RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — Workers at the decommissioned Hanford nuclear production complex in Washington moved the first batch of its highly radioactive waste out of the K West Reactor Basin not far from the Columbia River.

The Tri-City Herald reports workers last week transferred 650 pounds (295 kilograms) worth of sludge to a nearby annex.

The waste is in containers that will be stored in below-ground cells until they can be prepared for disposal.

Doug Shoop, manager of the Department of Energy Hanford Richland Operations Office, says the sludge is "some of the most hazardous material at Hanford, so moving it away from the river to safe storage in a robust engineered facility in the center of the site significantly reduces risk."

The K West Basin is 400 yards (365.6 meters) from the river.

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Information from: Tri-City Herald, http://www.tri-cityherald.com