The Plutonium Gang: CH2M Hill Dismantles the Hanford Nuclear Site

In Washington State, one company is unbuilding the Atomic Age, very carefully
Photograph by Steve Featherstone for Bloomberg Businessweek

Before entering the shuttered Plutonium Finishing Plant at the Hanford Site, Jerry Long hangs his identification badge on a board outside the entrance, so rescue crews can easily figure out who’s inside, should it come to that. “This is a no-kidding hazardous category 2 nuclear facility,” says Long as he enters a brightly lit room furnished with rows of metal chairs and benches. The U.S. Department of Energy reserves that category for sites that might blow up, or, as they like to call it, experience a “criticality event.”

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