Sting planned on radioactive wasp nests at Hanford nuclear reactor

In Washington, Hanford workers are going after some of the nuclear reservation's most bizarre waste this month -- radioactive wasp nests.

There are so many radioactive nests spread over six acres by H Reactor in northern Hanford that six to 12 inches of top soil are being dug up to remove the nests.

And another 50 to 60 nests built by mud dauber wasps are spread over about 75 acres.

"We can hand dig those with a shovel and buckets," said Dave Martin, radiological engineer for Washington Closure Hanford.

The nests all were built in 2003, when a one-time series of conditions aligned. A circle about a mile wide surrounding H Reactor is the only place at Hanford believed to have the problem with radioactive mud dauber nests.

"Fortunately, they don't fly far," said Todd Nelson, spokesman for Washington Closure.

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