Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor


Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor


Article excerpt

Fire at nuclear reservation sparks questions of safety

Richard Hughes, a lecturer and consultant on radiation safety with High-Rez Diagnostics, in Placerville, Calif., talked to the Monitor about safety precautions in light of the recent wildfire that swept Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Richland, Wash.

Did reports that the wildfire might lead to radiation release exaggerate the danger?

You can have fires so severe, so hot, affecting in some way metal and concrete structures, perhaps, but this is really far out. These materials - whatever building they're stored in - are stored in containers that are not flammable..., or [the] materials [are] buried underground where the fire cannot affect it.

How does Hanford rate in other safety areas?

The cleanup in Hanford is the worst [most challenging] in the nation, to the best of my knowledge. There are structures that have objects in them that can only be dismantled via robots because the radiation levels are too high for any human to enter. …

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