Test Reactor Removed

Washington Closure Hanford reaches a clean-up milestone today as the final test reactor is being removed from the 300 area.

The plutonium recycling test reactor was used in the 1960's to test alternative fuels for commercial nuclear reactors.
   
Demolition of the building's iconic dome was completed in 2011, and project leaders say it has been a unique challenge removing the one thousand ton reactor.
   
Workers endured extreme tempuratures and tight spaces to lift the equipment thirty feet out of the ground.
   
Director Gary Snow says this is a significant change to the face of the 300 area.

"It's been interesting for me here as we take down these buildings in the 300 area because there's a lot of people who spent much of their career in a lot of these buildings and it's almost emotional for some of them when they come out and we're tearing them down.  They'll say 'I had an office in there for 12 years'.  And so a lot of this means a lot to a lot of people."

The reactor will now be placed onto a trailer with 384 wheels to be transported at one mile per hour to the ERDF (Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility).