Demolition of the Plutonium Finishing Plant at Hanford has begun - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Demolition of the Plutonium Finishing Plant at Hanford has begun

Posted: Updated:

RICHLAND, WA - The Plutonium Finishing Plant at Hanford is being demolished after 25 years, stating with the Plutonium Reclamation Facility.

For those wondering why they waited 25 years to tear it down, Deputy Project Director Kelly Wooley says they've been working on it for years just to get to this point.

"The process for doing the Plutonium Finishing Plant demolition started several decades ago as far as starting to remove the material and ship it off site," Wooley told reporter Rex Carlin. "That was a good portion of the first decade or a little bit more."

And that part is complicated in itself, since everything used back in the plutonium production days was still inside the buildings.

"Go inside, do the decontamination inside, remove the highly contaminated systems, glove boxes and articles so that we can then get to the demolition phase and do it in a safe manner," Wooley said.

But just because the glove boxes are gone doesn't mean the danger is gone. Radiological material - asbestos and chemicals - are still potential dangers for the people working on the project.

And another major challenge this group faces will never go away: the wind.

"One of the criteria is to keep it at less than fifteen miles per hour, that's one of the restrictions we put into the work plan," said Wooley. "We monitor that very closely, and that does affect the ability to get the water where we want it."

He's referring to the water continuously being sprayed onto the building to keep the materials wet. By putting water on the areas getting torn down, potentially dangerous dust particles can't circulate in the air.

If all goes as planned, Wooley says they expect to be finished by next June, but he says in a project like this one, you always have to expect the unexpected.

HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Tri-CitiesTri-Cities NewsMore>>

  • Dogs can catch the human flu

    Dogs can catch the human flu

    Saturday, January 20 2018 10:10 PM EST2018-01-21 03:10:54 GMT
    HEALTH ALERT-   Flu season is upon us and even when you're careful there's one thing you may not have thought carried the flu virus According to Veterinarians dogs can catch the human flu. They may not experience symptoms but they can spread it to other dogs and humans.  Unfortunately, there is currently no way to test if your dog is contagious.  But if someone has the flu they says its important that they be mindful of taking their dogs out and about such as to...More >>
    HEALTH ALERT-   Flu season is upon us and even when you're careful there's one thing you may not have thought carried the flu virus According to Veterinarians dogs can catch the human flu. They may not experience symptoms but they can spread it to other dogs and humans.  Unfortunately, there is currently no way to test if your dog is contagious.  But if someone has the flu they says its important that they be mindful of taking their dogs out and about such as to...More >>
  • Inmate found dead in cell at Benton County Jail

    Inmate found dead in cell at Benton County Jail

    Saturday, January 20 2018 10:06 PM EST2018-01-21 03:06:15 GMT
    Kennewick Man Sentenced to Thirty Years Imprisonment for Production of Child PornographyKennewick Man Sentenced to Thirty Years Imprisonment for Production of Child Pornography
    KENNEWICK- The Benton County Sheriff's Office and the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) are currently investigating the death of an inmate on Saturday morning.  On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. the Richland Police Department arrived at the jail following the arrest of a 28-year-old male for Possession of Methamphetamine and an outstanding Kennewick warrant for theft. Upon completing the booking process, which includes a medical, mental health, and suicidal screening, no indications ...More >>
    KENNEWICK- The Benton County Sheriff's Office and the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) are currently investigating the death of an inmate on Saturday morning.  On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. the Richland Police Department arrived at the jail following the arrest of a 28-year-old male for Possession of Methamphetamine and an outstanding Kennewick warrant for theft. Upon completing the booking process, which includes a medical, mental health, and suicidal screening, no indications ...More >>
  • Polar Plunge raises thousands of dollars for Special Olympics

    Polar Plunge raises thousands of dollars for Special Olympics

    Saturday, January 20 2018 8:04 PM EST2018-01-21 01:04:52 GMT
    RICHLAND, WA.-- On Saturday, dozens of people braved the icy Columbia for 12th Annual Polar Plunge, which raises money for the Special Olympics. This year, the event was held at the Columbia Park Marina, and 292 people decided to make a splash! If you thought that number was big, how about this: as of this morning, the event raised over $55,000, which will help the 17,500 Special Olympics athletes across the state of Washington.  If you didn't get a chance to head out to t...More >>
    RICHLAND, WA.-- On Saturday, dozens of people braved the icy Columbia for 12th Annual Polar Plunge, which raises money for the Special Olympics. This year, the event was held at the Columbia Park Marina, and 292 people decided to make a splash! If you thought that number was big, how about this: as of this morning, the event raised over $55,000, which will help the 17,500 Special Olympics athletes across the state of Washington.  If you didn't get a chance to head out to t...More >>