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Cleanup Revives Cold War Crane

Publication Date: 3/2/2011
Author: Tim Newcomb
Format: HTML

Crews at the U.S. Energy Dept.’s Hanford nuclear-waste cleanup complex in eastern Washington are reactivating a 45-year-old site crane to remove close to 200 waste tanks, each three to 22 ft long, that are contaminated with plutonium. DOE contractor CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co. opted to restore the crane as the safest approach to extract the so-called “pencil tanks,” thinly shaped to prevent uncontrolled plutonium releases during the site’s Cold War-era atomic weapons production.

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