Homes of 7 Hanford workers being inspected for radiation

Health agency concerned about Hanford contamination spread

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) – The homes of seven Hanford Nuclear Reservation workers in Washington state are being inspected after a spread of radioactive contamination in recent days.

The total number of vehicles reported to be contaminated with apparent specks of radioactive material increased to 14 from the eight reported Tuesday.

At least two of those vehicles may have been driven home by workers demolishing the Plutonium Finishing Plant. Demolition efforts have been halted until further notice.

“No spread of contamination onsite — outside of posted radiation areas — or offsite is acceptable,” said Doug Shoop, manager of the Department of Energy’s Richland office.

Hanford workers with contaminated vehicles requested surveys of their homes to make sure they had not tracked contamination home. No contamination was found inside worker vehicles.

Employees of the Washington state Department of Health are accompanying Hanford officials on the home checks to observe and verify results.

Hanford is located near Richland and for decades made plutonium for nuclear weapons.

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Information from: Tri-City Herald,