A small Pasco company has been given a $3.9 million contract to stabilize three underground structures at Hanford that are at risk of collapsing and spreading plutonium. White Shield will do the engineering work and then fill two underground trenches — called cribs — and a settling tank in the center of the nuclear reservation with concrete-like grout. The structures were all used at the site’s Plutonium Finishing Plant, where plutonium from fuel irradiated in Hanford reactors arrived in a liquid solution to be made into buttons the size of hockey pucks for shipment to nuclear weapons plants. Liquid waste with radioactive and other chemical contaminants from the plant was poured into the cribs, with the liquids entering the soil beneath. Contaminated liquids also were sent to the settling tank to allow solid waste to settled out.
Tri City Herald 14th April 2020 read more »