Nuclear Waste Tunnel Collapses in Washington State

Warren File

Warren File

Thousands of workers at the Hanford nuclear reservation in Richland were forced to take cover indoors after a tunnel containing radioactive waste collapsed Tuesday morning, government officials said.

The senior Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee says he is requesting that the Energy Department brief the panel on the cause of a tunnel collapse at a nuclear waste storage site in Washington state. The tunnel's contents, including trains, were contaminated with nuclear waste.

[Alvarez] said that the rail cars carry spent fuel from a reactor area along the river to the chemical processing facility, which then extracts risky plutonium and uranium. The waste produced at the site has been the subject of a major cleanup project since 1989, and now 11,000 employees are involved in the operation. It said no radiation has been released.

All personnel have been accounted for and there are no reports of injuries, federal Department of Energy officials said.

The incident created some concern on Twitter as people tried to process information and determine whether it was a threat to them.

Four years ago, United States inspectors were investigating a possible leak at the Hanford nuclear site after an elevated contamination reading was found in a leak detection pit.

First responders discovered soil subsiding above a tunnel connected to the extraction center during a routine inspection, the agency said.

Chinese export, import growth slow in April as rebound cools
Exports grew by 8 per cent from a year earlier, half the pace recorded in March, according to official figures. Foreign trade is set to face a better environment in 2017 compared with the past two years, the report said.

The area contains about 211.98 million litres of radioactive waste, most of it in 177 underground tanks. It is now being dismantled and cleaned up by the Energy Department. Originally, the site was used to produce plutonium for defense and commercial reactors, but those operations ended in 1980. Lawyers for the Energy Department say there has been no evidence provided showing workers have been harmed by emissions.

In the past, rail cars full of radioactive waste were driven deep into the tunnels and then simply buried there.

Its last reactor closed down in 1987 but millions of gallons of leftover waste are contained in tanks at the site.

Pallone said the Energy Department should provide details on the implications of the incident on continuing cleanup efforts.

Hanford for decades made plutonium for nuclear weapons and now is engaged in cleaning up the resulting waste. About 8,000 workers are now working on a massive cleanup that is expected to cost more than $100 billion and last through 2060.

Mostly decommissioned, Hanford has been a subject of controversy and conflict between state and local authorities, including a lawsuit over worker safety and ongoing cleanup delays.

Recommended News

  • Leila Seth, first woman judge of Delhi HC, dies

    Leila Seth, first woman judge of Delhi HC, dies

    Justice Seth had then spoken about the progression of her career and her role in the highly patriarchal system. Seth, who was born in October 1930 in Lucknow, also championed women and gender rights.

    Chelsea's Conte tells players to go for the kill

    But most will be able to breathe a sigh of relief at the close of play on Monday night if results go their way. It's a totally different to the Italian or Spanish leagues. "We are working very hard to reach this target".
    TODAY'S FORECAST: Cloudy, chance of rain and snow showers

    TODAY'S FORECAST: Cloudy, chance of rain and snow showers

    The probability of thunderstorms for Wednesday in eastern Oklahoma are highest along and north of the Interstate 44 corridor. In the meantime, forecasters are calling for sunny skies on Monday with highs in the upper 50s and low 60s.
  • American flag trousers  and champagne: John Daly looked good celebrating rare title

    American flag trousers and champagne: John Daly looked good celebrating rare title

    And I feel really good about these greens. "John played nicely all day, and I was always playing from behind. Daly vaulted up the Schwab Cup on the Champions Tour 34 spots to number 8 winning $322,500 on Sunday.
    Arriving This Fall, the Harman Kardon Invoke Features Microsoft's Cortana

    Arriving This Fall, the Harman Kardon Invoke Features Microsoft's Cortana

    This expands Cortana's range from a mobile device and/or a computer desktop to a speaker anywhere in the house. The company in the page confirmed that the device is expected to be coming this fall (Sept to December).
    UKIP loses 'Everything they've been trying to defend' in local elections

    UKIP loses 'Everything they've been trying to defend' in local elections

    The Conservatives have made gains while nearly all the other parties have lost ground. She said: "We are out there to win".
  • The Nintendo PlayStation Prototype Has Been Fully Restored

    The Nintendo PlayStation Prototype Has Been Fully Restored

    Not everyone in the electronics industry in the mid-to-late 80's could see that video games were soon to be a booming market. Created in the early 1990s, this machine is little more than a Super Nintendo Entertainment System with a CD-ROM drive.
    Delhi metro fares to go up

    Delhi metro fares to go up

    The other two members were Delhi chief secretary KK Sharma and additional secretary in urban development ministry DS Mishra. Sources said neither the Delhi government nor the Centre was in favour of any hike before the municipal polls.

    China's first homegrown passenger plane takes to the sky for maiden flight

    The white, green and blue aircraft made a successful landing after a 90-minute flight from Shanghai's global airport. It claims to have already received 570 orders from 23 customers, most of which are reportedly state-owned airlines.
  • LaVar Ball's company Big Baller Brand unveils son Lonzo Ball's $495 shoes

    However, I do understand spending maybe more than you should for something you really want, even if you don't really need it. On Thursday, he and Lonzo unveiled their "Big Baller Brand" signature shoe , the "ZO2".
    Sulley Muntari reveals feeling

    Sulley Muntari reveals feeling "angry and isolated" when Pescara didn't appeal ban

    The referee's not just there to stand on the pitch and blow his whistle - he has to manage everything. "That sets a bad culture". Italian football officials originally said not enough fans had taken part in the abuse to trigger action against them.

    85-Year-Old Aiming to Be Oldest Everest Climber Dies

    Min Bahadur Sherchan died at the base camp on Saturday evening, officials said, with the cause of death not immediately clear. He went on to be an apple farmer and constructed roads and dams before settling to down to manage hotels in Kathmandu .

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.