Trouble for radioactive cleanup near Columbia River

By on January 18, 2012

A federal cleanup of the radioactive leftovers from the U.S. effort to build the first atomic bomb near the Columbia River is “not going well,” according to an investigation by USA Today.

A hundred tanks of radioactive sludge remain on the 500-acre site in Washington and around 60 are thought to have leaked into soil and groundwater. The contamination hasn’t left the grounds, but government officials are concerned that further leaks could pollute the nearby Columbia River, a source of drinking water in Washington and Oregon.

Plans to build a treatment plant to neutralize the material, making it safe for transport and storage, have been hampered by delays and ballooning costs.


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