High risk of another nuclear waste tunnel collapse in Washington – govt
he US Department of Energy says there is a high risk that a tunnel filled with radioactive waste might collapse at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in the state of Washington. This after another tunnel partially caved in at the same facility last month.
The agency says it has until August 1 to develop plans to prevent the collapse of yet another tunnel at Hanford.
The facility was built in the 1950s and for decades produced plutonium for the US nuclear weapons arsenal. In 1988, production stopped and the site became a burying ground for radioactive waste.
The tunnels were used to get rid of nuclear material and equipment, such as rail cars that transported the fuel rods from nuclear reactors to the processing facility.
One such tunnel partially collapsed on May 9, prompting the Department of Energy to declare an emergency at Hanford. Some 3,000 workers sought shelter and were advised to temporarily refrain from eating and drinking.