The 216-U-10 Pond

The 216-U-10 Pond, commonly referred to as the U Pond, was a part of the Hanford Site, which is a decommissioned nuclear production complex in the state of Washington, operated by the United States federal government. The Hanford Site was established during World War II as part of the Manhattan Project, and it played a crucial role in the production of plutonium for nuclear weapons. The 216-U-10 Pond was one of the many waste sites within the Hanford Site.

The U Pond was constructed in 1943 and was originally used as a settling basin for the U Plant, a uranium recovery facility at the Hanford Site. The pond received both liquid and solid waste from the U Plant, as well as from other facilities within the site. Over the years, the pond received a variety of waste materials, including radioactive isotopes, hazardous chemicals, and organic compounds.

The pond covers an area of approximately 3.7 acres and is located in the 200 West Area of the Hanford Site. It consists of a main pond and a series of adjacent trenches and ditches. The main pond is approximately 600 feet long, 300 feet wide, and 10 feet deep. The trenches and ditches were used for the disposal of solid waste, while the main pond was used for the disposal of liquid waste.

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The disposal of waste into the U Pond continued until 1974 when it was officially closed. After its closure, the pond was covered with soil, and efforts were made to stabilize the site and prevent the migration of contaminants into the surrounding environment. However, due to the nature of the waste disposed of in the pond and the historical practices of waste management at the Hanford Site, there have been concerns about the potential for groundwater contamination and other environmental impacts.

Over the years, the U Pond has been the subject of various investigations and remediation efforts. The site has been monitored regularly to assess the levels of radioactivity and other contaminants in the soil, groundwater, and surface water. Various remediation options have been considered, including the removal of contaminated soil, the installation of barriers to contain the contaminants, and the treatment of contaminated groundwater.

The 216-U-10 Pond is one of many waste sites at the Hanford Site that are managed as part of the Hanford Site Cleanup Program. This program is overseen by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), with input from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Washington State Department of Ecology. The cleanup of the Hanford Site, including the 216-U-10 Pond, is a complex and ongoing process that is expected to take many years to complete.

Hanford has a public document release site at https://www.hanford.gov/ but below you will find documents not released to the public.

Document Archive

The 216-U-10 Pond [69 Pages, 2.5MB]

 

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This post was published on September 3, 2023 10:50 pm

John Greenewald

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