Hanford nuclear waste retrieval resumes with better technology (GPR)

Loading contaminated soil into a truck near the Hanford Nuclear site. A former plutonium production reactor is in the background.

Ground penetrating radar (GPR) imaging of the subsurface tied to GPS mapping will allow the CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Company to have a better idea of what is buried at the site before excavating for it’s eventual disposal. Apparently without a permanent disposal facility, some of the hazardous and nuclear waste was temporarily buried on-site. Much of it was in well-organized pits, but some trenches have more issues. After some incidents over the past few months with the encountering of containers while excavating, the DOE, CH2M Hill and the Washington State Department of Ecology took a step back to evaluate their processes, and the GPR tied to GPS is apparently a good solution. [Source: The News Tribune. Image: EPA]