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What Are Hanford Vapors?

Vapors are chemical gases in Hanford’s waste storage tanks that may, from time to time, enter the workers’ breathing zone. The vapors commonly reside in the tank headspace, the unfilled area above the waste in the underground storage tanks, and contain a number of chemicals produced from Hanford’s days as a weapons-production facility.

Vapor emissions may be influenced by the weather, preventative and maintenance activities, or work activities that involve disturbing the tank waste, including retrievals and tank-to-tank transfers.

Some chemicals may cause more concern because they appear in higher concentrations than others. Exposure limits are set based on strict criteria, and Washington River Protection Solutions takes a more conservative approach than many in similar industries when it comes to limiting worker exposure.

All About Vapors Sources


Gases slowly move (diffuse) through the waste and into the tank airspace (headspace) [...]Read More


Gases and vapors that accumulate in tank headspaces are released to the atmosphere to prevent [...] Read More


Hanford is home to 177 underground waste storage tanks: 149 single-shell tanks and 28 double-shell tanks located [...] Read More

Waste Transfers

DST to DST waste transfer activities are comprised of DST to DST transfers, DST waste recirculations and [...] Read More