Radiation alert at Hanford Plutonium Finishing Plant, workers ordered to take cover

Hanford Site demolition area where a leak triggered radiation alarms Thursday, Jun. 8, 2017. Hanford Site/Facebook

 

A temporary fix was put into place for now to slow the leak

WASHINGTON STATE (INTELLIHUB) — A radiation radiation [sic] monitor was triggered Thursday morning sounding an alarm which resulted in 350 Hanford Plutonium Plant workers taking protective cover.

The alarm sounded about 7 a.m. local time after a release of nuclear contamination at the Plutonium Reclamation Facility that’s currently in the process of being demolished. Continue reading

Emergency at US Nuclear Site: “Unusually high” radiation levels reported — Worker: “Everybody’s freaked, shocked, surprised” — Governor: “Alarming incident” — TV: “Major event… Sign the plant is falling apart” (VIDEOS)

 

KING, May 19, 2017 (emphasis added): Another Hanford emergency: signs of another leaking tank… The U.S. Department of Energy is scrambling to deal with the second emergency at the nuclear site in 10 days’ time. Signs have emerged that a massive underground double shell nuclear waste holding tank may be leaking… Now it has been holding hot, boiling radioactive and chemically contaminated waste for 41 years. KING 5 has learned that a… radiation specialist on the crew detected higher than expected readings… Detection equipment was then used to check for contamination that might have become airborne… They found radioactive material on one worker in three spots… “Everybody was freaked, shocked, surprised,” said a veteran worker and KING 5 Hanford source who is in direct contact with crew members… Thursday night’s incident means this could be the second double shell tank to fail. “We are of course concerned it might be a leak,” a Washington state Department of Ecology spokesperson said… The AZ 101 contamination event comes just 10 days after a tunnel collapse at Hanford that caused a site wide emergency… That event could have spewed radioactive particles across the site and beyond… “Today’s alarming incident at Hanford elevates the urgency of the federal government to prioritize and fund all critical cleanup at this aging nuclear reservation,” [Governor Jay] Inslee said in a statement… Continue reading

ALERT: Officials warn of more collapses at US nuclear site — “High spikes” in radiation levels recorded — Expert: Plutonium could go airborne — Major concern over radioactive releases — Gov’t delays revealing data to public (VIDEOS)

KING 5 transcript, May 14, 2017 (emphasis added): Hanford official: Tunnel could collapse again — Less than a week after a tunnel collapse at Hanford’s PUREX site, Senator Cantwell visited the nuclear site Saturday, concerned about the recent collapse and the possibility of more. “There is still a potential that we could have an additional collapse of that tunnel,” said Doug Shoop, manager at the Department of Energy Richland Operations Office… “What we will be doing, weather permitting, will be putting a very large cover over the top of that tunnel number one,” said Shoop. That cover meant to keep radioactive particles in the dirt from flying into the air in the event of another collapse. Continue reading

Whistle-blower fired from Hanford nuclear site

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Whistle-blower Donna Busche, who raised safety concerns at the nation’s most polluted nuclear weapons production site, was fired Tuesday from her job at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

Busche’s complaints are part of a string of whistle-blower and other claims related to the design and safety of an unfinished waste treatment plant at Hanford.

Busche, 50, said she was called into the office Tuesday morning and told she was being fired for cause.

“I turned in my key and turned in my badge and left the building,” Busche told the Associated Press in a telephone interview from Richland. Continue reading