The possible collapse of a second Hanford tunnel storing radioactive waste is both more likely than thought a year ago and the effects potentially more severe, according to Hanford officials. The risk of failure, based on Department of Energy nuclear safety standards, has increased from “unlikely” to “anticipated,” and the potential severity has been increased from “low” to “moderate,” according to the ranking. The severity of the possible collapse is still not ranked as “high,” but it would be a significant event with the potential for the airborne release of radioactive particles, said Dan Wood, chief operating officer of the CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co., a Hanford contractor. After the partial collapse in May 2017 of the older of two tunnels storing radioactive waste at Hanford’s PUREX processing plant, an initial structural analysis of the second and longer tunnel was conducted.
Tri City Herald 28th Aug 2018 read more »