Railroad cleanup at Hanford site - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Railroad cleanup at Hanford site

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NEAR RICHLAND, Wash.—The cleanup of the Hanford site continues and now workers are removing the railroad tracks from the River Corridor.

30 of the 110 miles of the railroad track are being removed.  That's 5,000 tons of railroad track and 82-thousand ties.  However, they aren't going to the landfill, the material will be shipped offsite for reuse, which will save about $2-million.

"Normally you'd have to pay to remove it and pay to dispose of it but in this case it's a material for services contract," says Brian Stubbs, Project Manager.

Washington Closure Hanford's subcontract with Trinity Environmental and Deconstruction of Tacoma, Washington, allows the company to have the rail in exchange for removing it.  What will be done with the track has yet to be determined.

Before the rail is reused, it is surveyed for contamination.  It's done by an innovative radiation survey cart that has a GPS and monitoring equipment.  After the cart has been looked over, 10% is double-checked by hand.  If contamination is found, it is disposed of.

The entire process is expected to be complete by February 2011.