Radioactive contamination found on Hanford worker's clothes

Wash., Oregon govenrors seek more cleanup funds

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) - A worker at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation got radioactive contamination on his clothing during an incident at an underground waste storage tank.

Contractor Washington River Protection Solutions says the worker was pulling a robotic device out of the space between the double walls of Tank AZ-101 on Thursday evening.

Monitors detected radiation at three times the expected level and the workers left the area.

The contractor says contamination was found on one worker's protective clothing, which was removed. Monitors showed no further contamination on that worker, and all members of the crew were cleared for normal duty.

Hanford is located near Richland and for decades made plutonium for nuclear weapons. Many of the wastes produced by that work are stored in 177 underground tanks.

Meanwhile, the governors of Washington and Oregon are asking President Donald Trump to increase the funding for Hanford Nuclear Reservation cleanup efforts.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, both Democrats, made the request to the Republican president in a letter released on Friday.

The letter noted an incident earlier this month when the roof of a tunnel containing radioactive waste partially collapsed at Hanford.

The governors say the incident is a reminder of the challenges and urgency needed in cleaning up the Hanford site.

Cleaning up the former plutonium production site is expected to last until 2060 and cost more than $100 billion, above the $19 billion already spent. The president has proposed spending $2.3 billion on Hanford cleanup this year.

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