Reducing the Risks of High-Level Radioactive Wastes at Hanford

Robert Alvarez, "Reducing the Risks of High-Level Radioactive Wastes at Hanford," Science & Global Security, 13, no. 1-2, (2005): 43-86.
High-level radioactive wastes resulting from plutonium production at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Hanford site in Washington State are among the largest and most dangerous byproducts of the nuclear arms race. The Energy department announced plans in 2002 to terminate its environmental mission at Hanford and all other DOE sites over the next 30 years. During this time, DOE intends to dispose of approximately 90 percent of Hanford's high-level wastes onsite, process the remainder into glass for geological disposal, and permanently close 177 large tanks, and related infrastructure. Central to the department's goal at Hanford is to speed up, perhaps, the most expensive, complex, and risky environmental project in the United States. Estimated life-cycle costs for processing Hanford's wastes are between $41.6 and $56.9 billion. No country has processed anything quite like Hanford's large and complex brew of wastes.

Article access: Taylor & Francis Online | Free PDF