New estimate of Hanford cleanup is $112 billion

Tri-City HeraldFebruary 9, 2012 

The new price tag for completing the remainder of Hanford nuclear reservation cleanup, plus some post-cleanup oversight, is $112 billion.

That is down $3 billion from last year, according to projections in the annual Hanford Lifecycle Scope, Schedule and Cost Report. The drop primarily is because of work accomplished last year using Department of Energy annual budget money and the final year's spending of Hanford's federal economic stimulus money. However, last year's estimate of $115 billion was criticized by some as unrealistically low.

The report estimating the cost of the remaining Hanford cleanup through 2065, plus 25 years of post-cleanup management, is required by October 2010 changes to the legally binding Tri-Party Agreement, which also extended some environmental cleanup deadlines.

The 2012 report is the second to be compiled for Hanford, which is contaminated with radioactive and chemical waste from the World War II and Cold War production of plutonium for the nation's nuclear weapons program.

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