RICHLAND, Wash.- The Department of Energy is done removing the final nuclear fuel assemblies from the dormant Fast Flux Test Facility at the Hanford site.
It's a move that should save taxpayers about $25 million a year.
Workers just finished sending the eleventh and final shipment of reactor fuel to Idaho National Laboratory for disposal.
The work was done almost a year ahead of schedule and means workers can now start removing non-nuclear equipment like PCB ridden transformers.
Once those are out, the building can be downgraded, meaning security costs should plummet from $30 million to $5 million a year.
"At that point the facility will be ready for a surveillance and maintenance mode when there's a lower cost, a much lower cost and much less hazard in terms of the facility where we'll be able to look after that," said Geoff Tyree with Fluor Hanford, the contractor charged with managing the reactor.
Tyree says that should all happen in the next year or so.
The Department of Energy is still deciding what the permanent fate of the reactor will be.