Hanford crews get trained on new robotic arm - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Hanford crews get trained on new robotic arm

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RICHLAND, Wash. - In Hanford news, site workers are being trained on a new tool to transfer radioactive waste from an older single shell tank to a safer double-shell tank.

A robotic arm known as the mobile arm retrieval system or "MARS" will use high pressure liquids to break-up sludge and retrieve the waste. The arm is operated in a control room and engineers say it will make tank clean-up go faster.  "This is a big thing for the Department of Energy and its contracting teams and the community to finish its mission quicker," said Chris Kemp, from the Department of Energy.

The new arm will be transferred to the Hanford site in about a month and leaders hope to start the clean-up this summer.