CHALLENGES OF PRESERVING HISTORIC RESOURCES DURING THE D & D OF HIGHLY CONTAMINATED HISTORICALLY SIGNIFICANT PLUTONIUM PROCESS FACILITIES

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The Manhattan Project was initiated to develop nuclear weapons for use in World War II. The Hanford Engineer Works (HEW) was established in eastern Washington State as a production complex for the Manhattan Project. A major product of the HEW was plutonium. The buildings and process equipment used in the early phases of nuclear weapons development are historically significant because of the new and unique work that was performed. When environmental cleanup became Hanford's central mission in 1991, the Department of Energy (DOE) prepared for the deactivation and decommissioning of many of the old process facilities. In many cases, the ... continued below

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HOPKINS, A.M. March 17, 2006.

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  • Hanford Site (Wash.)
    Publisher Info: Hanford Site (HNF), Richland, WA
    Place of Publication: Richland, Washington

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The Manhattan Project was initiated to develop nuclear weapons for use in World War II. The Hanford Engineer Works (HEW) was established in eastern Washington State as a production complex for the Manhattan Project. A major product of the HEW was plutonium. The buildings and process equipment used in the early phases of nuclear weapons development are historically significant because of the new and unique work that was performed. When environmental cleanup became Hanford's central mission in 1991, the Department of Energy (DOE) prepared for the deactivation and decommissioning of many of the old process facilities. In many cases, the process facilities were so contaminated, they faced demolition. The National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) requires federal agencies to evaluate the historic significance of properties under their jurisdiction for eligibility for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places before altering or demolishing them so that mitigation through documentation of the properties can occur. Specifically, federal agencies are required to evaluate their proposed actions against the effect the actions may have on districts, sites, buildings or structures that ere included or eligible for inclusion in the National Register. In an agreement between the DOE'S Richland Operations Office (RL), the Washington State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), the agencies concurred that the Hanford Site Historic District is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places and that a Sitewide Treatment Plan would streamline compliance with the NHPA while allowing RL to manage the cleanup of the Hanford Site. Currently, many of the old processing buildings at the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) are undergoing deactivation and decommissioning. RL and Fluor Hanford project managers at the PFP are committed to preserving historical artifacts of the plutonium production process. They must also ensure the safety of workers and the full decontamination of buildings or artifacts if they are to be preserved. This paper discusses the real time challenges of working safely, decontaminating process equipment, preserving historical structures and artifacts and documenting their history at PFP.

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  • Report No.: HNF-29267-FP Rev 1
  • Grant Number: DE-AC06-96RL13200
  • DOI: 10.2172/878174 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 878174
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc877871

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  • March 17, 2006

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  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Oct. 31, 2016, 8:41 p.m.

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HOPKINS, A.M. CHALLENGES OF PRESERVING HISTORIC RESOURCES DURING THE D & D OF HIGHLY CONTAMINATED HISTORICALLY SIGNIFICANT PLUTONIUM PROCESS FACILITIES, report, March 17, 2006; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc877871/: accessed January 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.