"Workers Excavate Hanford Pool That Held Spent Fuel"

"YAKIMA, Wash. -- Workers at the nation's most contaminated nuclear site have finished excavating a leaky pool built in the 1950s to hold spent fuel from nuclear reactors.

Successful demolition of the K East Basin at south-central Washington's Hanford nuclear reservation allows workers to begin digging up soil laced with some half-dozen contaminants, some of them radioactive, just 400 yards from the Columbia River.

The basin was one of the biggest environmental risks at Hanford, and it's almost historic that it's gone, said Dave Brockman, manager of the U.S. Department of Energy's Richland Operations Office, which oversees Hanford cleanup."

Shannon Dininny reports for the Associated Press September 10, 2009.

Source: AP, 09/11/2009