The Department of Energy has declared an emergency at Hanford, a nuclear-contaminated site in Washington state

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Hanford.gov

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Energy activated the Emergency Operations Center Tuesday due to a tunnel collapse at the Hanford nuclear site.

According to KING-TV, a ‘tunnel in a plutonium finishing plant collapsed […]. The tunnel was full of highly contaminated materials such as hot radioactive trains that transport fuel rods.’

Some workers were being evacuated while others were advised to shelter-in-place.

From the U.S. Department of Energy, “The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Richland Operations Office activated the Hanford Emergency Operations Center at 8:26 a.m., after an alert was declared at the 200 East Area. There are concerns about subsidence in the soil covering railroad tunnels near a former chemical processing facility. The tunnels contain contaminated materials.”

Actions taken to protect site employees include:
– Facility personnel have been evacuated
– As a precaution, workers in potentially affected areas of the Hanford Site have gone indoors
– Access to the 200 East Area of the Hanford Site, which is located in the center of the Hanford Site, has been restricted to protect employees

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