Workers Evacuated From America’s “Most Contaminated Nuclear Site” After Railway Tunnel Collapses

by | May 9, 2017 | Headline News | 39 comments

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    Along the Columbia River in Southern Washington, lies the notorious Hanford Site. This sprawling nuclear facility was once a critical component of America’s nuclear arsenal. Hanford was first established in 1943 for the Manhattan Project, and continued to operate during the Cold War. The vast quantities of plutonium that were produced there were used to build the majority of our government’s nuclear weapons during the 20th century.

    Now however, the rundown facility is a massive liability. The Hanford site has been leaking radioactive materials into the environment for decades, and in 2007 it was was called “the nation’s most contaminated nuclear site.” To give you an idea of just how contaminated Hanford is, in 2014 the government estimated that it would cost $113.6 billion to clean up the entire site.

    As if that wasn’t bad enough, Hanford experienced a serious emergency today when a railway tunnel containing nuclear materials suddenly collapsed. 4,000 workers at the site have been evacuated, and the FAA has been told to place a flight restriction on the area.

    The accident occurred at a facility known as PUREX, located in the middle of the sprawling Hanford site, which is half the size of Rhode Island. The closed PUREX plant was part of the nation’s nuclear weapons production complex.

    Authorities say the collapse took place within one of two rail tunnels under the PUREX site, which contains contaminated materials. One tunnel is about 360 feet long, and the other spans approximately 1,700 feet. The partial collapse, which covered about 400 square feet, took place in an area where the two tunnels join together. The incident caused the soil above the tunnel to sink between 2 and 4 feet.

    The discovery of subsided soil was made during routine surveillance of a 20-foot area in the tunnel.

    No workers were inside the tunnel when it collapsed, but nearby crews were evacuated as a precaution. Some employees were asked to secure ventilation and shelter indoors while others were sent home early. The entrance to the site has been restricted.

    It’s believed that the collapse was caused by construction crews doing road work above the tunnels. Fortunately, it appears that a serious radioactive leak has been narrowly avoided. No radiation has been detected at this time, and all of the Hanford workers are accounted for.

    However, one can’t help but imagine how devastating this situation could have been. That’s why it’s important for everyone to prepare for nuclear disasters. Even when the government isn’t teetering on the brink of war with countries like Russia and China, Americans could still come face to face with a domestic nuclear disaster.

    Aside from nuclear storage facilities, millions of Americans live near aging nuclear power plants, many of which lie within the New Madrid fault zone. And let’s not forget that our government frequently transports nuclear weapons on our highways. If this incident at Hanford teaches us anything, it’s that there are plenty of ways our nation could face a nuclear disaster outside of war, and it’d be foolish to not be prepared for that possibility.

     

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      39 Comments

      1. george

        Too cheap to meter

        Yes it was not built to generate electricity

        • JustMe

          We could have had clean (relatively speaking) thorium reactors for power, but the technology could not be used for building bombs.

          If you want to know more about the radiation in our environment, check out a site called “Your radiation this week”. yourradiationthisweek . org

          The latest from Fukushima, is that a new reactor fire is feared. And, it continues to gush into the Pacific Ocean…

          • Anonymous

            Uranium carbide reactors are just as safe and easier to get online than thorium reactors, and they are ready to be put into production immediately and added to the grid,

            They can be built in a factory and taken to site and put in operation without years of planning and building specialized facilities involved.

      2. WILLY

        Meanwhile, Fukishima rolls on.. and at
        Hanford, no radiation has been detected.
        Death-cult environmentalists are the end
        of the USA.

      3. Brian

        With so many structures in decay and in danger of falling, crazy terrorists wanting to blow up even more seem even more crazy than normal.

      4. B from CA

        Sabotage or accident?

        __

        • Gandhi

          Fake news to sell radiation meters

          • Plan twice, prep once

            Gandhi,
            I call bull sheet. Really, sell more radiation monitors!
            Even among the preppers here, how many beside me own a reliable detector?

            • Bwhntr62

              PLantwice

              I have 3. An attachment for my iPhone, a GM300 and a CDV-717 high range survey meter. Also a dosimeter pen. Lots of nuke plants in this country, and you never know. The .gov people will lie to you about any radiation escapage. You need to have your own means to measure just how bad your area is getting.

              • Plan twice, prep once

                There is a nuclear war survival guide named “NWSS.pdf

                It can be downloaded here: http://www.oism.org/nwss/

                In its appendix there are plans for a radiation detector that can be built by a sixth grader.

                The detector is incredibly simple, it is essentially a foil leaf electroscope. Once charged, because of the addition of desiccant in the detector, the charge is long lived. Exposure to ionizing radiation causes the charge to dissipate at a predictable rate, causing the foil leafs to come back together. Tables with the electroscope allow accurate radiation measurement by measuring movement of the leaves with a ruler and knowing the exposure time. The only real critical construction detail is the weight and dimensions of the foil leaves.

                Professional Geiger counters suffer from design limits. If they are hit with too much radiation, they just stop working correctly. This happened to precision detectors all over Japan and the US when they were hit with Fukushima radiation. All the readings were significantly lower than actual. This was one reason so many radiation detectors across the US were taken off line after Fukushima. It’s also why civil defense Geiger counters came in sets of three. Each with a different range, from low level to, you’ll be dead in minutes.

                Anyway that PDF I linked is a cool tool, lots of prepper goodies applicable to all kinds of situations.

          • conspiracy

            The ransomeware attack is the fake news to divert attention from this,disaster!

        • kev verran

          it was poor management & lack of money & lack of adequate regulation

      5. Archivist

        Breaking news from the AP:

        “White House announces President Donald Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey”

        • Gandhi

          Drain the swamp

        • BlackMoe

          Comey should have known he was doomed, no matter who “won” the election.

          • YellowPokaDotBikini

            Folks don’t worry, its all covered under the Nuke Warrantee program. You know the guarantee by the manufacture, that they will fix everything if something bad happens. Pffttt..

      6. Waiting

        MSM Comey just fired!

      7. Houston/Cypress/Katy/Shtf

        DONALD TRUMP FIRES PEDOFILE SYMPATHIZER FBI DIRECTOR COMEY’ASS. I was just informed verbally, not sure its real yet.

        HCKS.

        • Archivist

          You’re slow. I posted above, even before CNN posted it.

          Yes, it’s real. He’s the designated fall guy for Clinton and crew.

        • Gonetoolong

          Why the hell is this a big deal. Are government employees supposed to be tenured and therefore unfirable? Fucking amazing that people can’t understand that maybe his boss did not like his performance. Move on people, even the damn 40-50 year olds are snowflakes now and can’t handle playing in the real adult world.

          • JustMe

            I feel so triggered…

        • Marie in Upstate

          Yes, HCKS he may have finally fired the pedophile sympathizer Comey, but Trump is still best friends with Tier 3 registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein who is a billionaire who owns two private jets and a secluded island that’s a one hour flight from Mar-a-lago, FL. Doesn’t matter that he doesn’t employ Epstein who doesn’t need a job or a White House staff position. He’s still good friends with him. His words.

      8. SAV

        only $113 billion? The govt is running at a deficit of almost $50 billion per month. Not bad to clean up and decommission a complex that supplied most of the plutonium for our nuclear arsenals, which have kept the world in relative peace and stability for 60 years & counting. A small price to pay indeed. Besides, we’re printing the money for everything else. HOHUM. !!!!

      9. ruckus

        Time to prosecute Hitlery.

      10. oops

        Watch actual footage of the Process Server delivering a Court Summons for Obama’s under lock-down House.

        Starts at 2:30
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9H4phiRVKfU

        Again Larry Klayman!

      11. fozbotz

        it was believed the accident was caused by road crews working on a road. Why are they working on a road on a closed defunct facility?

      12. scott

        To bad I live down wind from that shit hole place.

      13. Bam

        In 1988 I had to attend a training for a government clearance at the company I worked for, and I will never forget these two guys that were either CIA or FBI who gave a presentation. One of them started talking about Hanford and how a leak into the Columbia River could pollute the entire rivershed that serves the Pacific Northwest. Most of us are like, “Why are you telling us this” and his co-presenter was telling him to cool it, but he just kept going on and on. The guy freaked all of us out, and I’ve never forgotten the incident. Back then, Hanford was hush-hush but now it is more out in the open. Anyway, he ended with “The radiation cannot be contained, and it is only a matter of time before it contaminates everything in the area.”

        Sweet dreams, right?

      14. Old Poor Richard

        Fukushima USA.

      15. Wojo

        Smart enough to build it. Dumb enough to not think of the future. What a cluster Fuck!

      16. Jim in Va.

        Better to use other alternative fuels…….or we’ll have Fukushimas all over the planet eventually. As for Ccomey,the dems are going ape shit at Trump for firing him. Had Hillary been elected they would have cheered. Go figure!

      17. aljamo

        Looks like big oil is calling all of the shots. The most evil conglomerate on the face of the Earth. Destruction and bloodshed are their specialties. Pair that with the ultimately demonic arms manufacturers and sellers and the present hell is unleashed upon humanity. There must be a response one would think. Any response is certainly calculated to be smashed early by the state. It seems the entire US population no longer matter, like expendable.

      18. Plan twice, prep once

        OMG, a train load of nuclear waste was accidentally buried in an avalanche in underground caves……

        Nope, nothing to see here…….

        How stupid can people be?

      19. Bert A,

        Could it be …….that this tunnel area/ storage tunnel is also storing the waste by product of Beryllium , an extremely toxic powder which is a waste product of making nuclear materials.
        Take a look at the procedures being used , NOT the TYPICAL nuke hazard procedures. . . . Don’t eat or drink, don’t fly, something just ain’t right …….it is procedure more closely related to a Biohazard ….or …….. an extremely hazardous dust…….just sayin’…………………….

      20. Tedx

        How ironic. The Leftie Green People move to the NW to hug trees, celebrate and preserve the environment. Now they live in a land where the coastline is completely contaminated with rad water from Fukushima and their Plutonium processing plant just lost control of the deadliest substance on earth.

        Go figure.

      21. conspiracy

        Is the ransomware incident a ruse to divert the attention from, this disaster?

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