Contamination stops work at Hanford project

RICHLAND, Wash. — Work at Hanford to remove a highly radioactive spill has stopped after an eighth incident this year in which a worker’s clothing or skin was contaminated with radioactive waste.

The Tri-City Herald reports the 324 Building sits over a leak of radioactive cesium and strontium into the soil beneath it at the site just north of Richland and west of the Columbia River.

The Department of Energy wrote in a Nov. 14 letter to its contractor on the project, CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co., that although individually the contamination levels on workers have been low, collectively the number of personnel contamination events indicate a negative trend in contamination control that corrective actions taken to date have been inadequate to address.

Earlier on Nov. 14, CH2M had stopped work at the Hanford nuclear reservation’s 324 Building — one of several temporary halts to at least some of the work there this year.