hanford 200-area (usdoe)

200 AREA

The Hanford 200 Area covers approximately 60 square miles with 80 square miles of contaminated groundwater about 20 miles north of Richland, Washington. It is one of the four areas at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation (Hanford) on EPA’s National Priorities List (NPL). The other three are the 100, 300, and 1100 Areas. These areas are part of a 586-square-mile U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) complex that includes buildings, disposal sites, an environmental research park, and open land used for habitat and a buffer zone. Hanford was established in the 1940s to make plutonium for nuclear weapons. The nearby Columbia River provided cooling waters for the reactors producing the nuclear materials. After World War II, plutonium production capacity was greatly expanded as a Cold War activity. The Atomic Energy Commission was in charge of these operations from the 1940s until Congress created DOE in 1977. Over the years, Hanford expanded its role to include research and development uses of nuclear materials. The 200 Area site is in the middle of Hanford on the central plateau and contains the former chemical processing plants and waste management facilities. One of the old plants discharged massive quantities of carbon tetrachloride to the ground. The 200 Area was used to process, finish, and manage nuclear materials, including plutonium. About 1 billion cubic yards of solid and diluted liquid wastes (radioactive, mixed, and hazardous substances) were disposed in trenches, ditches, and in a landfill in the site. More than 800 waste disposal locations have been identified in the 200 Area. The cities of Richland, Pasco, and Kennewick, with a combined population of approximately 200,000, maintain water intakes in the Columbia River for the bulk of their municipal supply system, but occasionally mix it with groundwater from municipal wells. Over half a million people live within 50 miles of Hanford. Site Responsibility: This site is being addressed through federal and state actions.

Hazardous Ranking Score

69 / 100

A score of 28.5 or higher qualifies a site for the Superfund National Priority List.

Regional Contact

Region 10
Phone: (800) 424-4372

Contact Region



Site Inspection
Preliminary Assessment
Final Listing On NPL

Contaminants & Health Effects

      Endocrine Disrupter
      Reproductive Toxin
      Persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic


        African American
        American Indian and Alaska Native
        Native Hawaiian


        People living
        within a 5 mile radius


        Average Income


        Occupied homes

        Potentially Responsible Parties

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