|RT | Jun 8, 2017|
The Continuous Air Monitoring alarms went off just before 8am local time at the site. The demolition crews in the area immediately stopped work, took cover “as a precaution” and applied adhesive paint as a fixative material that “is used as part of demolition to control contamination,” the Hanford Site said in a series of tweets.
Contamination is expected in the demolition area, and the air monitors are one of the tools used to ensure employees are protected.— Hanford Site (@HanfordSite) June 8, 2017
The contamination was found on the stairs to the mask station where workers put on protective gear, according to KING’s Susannah Frame.
Here is internal @HanfordSite email about take cover at plutonium finishing plant this morning pic.twitter.com/Gp2IS9Zea8— Susannah Frame (@SFrameK5) June 8, 2017
A veteran Hanford worker told Frame that the incident was not unexpected because CH2M Hill, an engineering consultant company, was “rushing the demolition” and “not listening to workers.”
Picture of an air monitor near demolition area at Plutonium Finishing Plant pic.twitter.com/vpjU603Dbe— Hanford Site (@HanfordSite) June 8, 2017
Meanwhile, at America's most toxic facility... https://t.co/ywdm25DVqZ— Alexey Yaroshevsky (@Yaro_RT) June 8, 2017
On May 9, a portion of a tunnel near the plutonium-uranium extraction plant (PUREX) collapsed, most likely from vibrations produced by nearby road work. About 3,000 workers initially took cover at the 200 East Area of the sprawling complex before the order was expanded to the entire complex, which is about half the size of Rhode Island.
Cave in on nuclear waste stored in 200-East of #Hanford spurred evacuation. RT found dangerous levels there in March https://t.co/jpUWE7bqYapic.twitter.com/COTBlRrMm5— RT America (@RT_America) May 9, 2017
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 in April 2016.
‘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
The plant processed 24,000 tons of irradiated uranium fuel rods to remove plutonium for nuclear weapons during the Cold War. It hasn’t been operational since 1967, but is not scheduled to be dismantled for at least another 15 years, triggering concerns that conditions will continue to worsen given its current state.