a sparsely populated area in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains, adjacent to the Columbia River in southeastern Washington State (Fig. 1). The Hanford Site was set aside in the early 1940s by the U.S. Government to perform a top-secret mission, the Manhattan Project, for production of plutonium for atomic weapons used to end World War II and later to support the Cold War with the Soviet Union. Starting in 1943– 1945, Hanford employed thousands of workers on the largest construction project in the world at that time. The workers built a series of nuclear reactors along with large monolithic concrete buildings used to reprocess wastes. Plutonium production continued at Hanford for over 40 yr. During the late 1980s, in the aftermath of the Chernobyl accident, plutonium production was suspended at Hanford (Gephart, 2003). Since then, efforts a
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