Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Another Chernobyl?



SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The Latest on an accident at the Hanford Nuclear Waste facility in Washington state (all times local):
11:15 a.m.
Officials say a collapsed patch of ground above a nuclear waste storage tunnel in Washington state was larger than first believed.
The U.S. Department of Energy said the Tuesday collapse covered about 400 square feet (37.1 square meters) instead of the 16 square feet (1.4 square meters) first reported at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
Officials detected no release of radiation and say there were no workers inside the tunnel. Nearby workers were evacuated.
The agency says the rail tunnels are hundreds of feet long, with about eight feet (2.4 meters) of soil covering them. The U.S. Department of Energy says the incident caused the soil above the tunnel to sink between 2 and 4 feet (half to 1.2 meters).
Hanford for decades made plutonium for the nation's nuclear weapons arsenal.
© Ted S. Warre An emergency has been declared at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation after a portion of a tunnel that contained rail cars full of nuclear waste collapsed.
___
9:43 a.m.
An emergency has been declared at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeastern Washington state after a portion of a tunnel that that contains rail cars full of nuclear waste collapsed.
Randy Bradbury, a spokesman for the Washington state Department of Ecology, said officials detected no release of radiation and no workers were injured.
He says there were no workers inside the tunnel when it collapsed Tuesday morning but that nearby workers were evacuated and others who were farther away were told to remain indoors.
Hanford for decades made plutonium for nuclear weapons and is now the largest depository of radioactive defense waste that must be cleaned.
The sprawling Hanford site is about half the size of Rhode Island.



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