The first shipment of highly radioactive sludge left an annex at the Hanford nuclear reservation’s K West Reactor Basin, which is near the Columbia River, at about 10:30 a.m. Monday. It was taken to central Hanford for storage away from the river.
“What is usually referred to as nuclear waste is used nuclear fuel in the shape of rods about 12 feet long. For four and a half years, the uranium atoms that comprise the fuel rods are split apart to give off the heat that turns water into steam to spin turbines to make electricity. After that, nuclear plant workers move the used fuel rods into pools of water to cool.”