Radioactive Machinery Found At Pasco Shop

A piece of radioactive machinery from Hanford is accidentally sent to a maintenance shop in Pasco.

The excavator was sent to Powers Equipment Supply in Pasco on September 26th for maintenance.

When the machinery returned to Hanford yesterday it was resurveyed and technicians found low levels of radiation.

The Department of Energy says the contamination was only in the grease on the excavator and no where else.

One part of the machine was left behind in the shop and was still there today it did turn out to contain low levels of radiation. 

The Department of Health and Hanford say all the levels of radiation were low and no employees at the shop were at any risk.

The excavator had been used in the 300 area just north of Richland. Yesterday it was taken to the N Reactor site to dig up contaminated materials and waste.

The machinery was surveyed before it left Hanford, but the exact area on excavator where the radioactivity was found was not surveyed.

A spokesperson from Hanford says they are taking a look at protocol to make sure this doesn't happen again.