Hanford Site 200-SW-2 Operable Unit

Hanford Site 200-SW-2 Operable Unit

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The 200-SW-2 Operable Unit also known as the Hanford Site’s radioactive solid waste burial grounds is one of the most visible waste site cleanups on Hanford’s Central Plateau.  Since the start of operations, radioactive solid wastes have been disposed or stored in various burial ground facilities located throughout the Hanford Site. Burial and storage operations’ primary emphasis is on the confinement of contamination during the transport from the waste generator and during the disposal operations. The disposal practices used in all of the burial grounds use the principles of “as low as reasonably achievable” (ALARA). Specialists package the waste so the burial ground personnel handling it received minimal exposure.

During the first several decades of Hanford operations, each of the major operational areas – the 100 Areas (reactor operations), 200 East/200 West Areas (fuel reprocessing operations), and 300 Areas (fuel fabrication and research and development) had their own solid waste disposal facilities. Most were located within or near the Area perimeter fences, although some were located farther away.

TerraGraphics’ contract includes reviewing the large compilation of information collected to date and revise the existing Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study work plan to identify additional data needed to complete the remedial alternative evaluations. Because landfills are disposal sites, CHPRC assesses the landfills to determine if there has been or are potential for a release that will pose an unacceptable risk to human health and the environment. These landfills contain radioactively contaminated materials. A secondary interest is whether these radioactively and chemical contaminates pose a risk significant to consider whether they should be exhumed and relocated to another landfill.