200 East Area, atomic bomb, cancer, Cold War, corruption, dangers of nuclear, DOE, environment, Hanford, Hanford cave-in, Hanford emergency, Hanford Site, nuclear, nuclear bomb, nuclear reactors, nuclear safety, nuclear waste, nuclear weapons, plutonium, plutonium uranium extraction plant, PUREX, radioactive waste, risk management, tunnel collapse, US DOE, USA, Washington State
THEY DON’T EVEN HAVE ANYTHING THERE TO MONITOR GROUND SHIFTING TO ALERT PRIOR TO COLLAPSE DESPITE ALL OF THE TAX PAYER MONEY SUNK INTO THE HANFORD NUCLEAR SITE? How routinely do they do surveillance of the area? Did the tunnel just collapse? Or did they just notice it?
The collapsed radioactive waste tunnel probably contains plutonium 239, with a half-life of over 24,000 years and plutonium 241, half-life of over 14 years, but which becomes Americium 241 with a radioactive half-life of over 400 years: “Plutonium-239 is one of the three fissile materials used for the production of nuclear weapons and in some nuclear reactors as a source of energy. The other fissile materials are uranium-235 and uranium-233. Plutonium-239 is virtually nonexistent in nature.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isotopes_of_plutonium
“HANFORD EMERGENCY INFORMATION
Event Summary 5/9/2017 10:37 AM
HANFORD SITE EMERGENCY
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Richland Operations Office activated the Hanford Emergency Operations Center at 8:26 a.m., after an alert was declared. Officials are responding to reports of a cave-in of a 20 foot section of a tunnel that is hundreds of feet long that is used to store contaminated materials.
The tunnel is located next to the Plutonium Uranium Extraction Facility, also known as PUREX, which is located in the center of the Hanford Site in an area known as the 200 East Area. There is no indication of a release of contamination at this point, Crews are continuing to survey the area for contamination.
All personnel in the vicinity of the PUREX facility have been accounted for and there are no reports of injuries.
Actions taken to protect site employees include:
* As a precaution, workers in the vicinity of the PUREX facility as well as the Hanford Site north of the Wye Barricade (southern entrance to the site) have been told to shelter in-place
* Access to the 200 East Area of the Hanford Site, which is located in the center of the Hanford Site, has been restricted to protect employees
The public can request information regarding the event by calling (509) 376-8116. The media may call (509) 376-3322.
No action is currently required for residents of Benton and Franklin Counties.
09 May 2017
2:19 PM —
Workers on swing shift at the Hanford Site who are not needed for essential site operations this evening are being told to not come into work tonight, as officials determine how to address a partial cave-in of a tunnel near a facility in the center of the site that was discovered this morning. Workers considered essential for site operations are being told to report to work while avoiding the area of the emergency.
The tunnel is one of two constructed during the Cold War near the site’s Plutonium Uranium Extraction Plant, or PUREX Plant, to store contaminated equipment from plutonium production operations at the site in southeastern Washington state. The tunnels were constructed of wood and concrete with a soil covering approximately 8 feet deep. The tunnels are located east of the PUREX Plant and extend to the south. The plant and tunnels are located near the center of the Hanford Site, in an area known as the 200 East Area.
During a routine surveillance of the area, a hole in the roof of one of the tunnels was discovered.
Personnel in the immediate vicinity were evacuated as a precaution out of concern for the potential for the release of contamination. No contamination has been detected as a result of the partial cave-in of a section of the tunnel’s roof. Workers continue to monitor the area for contamination.
Officials declared an emergency for Hanford Site personnel and advised employees in the vicinity of the PUREX Plant to shelter indoors. The take cover was later expanded to Hanford Site employees within the security boundary of the government site north of Richland, Wash. At around noon, most of those employees were told to leave work early as a precaution. At around 1:35 the last of the employees in the vicinity of the tunnels were released from work early.
Officials continue to monitor the air and are working on how they will fix the hole in the tunnel roof. They are looking at options that would provide a barrier between the contaminated equipment in the tunnel and the outside air that would not cause the hole in the tunnel’s roof to widen.
2:11 PM —
The Department of Energy hosted a briefing at 2:15 PM on its Hanford Site Facebook channel. You can view the briefing on the Hanford Site Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/HanfordSite/).
1:35 PM —
Non-essential employees in the vicinity of this morning’s emergency event, an area known as the 200 East Area, have been released from work early. All non-essential personnel north of the Wye Barricade have now been released from work early. Workers on swing shift at the Hanford Site who are not needed for essential site operations this evening are being told not to come into work tonight, as officials determine how to address a partial cave-in of a tunnel near a facility in the center of the site that was discovered this morning. Workers considered essential for site operations are being told to report to work while avoiding the area of the emergency.
Related re various types of radioactive materials found in Hanford groundwater: http://www.pnl.gov/main/publications/external/technical_reports/pnnl-13763.pdf
Thanks to FC for the heads up: https://flyingcuttlefish.wordpress.com/2017/05/09/hanford-2/
Related topics at FC’s other blog, the Louisiana Sinkhole Bugle: https://lasinkhole.wordpress.com