US government works to ‘cocoon’ old nuclear reactors

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Costs to clean up a massive nuclear weapons complex in Washington state are usually expressed in the hundreds of billions of dollars and involve decades of work. But one project on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation is progressing at a much lower price. The federal government is moving forward with the “cocooning” of eight plutonium production reactors at Hanford that will place them in a state of long-term storage. Hanford has about 11,000 employees and is half the size of Rhode Island. Cleanup of the site started in the late 1980s and now costs about $2.5 billion per year.