Hundreds of workers have been forced to “take cover” after a tunnel in a nuclear finishing plant collapsed in Washington state. Following the incident Tuesday morning, which a spokesperson told the Independent is still being investigated, a manager sent a message to workers telling them to “secure ventilation in your building” and to “refrain from eating or drinking.” The US Department of Energy activated its Emergency Operations Center Tuesday following the collapse. Some workers were reportedly told to evacuate while others were told to shelter-in-place as officials investigated the severity of the situation.
Independent 9th May 2017 read more »
Mirror 9th May 2017 read more »
Daily Star 9th May 2017 read more »
Hundreds of workers at the Department of Energy’s Hanford nuclear site in Washington state had to “take cover” Tuesday morning after the collapse of 20-foot-long portion of a tunnel used to store contaminated radioactive materials. The Energy Department said it activated its emergency operations protocol after reports of a “cave-in” at the 200 East Area in Hanford, a sprawling complex about 200 miles from Seattle where the government has been working to clean up radioactive materials left over from the country’s nuclear weapons program. The agency said in a statement that the 20-foot section is part of a tunnel that is hundreds of feet long and is “used to store contaminated materials.” The tunnel is one of two that run into the Plutonium Uranium Extraction Facility, also known as PUREX. The section that collapsed was “in an area where the two tunnels join together,” the department said. The PUREX facility, once used to extract plutonium from spent nuclear fuel, has been idle for years but remains “highly contaminated,” the agency said. Edwin Lyman, a senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said “It appears that this is a potentially serious event,” he said. “Collapse of the earth covering the tunnels could lead to a considerable radiological release.”
Washington Post 9th May 2017 read more »
NPR 9th May 2017 read more »
A tunnel partly collapsed on Tuesday at a plutonium-handling facility at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state, but there was no indication workers or the public were exposed to radiation, federal officials said. Workers evacuated or took cover and turned off ventilation systems after damage was discovered in the wall of a transport tunnel about 170 miles (270 km) east of Seattle, officials with the Department of Energy’s Hanford Joint Information Center said. The damage was more serious than initially reported, and the take-cover order was expanded to cover the entire facility after response crews found a 400-square-foot section of the decommissioned rail tunnel had collapsed, center spokesman Destry Henderson said in a video posted on Facebook.
Reuters 9th May 2017 read more »
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