"Problems Plague Cleanup at Hanford Nuclear Waste Site"

"HANFORD SITE, Wash. – Seven decades after scientists came here during World War II to create plutonium for the first atomic bomb, a new generation is struggling with an even more daunting task: cleaning up the radioactive mess."

"The U.S. government is building a treatment plant to stabilize and contain 56 million gallons of waste left from a half-century of nuclear weapons production. The radioactive sludge is so dangerous that a few hours of exposure could be fatal. A major leak could contaminate water supplies serving millions across the Northwest. The cleanup is the most complex and costly environmental restoration ever attempted.

And the project is not going well.

A USA TODAY investigation has found that the troubled, 10-year effort to build the treatment plant faces enormous problems just as it reaches what was supposed to be its final stage."

Peter Eisler reports for USA TODAY January 18, 2012.

 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012