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Office of River Protection completes waste retrieval

The Office of River Protection (ORP) recently announced it had finished the retrieval of radioactive and chemical waste from  the tenth Hanford underground storage tank in Washington.

The 530,000-gallon C-109 is the third single-shell tank retrieval project completed in 2012, which puts the ORP on course to extract hazardous waste from all 16 tanks at the Hanford C Farm site by 2014. After completion, an analysis showed the waste volume in the C-109 storage tank was lower than the regulatory requirement of 360 cubic feet.

"The completion of retrieval activities in the second tank within a month and the third tank this year marks a historic achievement at Hanford tank farms," said Tom Fletcher, Office of Environmental Management assistant manager for the Tank Farms Project.

The work on C-109 started in 2007, with modified sluicing that took about one year to complete. This involved using recycled liquid waste from another nearby tank to get waste to the middle of the C-109 storage tank for pumping. This process left about 8,600 gallons of hardened waste that has now been retrieved.

Exposure to hazardous chemicals and radioactive waste can lead to serious health problems. Equip workers with safety products required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), such as protective suits and respiratory protection