After the collapse of a tunnel at Hanford Site’s plutonium uranium extraction facility in Washington state on Tuesday morning, officials are now learning that the damage to the nuclear site is much worse than they initially thought. This is something to keep an eye on.
According to Business Insider, the Hanford site is “one of the largest and most contaminated storehouses of radioactive waste in the U.S.”
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On Tuesday the department had its hands full when a tunnel leading to the facility collapsed. According to Red Flag News, responders initially thought that an area of four feet by four feet had collapsed, but what they uncovered was that 20 feet by 20 feet of the tunnel had caved in.
Officials stated that no radiological contamination has been detected as yet but that there were still precautions to be taken.
“Edwin Lyman, a senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said there is still cause for concern. ‘It appears that this is a potentially serious event,’ he said. ‘Collapse of the earth covering the tunnels could lead to a considerable radiological release,'” The Washington Post reported.
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The Post also reported that the cave-in was discovered when routine surveillance showed a gaping hole in one of the tunnels.
Now officials are looking at ways to close the hole without causing further damage to the tunnel, while also keeping possible radioactive contamination away from workers and the public.
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