Enormous piece of contaminated equipment removed from Hanford site

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) contractor CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company (CH2M HILL) announced today the successful removal of one of the largest, most complex pieces of equipment from the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) at the Hanford Site.

This week, CH2M HILL removed a 10-ton, two-story piece of contaminated equipment from the facility. The equipment, called a glovebox, was used in the 1960s to store plutonium.

As a contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), CH2M HILL is preparing the PFP, the most complex and hazardous facility at Hanford, for eventual demolition.  From 1949-1989, the PFP produced plutonium oxides and metals. Hanford produced nearly two-thirds of the plutonium used in the country’s nuclear weapons program. With the last of that material removed in November 2009, work is focused on decontaminating and decommissioning hundreds of pieces of equipment and preparing the PFP complex for demolition.