Sealed ‘black cells’ stall radioactive waste cleanup at Hanford nuclear reservation
on March 16, 2013 at 9:00 AM, updated March 17, 2013 at 5:19 PM
RICHLAND, Wash. — In the late-1990s, the Hanford nuclear reservation‘s British contractor designed the world’s largest nuclear waste treatment plant around a fateful feature: “black cells.”
Fifteen years, a new set of contractors and $8 billion of construction later, the U.S. Department of Energy is still trying to figure out whether they’ll work.
The cells, enormous concrete boxes lined with stainless steel, will hold mixing silos to process waste from 44 years of making plutonium for nuclear bombs.
They’ll be highly radioactive and inaccessible to humans for the treatment plant’s life…
View original post 1,096 more words