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Originally published June 11, 2009 at 8:41 AM | Page modified June 11, 2009 at 8:42 AM

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Radioactive wasp nests at Hanford reservation

RICHLAND — Workers cleaning up the Hanford nuclear reservation are going after radioactive wasp nests.

RICHLAND — Workers cleaning up the Hanford nuclear reservation are going after radioactive wasp nests.

The Tri-City Herald reports 6 to 12 inches of top soil are being dug up this month from 6 acres near the H Reactor. And, workers will dig up more individual mud dauber wasp nests over about 75 acres of the nuclear reservation in southeast Washington.

The contractor handling the clean-up, Washington Closure, says the nests were all built in 2003 when water was used to dampen dust during demolition of an H Reactor basin. That attracted the wasps that used the mud to make tube-shaped nests for eggs.

Spokesman Todd Nelson says the nests are "fairly highly contaminated."

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