A river reborn

a big chunk of the most contaminated nuclear site in the U. S. got a major cleanup -- two years ahead of schedule and US\$227 million under budget

The Columbia River's waters were put to use in the 1940s for cooling nuclear reactors. The vast site (50-miles/80-kilometers) would be ground zero for nuclear weapons development, producing plutonium as part of the Manhattan Project. By the time the U.S. Department of Energy closed Hanford in 1987, it had the dubious distinction of being the country's most contaminated nuclear site. Remediation on the Hanford site will continue for years to come, but the River Corridor Base Scope project was completed in January 2014.The project finished US$227 million under budget and two years ahead of schedule, earning the remediation partners a bonus of US$30.2 million.
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