Fluor Hanford Working on Additions to Apatite Barrier - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Fluor Hanford Working on Additions to Apatite Barrier

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RICHLAND, Wash.- Fluor Hanford is once again working on a chemical barrier that protects the Columbia River from radioactive contamination.

In the next month or so, Fluor will inject what they call an apatite barrier into the shoreline near the 100-N area.

The barrier is designed to stop strontium from reaching the river.

The injections are supposed to bond to strontium molecules, making them immobile until they decompose.

Keeping it in place should help keep the radioactive strontium out of the river.

"We are setting up a 300 foot barrier, and we've injected chemicals at each end of that barrier in two test wells, and so in late February, early march, we'll go back and do the next series of injections, filling in the dots if you will," said Fluor Hanford Spokesperson Geoff Tyree.

Fluor started the injections last May and did a second set in September. 

They are still waiting on test results for those injections and hope they'll show that the barrier is working.