May 3—RICHAND, Wa. — Tri-Cities area leaders are looking for a repeat of the federal economic stimulus infusion of 2009 that created or saved an estimated 2,500 full-time jobs at the Hanford nuclear reservation.
Twelve years later federal leaders are again looking to stimulate the economy, this time because of the impact of COVID-19.
Spending money on environmental cleanup of
They included leaders
At Hanford in
A year ago union and community leaders near
"We believe we have a rare opportunity to address the legacy of the past, implement
Environmental cleanup is the nation's third largest liability, behind only the federal debt and entitlement programs such as Medicare and
Spending economic stimulus on
Hanford site work
The Hanford site has important projects that could be started immediately or accelerated now with a one-time investment, according to the proposal.
Here are the projects that economic stimulus money could be used for at Hanford:
— Work could be accelerated to move 1,936 capsules of of highly radioactive cesium and strontium out of underwater storage in a concrete pool.
The concrete has deteriorated from radiation exposure over decades, and the pool is at risk in a severe earthquake. Loss of water and cooling could damage the capsules and release highly radioactive material into the environment, potentially putting workers and the public at risk.
— Work also could be sped up to remove a highly radioactive spill under the 324 Building just north of
The spill is so radioactive that it would be lethal within two minutes of contact, according to
— More work could be done on the Hanford vitrification plant's High Level Waste Facility.
But it also faces a 2033 deadline to also start treating high level waste at the plant. Much of the work on parts of the plant needed to treat high level waste was paused after technical issues were raised in 2012.
— Removing the water from the contaminated K West Reactor basin now that radioactive sludge has been removed from the water-filled basin not far from the
— Cleanup of soil and groundwater contaminated by radioactive and hazardous chemical waste, helping protect the
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