EMERGENCY: Nuclear Waste Site Tunnel Collapses Declared Emergency


The US Department of Energy has declared an emergency at the Hanford, Washington nuclear waste storage site, after a tunnel used to store contaminated materials caved in.

Personnel at the nearby facility have been evacuated, and workers elsewhere in the complex have been ordered to stay indoors and refrain from eating and drinking, according to text alerts seen by local media.

Personnel at the nearby facility have been evacuated, and workers elsewhere in the complex have been ordered to stay indoors and refrain from eating and drinking, according to text alerts seen by local media.

Emergency measures were put in place due to “concerns about subsidence in the soil covering railroad tunnels,” says a statement posted on the Hanford facility website.

 

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Residents of the nearby Benton and Franklin counties do not need to take any action, the facility said.

 

Hanford is located on the Columbia River in eastern Washington, near the border with Oregon. Built during World War Two as part of the Manhattan Project to develop the nuclear bomb, it still contains roughly 53 million gallons – over 2,600 rail cars – worth of high-level nuclear waste, left from the production of plutonium for the US nuclear weapons program.

 

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