Emergency at U.S. Nuclear Site: Gov’t activated alert, workers ordered to ‘take-cover’ — Several hospitalized — Ex-employee: “Stuff goes on all the time we don’t know about, it’s scary” — Governor: No ‘immediate’ health hazard (VIDEO) #Hanford

Published: August 23rd, 2013 at 2:04 pm ET
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KONA Radio, Aug 22, 2013: An emergency operations alert was activated at Hanford overnight after radiation was detected during a transfer from a waste tank. KONA-AM radio reports the Department of Energy activated the alert around 9:20 p.m. Wednesday near tank C-101.

CBS Seattle, Aug 22, 2013: Radiation was detected at a tank farm at the nation’s most contaminated nuclear site Wednesday night, causing an alert to be issued and work to be stopped, KING 5 reported.

Oregon Public Broadcasting, Aug 22, 2013: Areas of Hanford were under a “take-cover” status. Special crews surveyed the areas outside of the C-Far

Tri-City Herald, Aug 22, 2013: Workers in the 200 East Area of central Hanford, which includes the C Tank Farm, and the nearby vitrification plant under construction remained under the take-cover order.

KEPR TV, Aug 22, 2013: “Stuff goes on out there all the time that we don’t know about, but it’s scary,” said [former Hanford worker Chris] Anderson. [...] A handful of areas were placed in “take-over” condition, where it’s all hands on deck [...] A rep from the Department of Energy doesn’t remember an alert being issued in at least the past seven years. [...] Four employees at the tank farm went to the hospital to be checked for radiation exposure. [...] “As long as this kind of thing is going on, I won’t be living here, we all won’t be living here,” said Anderson.

DoE Press Release, Aug 22, 2013: Approximately 80% of the waste from single-shell tank C-101 has been retrieved [...] leaving just a few inches of difficult-to-retrieve hard heel waste. [...] dose rate readings were 150 mr/hr [1,500 microsieverts/hr] open window, and only 6 mr/hr closed window. [...] the swipe indicated a radioactive contamination reading of 180,000 disintegrations per minute. [...] The four workers that were evacuated were sent to Kadlec Hospital in Richland, WA for additional monitoring as a precaution. [...]

KFLD Radio, Aug 22, 2013: The DOE says the leak may have occurred near what is called sluice box [...] The equipment is used to spray contaminated liquid onto the waste so it’s easier to remove. By using already contaminated liquid instead of water, less new waste is created.

FOX 13, Aug 22, 2013 – Washington Governor Jay Inslee: Fortunately it doesn’t appear that there’s any immediate human health concerns [...] doesn’t appear there is any immediate human hazard.

Watch the local NBC broadcast here

Published: August 23rd, 2013 at 2:04 pm ET
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