Cleanup of the Hanford Site is overseen by two Department of Energy Offices, the Richland Operations Office (RL) and the Office of River Protection (ORP). The offices have a combined federal staff of about 400 employees. The work largely involves contract oversight and safety and compliance-related work.
The U.S. Department of Energy is responsible for one of the largest nuclear cleanup efforts in the world, managing the legacy of five decades of nuclear weapons production. At its peak, this national weapons complex consisted of 16 major facilities, including vast reservations of land in the States of Idaho, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington.
Nowhere in the DOE Complex is cleanup more challenging than at the Hanford Site in southeastern Washington. Hanford made more than 20 million pieces of uranium metal fuel for nine nuclear reactors along the Columbia River. Five huge plants in the center of the Hanford Site processed 110,000 tons of fuel from the reactors, discharging an estimated 450 billion gallons of liquids to soil disposal sites and 56 million gallons of radioactive waste to 177 large underground tanks. Plutonium production ended in the late 1980s.
Hanford cleanup began in 1989, when a landmark agreement was reached between DOE, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Washington State. Known as the Tri-Party Agreement, the accord established milestones for bringing the Hanford site into compliance with federal and state environmental regulations.
After more than two decades of cleanup, considerable progress has been made at Hanford, reducing the risk the site poses to the health and safety of workers, the public, and the environment.
Public information about Hanford programs, RL, and ORP is contained on the pages of www.hanford.gov and the latest happenings can be found on our social media channels or event calendars and notices. Thanks for visiting www.hanford.gov.
DOE Richland Operations Office Hanford @ Social Media
River Corridor and Central Plateau Cleanup
DOE Office of River Protection Hanford @ Social Media
Tank Waste and Construction of the Vitrification Plant