The plutonium, found in a one-gallon glass jug after a cleanup crew tore open the safe with an excavator, was processed at Hanford in late 1944 from spent uranium fuel from a reactor at Oak Ridge, Tenn. It was the product of test runs of a plant built for separating plutonium for use in the Manhattan Project to build the atomic bomb.
The New York Times reporting on the man-made plutonium (read: nuclear waste) that was discovered in a glass jar in an "old safe buried in a waste trench" at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in 2004.
The piece continues: "The only earlier sample of man-made plutonium known to exist was produced in 1941 in an accelerator and is stored at the Smithsonian Institution."
The glass jar was labeled: "Wastes for Recovery."