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
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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.

Yakima Herald, May 9, 2017: BREAKING… Several counties adjacent to the Hanford Site — Yakima, Walla Walla, Grant and Adams counties — participated in a mid-morning conference call with the state Emergency Operations Center, Yakima interim EOC director Tony Miller said.  “At this time, we’re monitoring the winds“… If there should be a release of contamination that goes beyond the boundaries of the Hanford site, it would mean that produce would not be allowed in or out of the affected area, Miller said. Milk and the dairies in the Valley could be affected as well…

Statesman Journal, May 9, 2017: Oregon activates emergency operation center after tunnel collapses at Hanford… ODOE officials are coordinating with the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oregon Health Authority and nuclear safety experts at Oregon State University, ODOE spokeswoman Rachel Wray said Tuesday morning. “Hanford is 35 miles away from Oregon,” Wray said. “We are concerned about Oregonians’ health and that concerns the food we eat.”

US Dept. of Energy: An alert was declared at the Hanford Site this morning… Later this morning, the alert was expanded to a Site Area Emergency. A Site Area Emergency is declared when the event is affecting or could potentially affect personnel beyond the facility boundary…

WA Emergency Mgmt:‏ State Emergency Operations Ctr activated for Hanford Site emergency

Tri-City Herald, May 9, 2017: Private pilots in the area have been told to avoid flying over Hanford. The Hanford Patrol is working with the Federal Aviation Administration to put a formal air restriction in place until the FAA can confirm there is no danger.

Fox News, May 9, 2017: “We need to understand whether there has been any environmental contamination resulting from the subsidence at these tunnels,” [Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.] said.

KHQ, May 9, 2017: Hanford tunnel collapse prompts fears of radioactive contamination

Washington Post, May 9, 2017: “It appears that this is a potentially serious event,” [Edwin Lyman, a senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists] said. “Collapse of the earth covering the tunnels could lead to a considerable radiological release.”

Watch broadcasts here: CBS | FOXKHQ | KING 5

Published: May 9th, 2017 at 6:36 pm ET
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