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Tests Show Hanford Workers Ingested Radioactive Waste via NW News Network

By Anna King

Two Hanford workers have tested positive for radioactive waste in their bodies. It happened at the Plutonium Finishing Plant—a massive factory being demolished at the nuclear cleanup site in southeast Washington state.


The workers with contamination might have breathed in, or ingested radioactive waste. Officials say it’s at low levels. The person who tested positive with the highest levels, will get 10 millirem of dose over 50 years. That’s about the same as flying 10,000 miles in a commercial jet. 

According to the Department of Energy that dose is above background levels, but “well below regulatory limits.” 

As of now, 271 workers have requested bioassay tests and more worker test results are due back soon. 


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  1. nfield says

    When will commentators learn the difference between external exposure (flying in a commercial jet) and internal (ingestion, inhalation)? Neither is desirable, but taking radionuclides into the body, where they can continue to bombard organs from close distances is a different matter from being exposed from external sources while fling.

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