Hanford

Number of radioactively contaminated cars, trucks at Hanford keeps rising

The Plutonium Reclamation Facility at Hanford’s Plutonium Finishing Plant is shown before the last of the highly contaminated facility came down Dec. 15. The final day of demolition likely was responsible for a spread of radioactive contamination
The Plutonium Reclamation Facility at Hanford’s Plutonium Finishing Plant is shown before the last of the highly contaminated facility came down Dec. 15. The final day of demolition likely was responsible for a spread of radioactive contamination Courtesy Department of Energy

The count of vehicles with specks of radioactive contamination at the Hanford nuclear reservation increased to 21, the Department of Energy said Thursday.

It was up from the 19 reported by mid-afternoon Wednesday.

Vehicles are being checked for specks of contaminated material after contamination was found outside the demolition zone of the site’s Plutonium Finishing Plant on Dec. 15.

Open-air demolition with heavy equipment had just been completed on the most contaminated portion of the plant, the Plutonium Reclamation Facility.

Two-thirds of the contaminated vehicles were used by DOE and contractors, and seven were workers’ cars or pickups that had been parked at the plant.

Radiological surveys have been done of 46 government and contractor vehicles, with 45 still to be surveyed, according to updated information from DOE.

No radiological surveys of vehicles are planned Friday because of the forecast for freezing rain in central Hanford. Work is expected to resume Saturday.

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