Hanford's N Reactor cocooned, no butterfly here though - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Hanford's N Reactor cocooned, no butterfly here though

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RICHLAND, Wash. - After a three year process, Washington Closure Hanford has finished cocooning the 6th of its 9 reactors. 

Past and current workers, project managers and directors, and company officials came together today for a ceremony honoring the completion of the work.

The N Reactor will now stay in safe, sealed off storage for the next 75 years. Only then will the plutonium it once produced have decayed enough to allow workers to go back in and to fully clean up and clear out the reactor.

Matt Mccormick, the Manager of the Richland Operations Office, said "All the hazardous material has been removed from the internals of the reactor, the shield walls that you see behind me have been sealed so that it is safe for up to 75 years."

The N Reactor was the longest running reactor at Hanford, and the only one to produce electricity as well as plutonium.