The world’s first full-scale nuclear reactors and chemical reprocessing plants built at the Hanford Site in the desert of eastern Washington State produced two-thirds of the plutonium generated in the United States for nuclear weapons. Operating these facilities also created large volumes of radioactive and chemical waste, some of which was released into the environment exposing people who lived downwind and downstream. Hanford now contains the largest accumulation of nuclear waste in the Western Hemisphere. Hanford’s last reactor shut down in 1987 followed by closure of the last reprocessing plant in 1990. Today, Hanford’s only mission is cleanup. Most onsite radioactive waste and nuclear material lingers inside underground tanks or storage facilities. About half of the chemical waste remains in tanks while the rest persists in the soil, groundwater, and burial grounds. Six million dollars each day, or nearly two billion dollars each year, are spent on waste management and cleanup activities. There is significant uncertainty in how long cleanup will take, how much it will cost, and what risks will remain for future generations. This paper summarizes portions of the waste management history of the Hanford Site published in the book “Hanford: A Conversation about Nuclear Waste and Cleanup.”(1)more » "« less
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1025688
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-74692
KP1704020; TRN: US1104949
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, 35(6-8):298-306; Journal Volume: 35; Journal Issue: 6-8
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; CHEMICAL WASTES; HANFORD RESERVATION; NUCLEAR WEAPONS; PLUTONIUM; RADIOACTIVE WASTE STORAGE; RADIOACTIVE WASTES; REMEDIAL ACTION; STORAGE FACILITIES; TANKS; WASTE MANAGEMENT radioactive waste; Hanford Site; Manhattan Project; cleanup