Department of Energy Achieves Waste Treatment Milestone - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Department of Energy Achieves Waste Treatment Milestone

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RICHLAND, Wash.- The U.S. Department of Energy reports a milestone for cleanup of mixed low-level waste at Hanford.

The Department of Energy said they've completed cleanup four months ahead of schedule.

Workers have finished treating about 24,000 drums of mixed low-level waste.

They compacted and repacked much of it to get it into a stable form.

Up until now it was stored in warehouses and trenches, and now that it's treated, the site is one step safer.

"The important thing here is that the waste is out of warehouses, it's out of burial trenches.  It has been treated and processed and placed in disposal facilities so that the environment is protected in the long term," said Geoff Tyree, a Fluor Hanford spokesman. 

Fluor Hanford said innovative technologies allowed them to finish ahead of schedule.

The waste should be stable enough that it doesn't have to be treated or moved again.