1/7/99 7:45:30 AM Mountain Standard Time

ADDITIONAL CONTAMINATED VEGETATION FOUND AT HANFORD SITE - RICHLAND OPERATIONS OFFICE

An additional contaminated tumbleweed was discovered at the Hanford Site during a routine surveillance by a Radiological Control Technician (RCT). The RCT discovered the contaminated tumbleweed on the northwest side of a building on the Hanford Site. The tumbleweed was reading off scale on a Geiger-Mueller counter (>1,000,000 d/m beta gamma per 100 cm2), and 37 mrad per hour on a RO-3B (CP). No alpha contamination was found. The tumbleweed was bagged for disposal. A Contamination Area was established around the area where the tumbleweed was discovered as a precautionary measure. Surveys were continued in the area to ensure that no additional contamination was present. (ORPS Report: RL--PHMC-TPLANT-1999-0001. Contact: William Ayers, Manager, Solid Waste Project, 509-373-1580)

The recurrence of the contaminated vegetation continues to capture the interest of news media at the Hanford Site. An article published in The Herald was picked up by the Associated Press and subsequently ran in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Oregonian newspapers. KING Television of Seattle has recently expressed interest in coming to Hanford January 7 or 8 to conduct interviews and a tour for a story on the tumbleweeds. (Richland Operations Office Daily Report. Contact: Melissa Schmid, Office of External Affairs, 509-376-5995). .