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North Wind Highlighted in Reflections 2009 (Washington Closure Hanford)

618-10 Burial Ground

Employees from Washington Closure subcontractor North Wind, Inc. began driving cone penetrometers into a series of trenches and adjacent to vertical pipe unit at the 618-10 Burial Ground, the most complex burial ground Washington Closure has addressed to date.

During the mid-1950s and early 1960s, Hanford workers dumped highly radioactive waste into vertical pipe units, or VPUs, which are five open-ended 55-gallon drums welded together end to end. North Wind located 94 VPUs within the burial ground and installed four long steel cylinders, called cone penetrometers, around each of the VPUs and the 23 trenches also located in the burial ground. Instrumentation placed inside the cone penetrometers is used to identify the amount of type of radioactive materials.

Intrusive characterization of selected trenches is being planned to learn more about what the trench might contain.