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Plutonium Finishing Plant

Plutonium Finishing Plant

Credit Anna King / Northwest News Network
Northwest News Network
At the Hanford cleanup site in southeast Washington state, federal contract workers are trying to demolish a large factory called the Plutonium Finishing Plant, or PFP.

During the Cold War, the federal government used this factory to turn liquids containing plutonium into hockey-puck-sized solid “buttons” for bombs.

But radioactive contamination keeps spreading out of the PFP demo site’s controlled boundaries. So far, several workers, an office and dozens of vehicles have been found contaminated.

Around 200 workers have largely been idled since December 2017, as federal managers and their contractors try to corral the waste.