Hanford alert traced to old contamination

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Hanford officials say unusual radiation readings that led them to declare an emergency operations alert last month came from old contaminaton.

Officials at Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) say they found no evidence of a new leak from a waste removal system.

WRPS told employees yesterday that an investigation found insulating blankets that had been used to shield radiation on a small area had shifted.  That caused radiation readings to go up during routine monitoring.

Because of the higher-than-expected radiation readings on August 21, workers at the C Tank Farm were evacuated overnight and workers in central Hanford and near the K Reactors were ordered to take cover indoors.

The process of preparing for the restart of tank waste retrieval operations in C Farm is underway and a number of prestart actions will be completed early this week.