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Second tunnel likely to collapse at PUREX plant (DOE)
Second tunnel likely to collapse at PUREX plant (DOE)
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Probability ‘High’ For Collapse of Second Hanford Purex Tunnel

Friday, Hanford officials said the likelihood for the second Purex tunnel at Hanford to collapse on itself is "high."

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Category: Tri-Cities News Tags: ,
Radioactive Waste Cleanup Continues At Hanford Nuclear Reservation
Getty Images
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Experts Say Future Hanford Accidents INEVITABLE

Hanford officials say cleaning up the rest of the contaminated areas and waste storage will cost $100 billion and take 50 years at the current pace...

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Hanford PFP Plant prior to demolition (Hanford.gov)
Hanford PFP Plant prior to demolition (Hanford.gov)
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Alarms Send PFP Workers Into Lockdown at Hanford

According to official news releases and other sources, two alarms that sounded at the Plutonium Finishing Plant at Hanford have resulted in a lockdown for 350 workers, but no others affected.

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PUREX tunnel that collapsed (KNDU-TV Department of Energy)
PUREX tunnel that collapsed (KNDU-TV Department of Energy)
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New Federal Budget Proposes $120Million Cut for Hanford

Details still coming out, but according to reports, the latest Federal Government Budget contains what would be $120 million dollars in cuts for Hanford.

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This is what actual leaks look like, from tank AY-102. AZ-101 was the one being worked on Friday (U.S. department of energy, KNDU)
This is what actual leaks look like, from tank AY-102. AZ-101 was the one being worked on Friday (U.S. department of energy, KNDU)
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High Contamination Levels Don’t Guarantee Tank Leakage

According to news reports, Hanford tank farm workers using devises to inspect and measure contamination levels between the double shells of a waste storage tank found 3x the 'normal' level of contamination. But sources tell Newstalk870, that does NOT necessarily mean there's a leak. The tank in question was AZ-101.

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Tunnel collapse being filled at Hanford Purex Plant (KNDU-TV)
Tunnel collapse being filled at Hanford Purex Plant (KNDU-TV)
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Hanford Tunnel Hole Being Filled With Dirt to Prevent Contamination Leaks

 

Many Hanford workers, including those on the tank farms (one of our older daughters works there) had their work cancelled Wednesday, while crews were busy pouring load after load of dirt and fill into a breach in one of the contaminated Purex Plant tunnels.

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Hanford News crews
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National News Crews Camped Out at Hanford Site!

Well I guess the national news crews didn't get the memo....Most Hanford workers are off today due to the tunnel collapse situation!

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This is the area where the tunnel collapsed. Depression, and possible hole (the dark area near top of photo)---Department of Energy
This is the area where the tunnel collapsed. Depression, and possible hole (the dark area near top of photo)---Department of Energy
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So After Hanford Tunnel Collapse, Now What?

After Tuesday's apparent collapse of a railroad tunnel at the Purex Plant, officials now have to figure out what to do next.

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Minimal radiation readings found at center of sunken or depressed area, indicating some sort of collapse or breach (Hanford.gov)
Minimal radiation readings found at center of sunken or depressed area, indicating some sort of collapse or breach (Hanford.gov)
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HANFORD Update–Tunnel Under Purex Plant Breached, Collapsed, Minimal Readings

According to sources, including KNDU-TV, work continues at Hanford over the breach or collapse of a railroad tunnel at the Purex Plant. It appears the tunnel underneath near the plant has collapsed.

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Tunnel collapse at Purex Plant (Hanford.gov)
Tunnel collapse at Purex Plant (Hanford.gov)
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Tunnel Collapse Puts Hanford on Take Cover Alert Near Purex Plant

According to multiple sources, including KNDU-TV, our news partner, there's been some sort of possible collapse of a railroad tunnel at the Purex site at Hanford. Purex stands for Plutonium Uranium Extraction Plant. The plant is in the 200 East area, and in it used to be the workhorse of the area, it was used to extract plutonium from irradiated (HOT) fuel rods from the reactors. It is no longer used, but reportedly still has radioactive or HOT equipment in some of the tunnels underneath and other areas.

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