ALERT: Officials warn of more collapses at US nuclear site — “High spikes” in radiation levels recorded — Expert: Plutonium could go airborne — Major concern over radioactive releases — Gov’t delays revealing data to public (VIDEOS)

Published: May 18th, 2017 at 6:56 am ET
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KING 5 transcript, May 14, 2017 (emphasis added): Hanford official: Tunnel could collapse again — Less than a week after a tunnel collapse at Hanford’s PUREX site, Senator Cantwell visited the nuclear site Saturday, concerned about the recent collapse and the possibility of more. “There is still a potential that we could have an additional collapse of that tunnel,” said Doug Shoop, manager at the Department of Energy Richland Operations Office… “What we will be doing, weather permitting, will be putting a very large cover over the top of that tunnel number one,” said Shoop. That cover meant to keep radioactive particles in the dirt from flying into the air in the event of another collapse.

KOMO, May 13, 2017: DOE spokesman Doug Shoop said they’re still at risk of another failure as the 360-foot long concrete and wood structure has not been shored up. To mitigate the risk of a radioactive release in the event of a second collapse, workers will place a heavy, industrial tarp over the entire length of the tunnel…

KEPR, May 13, 2017: IMMEDIATE CONCERNS… “Now there is still the potential that we could have an additional collapse,” said Doug Shoop, site manager for the Department of Energy Richland Operations… Nuclear Waste Program Manager Alex Smith said the Department of Ecology[ said the] most immediate concern, of course, is the potential the wooden tunnel could collapse again… If a larger part of the tunnel were to collapse, she said they worry about a radiological releaseWith high winds in the area, Smith said radioactive dust can travel easily, that’s why they used extra precaution when dealing with the emergency on Tuesday. Shoop [said] they want to avoid airborne release of radioactive dust because the materials are difficult to contain and can be harmful to humans… “But what we do know for sure is that the material is very radioactive,” he said… Shoop said all the monitoring data that the DOE, contractors and the Department of Health conducted on the site, following the collapse, will be available to the public within the next week

Alex Smith, Washington Dept. of Ecology: “The integrity of the structure is compromisedRadioactive dirt and dust could be released… it is a high concern.”

KNDO transcript, May 14, 2017: “There are still major concerns circling the tunnel collapse.”

KING 5 transcript, May 10, 2017: “A danger still exists after that tunnel collapsed yesterday. It was really a statewide emergency… If the wind were to pick-up and the hole is still not filled in, that’s when the wind could come down, stir things up, and spread radioactive particles into the air… The bad news is the wind is about to pick up. We’ve got this low pressure system out in the Pacific… Once it traverses east of the Cascades we’re going to see that wind… You’re going to see wind speeds surpassing the 30 mph mark.”

Nuclear Hotseat, May 10, 2017: (at 11:15 in) Robert Alvarez, former senior policy adviser at US Dept. of Energy: “It’s possible that radiation might have escaped into the open environment because of this collapse… This stuff could re-suspend — it probably has plutonium in it.” — (at 16:30 in) Julie Wert, Radiation Watch: “I pulled the [EPA RadNet data] for Hanford and it’s showing high spikes… That indicates that there’s some releases going on.”

Tri-City Herald, May 13, 2017: Hanford radiological control technicians who questioned some unusual radiation readings are being credited with discovering the breach… When some readings were much higher than expected, they began checking for the cause…

Broadcasts: KING 5 | KNDO | Nuclear Hotseat

Published: May 18th, 2017 at 6:56 am ET
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474 comments

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