Government May Push Cleanup Deadlines On Hanford's Central Plateau

Nov 4, 2015

Cleaning up the central part of the Hanford nuclear reservation will take even longer. That’s the bottom line of a series of regional public comment meetings kicking off Wednesday in Richland, Washington.

The Central Plateau is where Hanford extracted plutonium from uranium fuel rods with lots of chemicals during World War II and the Cold War.

This new state and federal government schedule tackles complex problems like soil contamination that stretches hundreds of feet down to groundwater, 43-miles of waste-filled trenches, and a contaminated waste dump.

John Price, Washington’s top negotiator on these new deadlines, said federal budgets haven’t kept up with agreed-on deadlines.

“So every year when the funding is less than is needed to do in any one year, than that creates a bow wave of work that gets pushed out into the future,” Price said.

Under the new plan deadlines would be pushed out by up to 10 years.

Public meetings on this cleanup agreement will take place in Seattle, Hood River and Portland later this month.

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