Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
National | By Rosalie Gross

Hanford Nuclear Reservation tunnel collapse triggers alert

Hanford Nuclear Reservation tunnel collapse triggers alert

A 20-foot hole in the roof of a tunnel at Washington state's Hanford nuclear waste site will be filled with clean soil, according to the US Department of Energy.

"No action is now required for residents of Benton and Franklin counties", the Energy Department said, referring to the almost 300,000 residents near the site about 200 miles southeast of Seattle.

Hundreds of workers at the Hanford nuclear waste site in Washington state have been ordered to "take cover" after a portion of a tunnel appeared to collapse.

There were no reports of injury and officials at the plant could not be immediately reached for comment.

The U.S. Department of Energy, Richland, West Richland, and other local fire and police officials as well as Washington state patrol and OR and Washington state officials all responded to the scene, according to KING5.

Hanford is the nation's largest nuclear cleanup site, with 56 million gallons of radioactive waste sitting in old, leaky underground tanks. This tunnel leads into a longer tunnel that contains 28 rail cars loaded with contaminated equipment.

Officials detected no release of radiation and say there were no workers inside the tunnel.

The tunnel reportedly contains highly contaminated materials including nuclear waste trains that transport radioactive fuel rods.

A new report says Congress should consider authorizing the Department of Energy to use grout to stabilize some of Hanford's radioactive waste, rather than a more expensive plan to turn it into glass.

Steve Kerr Wrote 'F*** It' on His Sneakers as a Player
Among other things, this is one of the major aspects of life that the pupil learned from his former teacher with the Spurs. These comments come on the heels of Knight himself praising the president.

"Department of Energy Richland Office", Inslee said.

Hanford was the site of U.S. military plutonium production activities from 1943 until 1987. A large robotic arm called the Mobile Arm Retrieval System (MARS) has been used in the past to scoop hundreds of gallons of radioactive waste from Hanford's underground storage tanks.

The budget for Hanford alone is about $2.3 billion in the current fiscal year, about $1.5 billion of that going to the management and treatment of approximately 56 million gallons of radioactive liquid waste now stored in underground storage tanks.

Most workers were forced to "take cover" and a manager reportedly sent out an message to employees telling them to "secure ventilation" and "refrain from eating or drinking".

A sign informs visitors of prohibited items on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland, Washington. It's not clear how, exactly, the rift occurred, but one theory is that vibrations from nearby roadwork may have contributed to the tunnel's collapse.

Former Energy Department official Robert Alvarez said that remotely controlled rail cars once carried spent fuel from a reactor along the river to the PUREX chemical processing facility, which then extracted unsafe plutonium.

The Hanford site was established in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project, and its history has been one of calamitous nuclear contamination.

The site - about half the size of Rhode Island, in an area centered roughly 75 miles east of Yakima - continued to buzz during the Cold War, with more plutonium production, as well as the construction of several nuclear reactors.

Like this: