Hanford radioactive contamination raised concerns. How a piece of tape fixed the problem

Taking a look at the 324 Building Disposition Project

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Hanford workers were reassured at the close of business Thursday that no radioactive contamination had spread outside an area where precautions were being taken nor had any workers been contaminated at the nuclear reservation’s 324 Building.

Workers are making preparations to clean up a highly radioactive spill beneath the building, which is a mile north of Richland and near the Columbia River.

A report that work had been stopped at the building in April sparked broadcast news media inquiries and reports.

A worker assigned to survey workers for contamination when they left a radiologically controlled area inside the building discovered a spot of contamination on his own pant leg, workers were told in a message from Hanford Department of Energy manager Brian Vance.

The contamination was removed with a piece of tape.

The surveys are done to prevent the spread of radioactive contamination outside areas where precautions are being taken because contamination may be present.

Facility surveys found no other contamination outside controlled areas.

Management stopped work at the building the next work day, April 1, to revise procedures for contamination surveys, and work was allowed to resume April 4.

The Hanford nuclear reservation is contaminated from the past production of plutonium for the nation’s nuclear weapons program.