Stop Work order called Dec. 13, contamination source being inves - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Stop Work order called Dec. 13, contamination source being investigated

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HANFORD, WA - A Stop Work was called yesterday (December 13) at the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) demolition project at Hanford as a result of elevated radiation levels detected by air samplers worn by six workers conducting the demolition activities.

The Department of Energy strongly believes in a workplace where hazards are identified and controlled to ensure the protection of workers, the public, and the environment. The Department supports the right of any Hanford Site worker to issue a Stop Work and appreciates the efforts by contractor CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company and the Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council to ensure the safety of workers at the Site. Their expectation is Hanford Site employees will have a safe work environment.

To ensure safety during demolition at the plant, DOE and CH2M have a robust monitoring system, including air samplers worn on workers’ clothing during demolition.

After six employees’ personal air samplers showed low levels of contamination between Dec. 8 and 12, additional testing was recommended for those employees. Testing is underway with the results anticipated in January, and an investigation into the source of the contamination is underway.

DOE, the contractor and the workforce are working closely to understand the source of these elevated readings and keep it from happening again.