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.
As of 10:12am Tuesday, Newstalk 870 was told by a source at the site, they are close to the area, and are being required to Take Cover in their trailer until they are told it is safe.
Our source says the tunnel was a railroad tunnel used to transport fuel rods. The tunnel is said to contain possibly HOT or radioactive equipment, and possibly the McClusky Ambulance. It was named after Harold McClusky, the 1980's Hanford worker who received one of the highest ever recorded doses of radiation from an exploding glove box he was working on. He's often referred to as Hanford man or Radioactive man.
Our source said "it is a very bad area to have a collapse" from what they know. They also said they "will probably be here for a very long time" due to the uncertainty over exactly what has transpired.
Our source says standard precautions for this type of event. Windows and doors taped shut, ventilation turned off. Some workers closest to the area of incident are being or will be scanned by RAD Techs and Hygenists to determine what might have been released by the reported collapse, and to see if anyone got a dose.
Every precaution will be taken until officials know exactly what has transpired and if any contamination was released, and if so, how much. They try to be uber careful in these situations.