BREAKING: Emergency at US nuclear site after collapse — TV: “Fears of radioactive contamination” — Expert: “Could lead to considerable radiological release” — Multiple states activating Emergency Operations Center — Pilots told to avoid flying over area (VIDEOS)
Published: May 9th, 2017 at 6:36 pm ET
KING 5 News, May 9, 2017 (emphasis added): Hundreds of workers were told to take cover at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation after a tunnel full of highly contaminated materials collapsed… Officials say a collapsed patch of ground above the tunnel was larger than first believed. The U.S. Department of Energy said the collapse covered about 400 square feet instead of the 16 square feet first reported… A source said “take cover” status was expanded to the entire site at 10:35 a.m… Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said the Department of Energy and The White House reached out to his office after the incident. “This is a serious situation… Our understanding is that the site went into immediate lockdown“…
USA TODAY, May 9, 2017: [A] manager sent a message to all personnel telling them to “secure ventilation in your building” and “refrain from eating or drinking.”… In the past, rail cars full of radioactive waste were driven into the tunnels and buried… Hanford’s emergency operations center was activated… long-time workers think it may be the first time it was opened for a possible radioactive release.