Tunnel collapses at US nuke site
LOS ANGELES: Thousands of workers at a nuclear site in Washington were ordered to take cover on Tuesday after a storage tunnel filled with contaminated material partially collapsed, but there was no indication of a radioactive leak.
Employees at the sprawling Hanford Site plant, about 275km southeast of Seattle, were sent an alert by management telling them to take cover and to “secure ventilation” and refrain from eating or drinking.
Officials said there was no sign that any radioactive material had leaked after crews discovered that a 6m section of a tunnel filled with contaminated equipment had caved in.
A Department of Energy spokesman said nearly 5,000 employees were at the Hanford Site, which spreads across 1,518km, when the emergency was declared.
She said fewer than a dozen employees were in close vicinity of the tunnel.
By early afternoon, non-essential employees were told to go home as crews prepared to fill the hole with clean soil, officials said.
“All employees have been accounted for, there were no injuries