Feds say Hanford’s 324 Building has more waste under it than previously known, float new plan for cleanup

A large rectangular white, ware-house looking building is pictured on a paved strip of land.
The 324 Building on the Hanford Site (Courtesy: U.S. Department of Energy)


A creepy old building used for 30 years to research radioactive materials from 1966 to 1996 has a lot more radioactive waste under it than previously known. That’s according to the U.S. Department of Energy on Thursday. 

It’s called the 324 Building and it’s only 300 yards from the Columbia River very close to the town of Richland. It’s what’s underneath – in the soil – that’s hazardous to cleanup workers. Now, Energy says quote “a much larger volume” of soil contaminated with radioactive waste will have to be remediated. The radioactive waste spilled in the 1980s but wasn’t discovered until 2010. The federal government just announced Thursday that they want to tear down the old 324, then build a containment structure over it – all before they clean up the spilled radioactive waste. 

They say this will be safer for workers and the environment.