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Demolition of former Hanford plutonium plant could resume next week

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) - Demolition of a former nuclear weapons production plant could resume next week, nearly two years after the dangerous work was halted because of safety concerns.

Work to demolish the Plutonium Finishing Plant on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation was halted in December 2017 after particles of the radioactive substance contaminated workers and the environment.

The Tri-City Herald reports that demolition work on the 1940s-era plant could resume as early as next week.

The plant was part of the plutonium production process at Hanford, which is located near the Tri-Cities. Plutonium is a key ingredient in nuclear weapons and this factory produced about two-thirds of the nation's supply during the Cold War.

The state Department of Ecology and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have lifted the stop-work order they issued in 2017.



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