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Obama's Budget Shifts Cleanup Focus At Hanford

A view inside the space between the two walls of Tank AY-102 at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
U.S. Department of Energy
A view inside the space between the two walls of Tank AY-102 at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

President Barack Obama’s budget would spend $2.3 billion on cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in 2016.

But it shifts the focus of cleanup. The proposed budget would spend more on cleanup of the tank waste and a massive plant meant to treat that sludge. But the president’s proposed budget would cut about $100 million from the Department of Energy’s Richland Operations office.

That’s the part of Hanford management that deals with treatment of contaminated groundwater and soil along the Columbia River and the highly radioactive sludge-filled K-West Basin.

Washington’s Department of Ecology said this budget is moving more money to fix the leaking tank of waste called AY-102 and finishing the low-level sludge pretreatment plant. Those are projects that have popped up with technical problems and delays in the past few years.

Copyright 2015 Northwest News Network

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.