Health agency concerned about Hanford contamination spread

Hanford contractor completes 1st building at vit plant

The Washington state Department of Health says there is a possible risk to the public if demolition of the Hanford Plutonium Finishing Plant continues without better controls to prevent the spread of radioactive contamination.

The Tri-City Herald reported Wednesday that over the last year the Department of Health has requested information and made recommendations.

This week agency assistant secretary Clark Halvorson escalated the department’s actions, sending a letter to the Department of Energy formally listing concerns and asking for more information.

The Department of Health doesn’t directly regulate the Hanford nuclear reservation, but is responsible for protection of public health and provides information to a Hanford regulator, the Washington State Department of Ecology.

Halvorson says there have been no levels of radioactive contamination detected off Hanford that indicate a risk to public health, so far.