|RT | Jun 30, 2017|
|The Plutonium Uranium Extraction Plant © Reuters|
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.
|Comment: Is it just me or what does eating and drinking have to do with radiation contamination? It just doesn't make any sense. Also, what are 3000 workers doing inside the tunnels filled with 53 million gallons of spent nuclear fuel crammed inside rail cars? If they are trying to keep these tunnels clear, for what reason? Wouldn't it make sense to bury this radiating contamination? Again, none of this news makes any sense. Obviously, Trump and the debt budget of America is not able to deal with this. And Trump want to make Nuclear Radiation cool again.|
Press release from Department of Energy on Hanford Site Emergency. We're still monitoring the situation. https://t.co/69M9C6iEGs#hanfordpic.twitter.com/XPpMizMzHs— WA Emergency Mgmt (@waEMD) May 9, 2017
“In the ’60s, spent fuel rods were put in railroad cars and, once filled, the railroad cars were wheeled into a tunnel dug into the side of a hill,” Bradbury said. “Twenty-eight rail cars in all fill this particular tunnel.”
However, the facility itself, which has been vacant for decades, “remains highly contaminated,” according to the Hanford website.
It still contains roughly 53 million gallons – over 2,600 rail cars – worth of high-level nuclear waste, left from the production of plutonium.
A number of current and former Hanford workers suffer from serious medical conditions as a result of exposure to toxic waste leaks and “burps” of radiation at the complex, RT America reported last year.
‘I thought I was dying’: Ex-Hanford worker gravely ill after inhaling toxic fumes [VIDEO]https://t.co/kP6MkAxFRppic.twitter.com/Un35Af6qkM— RT America (@RT_America) May 6, 2016