Aerial of the Waste Encapsulation and Storage Facility (top right) and the Canister Storage Area (bottom left) circa May 2021.
The U.S. Department of Energy is preparing to remove some of Hanford’s most hazardous legacy waste to reduce any potential effects on people and the environment.
The Waste Encapsulation and Storage Facility (WESF) provides safe and compliant underwater storage for 1,936 highly radioactive capsules containing cesium and strontium.
In the 1970s, cesium and strontium were removed from waste-storage tanks at Hanford to reduce the temperature of the waste inside the tanks. Both elements were ultimately placed in sturdy, stainless steel containers at WESF for safe storage and monitoring.