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Demolition of McCluskey Room at Hanford’s Plutonium Finishing Plant

Workers demolish site of nuclear mishap in Washington state , San Franciso Chronicle, NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS, ASSOCIATED PRESS, March 30, 2017,  SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state have finished demolishing the site of a famous nuclear accident during the Cold War that exposed a man to the highest dose of radiation from the plutonium byproduct americium ever recorded, the U.S. Department of Energy announced Thursday.

The McCluskey Room was named for Harold McCluskey, who in 1976 survived the horrifying accident and died 11 years later of unrelated causes after becoming known as the Atomic Man.

 A contractor recently demolished the room — the first of four main buildings that made up the Plutonium Finishing Plant complex that will be torn down.

“Completing demolition on this building was years in the making and is both historic and a significant risk reduction,” said Tom Teynor, project director for the Department of Energy.

Hanford, located in southeastern Washington, began making most of the plutonium for the nation’s nuclear arsenal during World War II.

Plutonium production has ended and the site is now engaged in a massive cleanup of nuclear waste. That work is expected to take decades and cost tens of billions of dollars.

One of the most heavily contaminated portions of the site — half the size of Rhode Island — is the Plutonium Finishing Plant, where plutonium was converted into hockey puck-shaped disks and shipped to factories where nuclear weapons were assembled…….


March 31, 2017 - Posted by | decommission reactor, USA

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