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Efforts expand to stop uranium from entering Columbia River

Hanford nuclear site (Photo: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

RICHLAND, Wash. — Efforts to prevent uranium from leaching into the Columbia River along the Hanford Nuclear Reservation are being expanded after a test showed good results.

Wells are being drilled to inject a solution into the ground to bind the uranium to the soil and prevent it from migrating into the groundwater and then into the river.

The Tri-City Herald says much of the soil contaminated with uranium at the Hanford 300 Area has been dug up down to 15 feet, removing the majority of the contamination.

The uranium is left over from decades of work making plutonium for nuclear weapons during World War II and the Cold War. As a byproduct of the process, 60 tons of dissolved uranium was dumped into the ground.