RICHLAND, Wash. – U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) contractors have cleaned up the F Reactor Area, the first reactor area at the Hanford Site in southeastern Washington state to be fully remediated.
While six of Hanford's nine plutonium production reactors have been sealed up, or cocooned, the F Reactor Area is the first to have all of its associated buildings and waste sites cleaned up in addition to having its reactor sealed up.
F Area is home to F Reactor, the third of Hanford's nine plutonium production reactors built to produce plutonium for the nation's defense program during both World War II and the Cold War. The reactor operated from 1945 to 1965 and was placed in interim safe storage in 2003.
Cleanup contractors combined to demolish 112 facilities, clean up 88 waste sites and in so doing removed 1.5 million tons of contaminated material during cleanup operations on the two square mile F Area.
The majority of the waste was transported to the Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility in central Hanford for permanent disposal.