The area and amount of stuff contaminated by radioactive waste at the Hanford Site in southeast Washington state keeps getting bigger.
First it was two cars. Then it was eight. The count is now 14 vehicles that are contaminated with radioactive waste. Half of them are personal cars. One is even contaminated on the inside.
Now, houses around the Tri-Cities are being checked out—down to the heater filters. The tally so far is seven houses.
It all started at the Plutonium Finishing Plant demolition site at Hanford. The PFP is an old factory that used to make plutonium buttons for bombs during the Cold War.
When contamination was found out of bounds last Friday, workers didn’t notify upper managers for more than a day. Then there was a wind storm over the weekend, that might have spread the contamination further.
Managers say no airborne contamination has been found so far.
Now instead of working on tear down, 183 workers are working on shoring up any areas with contamination by spraying fixative on the ground, and painting.
The U.S. Department of Energy is already a year behind on its legally-binding cleanup deadline.