The Hanford site serves as a key piece of the Tri-City economy.  Our special coverage takes a closer look at Hanford’s workforce, cleanup efforts and costs, and the status of key projects, including the massive vitrification plant currently under construction at the 586-square-mile site in our backyard.

Dept of Energy Col

One Hanford team working on project of the century

Hanford is one of this country’s greatest public works projects, both during a national security mission that lasted for more than four decades in the last century and during its current cleanup mission. Just as our Hanford workforce overcame challenges to deliver for our nation in the past, we are proudly delivering safe, efficient and…

The current fiscal year funding allocates about $2.5 billion from the U.S. Department of Energy toward the Hanford site. Pictured is the Effluent Management Facility that will process secondary liquid offgas produced during low-activity waste vitrification. (Courtesy Bechtel National Inc.)

Hanford drives Tri-City economy—but not as much as it once did

Tri-City residents continue to reap the benefits from continued cleanup work at the Hanford site years after plutonium production ceased. Hanford spending supports about two jobs for every employee hired with federal dollars. “The whole community benefits substantially, regardless of whether you’re a car dealership in Pasco, a restaurant in West Richland, or a real…


State stays focused on cleanup to protect future generations

In the spring, Tri-City community members with science backgrounds are called upon to help judge science fairs, teach at Salmon Summit and educate the public at the Hanford Health and Safety Expo. Our Nuclear Waste Program, one of the agencies overseeing Hanford cleanup, usually supports those events in force. Not this year, of course. The…

The Port of Benton and city of Richland could formally market the North Horn Rapids area for industrial development in 2021. (Photo by Wendy Culverwell)

Former Hanford land will give developers the massive lots they crave

Industrial developers will get a shot at buying sites 200 acres and larger in north Richland as soon as next year. It’s been five years since the U.S. Department of Energy transferred 1,600-plus acres from the Hanford reservation to Tri-City control for eventual development. It’s been four years since most of it came under the…


Vit plant drives for more progress in 2020

The vit plant entered this new decade looking different than ever before. And we are well positioned for another transformational year in 2020. We are driving toward spring 2021 when we will heat up the first of two melters inside the Low-Activity Waste (LAW) Facility at Hanford’s Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP). We are…


Tank farm waste cleanup helps pave ‘path to glass’

Now in our 12th year as Hanford’s tank operations contractor, Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) is honored and proud of the legacy it has built in advancing the nation’s largest and most complex environmental cleanup mission. On behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy, WRPS has protected the environment and the public by safely managing…

Veolia Nuclear Solutions – Federal Services oversees the Environmental
Restoration Disposal Facility on the Hanford site. (Courtesy Veolia Nuclear Solutions)

Multibillion-dollar Hanford contracts in limbo

Editor’s note: The General Accounting Office rejected a bid protest related to the Hanford Mission Essential Services Contract on April 22. This story has been updated to reflect the development. The status  of  a  handful  of  the  major  contracts  remains  up  in  the  air  at  the  Hanford site, the U.S. Department of Energy’s most challenging…