The U.S. Department of Energy’s Hanford Nuclear Reservation is one of the most contaminated sites in the United States. The reservation comprises 586 square miles in southeastern Washington bordering the Columbia River. The area is home to nine mothballed nuclear reactors and five former processing facilities that were built during World War II and the Cold War. Plutonium from Hanford was in the “Fat Man” bomb that was dropped over Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945. Hanford reactors produced plutonium from 1944 until 1987. Now, thousands of Hanford workers are trying to clean up some of the most hazardous waste— both chemical and radiological— known to man.
SOURCE: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
For more information about the Hanford
site, visit Hanford.gov.