Emergency at US Nuclear Site: “Unusually high” radiation levels reported — Worker: “Everybody’s freaked, shocked, surprised” — Governor: “Alarming incident” — TV: “Major event… Sign the plant is falling apart” (VIDEOS)

Published: May 22nd, 2017 at 7:24 am ET
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KING, May 19, 2017 (emphasis added): Another Hanford emergency: signs of another leaking tank… The U.S. Department of Energy is scrambling to deal with the second emergency at the nuclear site in 10 days’ time. Signs have emerged that a massive underground double shell nuclear waste holding tank may be leaking… Now it has been holding hot, boiling radioactive and chemically contaminated waste for 41 years. KING 5 has learned that a… radiation specialist on the crew detected higher than expected readings… Detection equipment was then used to check for contamination that might have become airborne… They found radioactive material on one worker in three spots… “Everybody was freaked, shocked, surprised,” said a veteran worker and KING 5 Hanford source who is in direct contact with crew members… Thursday night’s incident means this could be the second double shell tank to fail. “We are of course concerned it might be a leak,” a Washington state Department of Ecology spokesperson said… The AZ 101 contamination event comes just 10 days after a tunnel collapse at Hanford that caused a site wide emergency… That event could have spewed radioactive particles across the site and beyond… “Today’s alarming incident at Hanford elevates the urgency of the federal government to prioritize and fund all critical cleanup at this aging nuclear reservation,” [Governor Jay] Inslee said in a statement…

KING Transcript: “For the second time in less than two weeks there’s been a major incident at the Hanford nuclear site. Tonight, new evidence of a possible new leak at a massive underground nuclear waste tank…. This is the second major event at Hanford in 10 days time… Yet another sign that the old weapons plant is falling apart.”

CNN, May 20, 2017: Maia Bellon, director of the Washington Department of Ecology [wrote] “We’re calling for an immediate investigation by US Department of Energy into contamination & potential leak”…

Wall Street Journal, May 19, 2017: U.S. Department of Energy officials said unusually high contamination was discovered when a robotic device used to measure the thickness of tanks containing radioactive waste was being maneuvered by a contractor.

Watch broadcasts here: KING | NBC

Published: May 22nd, 2017 at 7:24 am ET
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