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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Video - Emergency declared at Hanford nuclear site in Washington State


Via Popsci:
  A tunnel collapsed at the Hanford nuclear waste site on Tuesday. Here's what you need to know.

10 May 2017
3:42 AM

Hanford personnel began preparation work around 8 p.m. Pacific time on May 9 to stabilize and fill a 20-foot-by-20-foot opening over a tunnel that partially collapsed near the PUREX facility at the Hanford Site. This video, taken late on May 9, shows personnel laying down a gravel road that leads to the tunnel’s collapsed section. The road will provide a secure and clear path for workers to fill the tunnel opening.

3:16 AM -- Due to the recovery actions in the 200 East Area, Hanford site employees should adhere to the following dayshift work schedule for today:
• Non-essential employees north of the Wye Barricade are to report to work at 9:00 a.m. • All employees south of the Wye Barricade, including employees working in Richland – are on a regular work schedule
Essential employees needed north of the Wye Barricade to maintain minimum safe operations are to follow their normal work schedule.
200 East Area WRPS essential personnel are to report to the 2750E facility.
Route 4 South remains closed north of the Wye Barricade. Use alternate Route 2 North or the Rattlesnake Barricade.
The Rattlesnake Barricade will remain open until 10:30 a.m.
Call the Hanford Hotline at 376-9999 for updates
For specific questions regarding company policy contact your manager.

Event Summary 5/9/2017 10:37 AM


    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. Officials are responding to reports of a cave-in of a 20 foot section of a tunnel that is hundreds of feet long that is used to store contaminated materials. The tunnel is located next to the Plutonium Uranium Extraction Facility, also known as PUREX, which is located in the center of the Hanford Site in an area known as the 200 East Area.

    There is no indication of a release of contamination at this point, Crews are continuing to survey the area for contamination. All personnel in the vicinity of the PUREX facility have been accounted for and there are no reports of injuries.

    Actions taken to protect site employees include:

    • As a precaution, workers in the vicinity of the PUREX facility as well as the Hanford Site north of the Wye Barricade (southern entrance to the site) have been told to shelter in-place

    • 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

    The public can request information regarding the event by calling (509) 376-8116. The media may call (509) 376-3322.

    No action is currently required for residents of Benton and Franklin Counties.

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