Bats Living on Hanford Site - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Bats Living on Hanford Site

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RICHLAND, Wash.--  The Department of Energy is going batty for bats.  A huge colony was found at the Hanford site and will be allowed to stay. 

These bats are tiny, only weighing as much as two nickels, but there are at least 2,000 of them living in a water storage tank at Hanford.  It's the largest known bat colony in Eastern Washington.

The Department of Energy first found them a few years ago when they were inspecting a clearwell near the F Reactor before it was scheduled to be demolished.  They then studied the bats and decided to keep the tank because it's a great habitat for the bats.

DOE spokesman Cameron Hardy says they aren't radioactive bats and won't glow in the dark.  He says the clearwell is "a very clean place and safe place for them to be, and it turned out to be a really excellent habitat for them.  We really try to keep the focus on what it's about, which is a great opportunity for us to do something good for the natural environment, and, in this case, the bats."

Many environmental groups were pushing to keep the clearwell open for the bats and are grateful the energy department did.  DOE will even fence off the area to further protect the bats.