Hanford Workers Get ‘All Clear’ After Shelter Indoors Order During Tunnel-Filling Operation
Officials at the Hanford Nuclear Site ordered workers to stay indoors Friday morning as a precaution. They discovered steam rising from an unexpected part of a tunnel filled with highly contaminated waste.
By mid-day, officials had announced they found no contamination.
Workers had expected some steam as they began grouting work to fill a radioactive waste-filled tunnel at Hanford’s Plutonium Uranium Extraction, or PUREX, facility. They just didn’t expect it to escape from this spot.
Earlier this month, they’d started piping grout into the site’s second tunnel. The concrete-like grout is supposed to stabilize it. Officials had worried it was in danger of imminent collapse. A smaller, older tunnel had partially collapsed in May 2017. That tunnel has already been filled with grout.
Surveys Friday morning determined there was no radioactive release and the steam was caused by the grouting work. Officials explained that as the grout hardens, it heats up and creates moisture, which mixed with the cool morning air.
Workers sheltered indoors for about four hours.
An astonishing array of animals and habitats flourished on six obsolete weapons complexes — mostly for nuclear or chemical arms — because the sites banned the public and other intrusions for decades. Continue Reading Wildlife Roam Where U.S. Once Made Nuclear And Chemical Weapons, Including Hanford
A wildfire continued burning today near the Hanford Nuclear Site. The Cold Creek Fire is burning sensitive, federally protected habitat. As of Friday afternoon it was estimated at about 18,000 acres and 10 percent containment. Continue Reading Cold Creek Fire Near Hanford Grows Big, Threatens Sensitive Ecological And Cultural Areas
A new federal report says that a massive building at the Hanford Nuclear Site is worse off than managers thought. The so-called PUREX — Plutonium Uranium Extraction — plant isn’t clean. Starting in 1956 the plant processed loads of plutonium. Its walls are up to 6 feet thick, and it’s as long as three football fields. Continue Reading Feds Say Hanford’s PUREX Plant Is Degrading, Needs Stabilizing Soon