Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Tunnel collapses at Hanford nuclear waste site in Washington state, reports say

Tunnel collapses at Hanford nuclear waste site in Washington state, reports say Tunnel collapses at Hanford nuclear waste site in Washington state, reports say
Kenny Thornton | 16 May, 2017, 22:05

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit previous year, alleging hundreds of workers have been exposed to toxins escaping from nuclear waste storage tanks.

"The facility does have radiological contamination right now but there is no indication of a radiological release", Henderson said.

An emergency has been declared May 9, 2017, at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Surveys of the area show no indication of release of contamination as a result of the cave-in.

"They are looking at options that would provide a barrier between the contaminated equipment in the tunnel and the outside air that would not cause the hole in the tunnel's roof to widen", a statement from the emergency center reads.

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.

News of the tunnel breach at the defunct Purex processing plant on the Hanford nuclear reservation outside Richland quickly spread around the country and world.

According to Energy Department officials, no spent nuclear fuel is stored in the tunnel - located about 170 miles east of Seattle, near southeastern Washington on the Columbia River.

On Tuesday morning, about six Hanford employees, on routine rounds, noticed that an area of soil over one of the tunnels had sunk, Destry Henderson, an Energy Department spokesman, said.

The plutonium manufactured at the site was used in the first nuclear bomb tested in New Mexico and was also used in the atomic bomb that the USA dropped on Nagasaki in 1945.

Britain's Labour to launch 'radical, responsible' election manifesto
Worldwide students would not be included in immigration numbers, but there would be a crack down on "fake colleges". "The Tory campaign by contrast is built on one word - fear", said Mr Corbyn, launching the manifesto in Bradford.

Workers have begun preparations to fill the hole created by the cave-in with clean soil in order to stabilize the tunnel.

Employees at the Hanford Site in Washington state were told to shelter in place after part of a tunnel used to store contaminated materials collapsed.

Hanford, which sits almost 200 miles southeast of Seattle, was established by the Manhattan Project during World War II to make plutonium for nuclear weapons, including the atomic bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945.

Workers in the facility were evacuated and workers farther away, in potentially affected areas of the Hanford Site, have gone indoors as a precaution.

But officials say no radiation was released and no workers were hurt.

They were originally constructed to hold rail cars that were loaded with contaminated equipment.

Radioactive materials were brought into the tunnel by rail cars for about a decade.

Hanford is one of several active sites undergoing cleanup under the direction of the Department of Energy's Office of Environment Management.

An emergency alert was triggered by the tunnel collapse, which officials say may have been caused by vibrations from work being done nearby, Fox News reported.

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