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    :: Wednesday, October 12, 2005 ::

    Feds push back Hanford deadline - By Shannon Dininny, The Olympian, WA
    The waste treatment plant has long been considered the cornerstone of cleanup at Hanford, which was created in the 1940s as part of the top-secret Manhattan Project. Today, it is the nation's most contaminated nuclear site.

    The greatest risk is posed by 53 million gallons of decades-old radioactive waste brewing in 177 underground tanks. Retrieval of the waste is a priority because some of the tanks are known to have leaked, threatening the aquifer and the Columbia River less than 10 miles away.

    The plant will use a process called vitrification to turn the waste into glasslike logs for permanent disposal in a nuclear waste repository. Once completed, it will stand 12 stories tall and be the size of four football fields.
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