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.

What began as a 4 feet by 4 feet depression or sunken area, has now expanded to 20 x 20.  It's being scanned by workers to determine if any radioactive materials have been disturbed or released.

The tunnels were used to transport fuel rods to the Purex plant, where uranium was removed.  Although some sources say no, other Hanford reports say there are contaminated elements and equipment in the tunnel.  According to a source, no contamination was headed towards the Take Cover workers in trailers, but a small reading was found in the middle of the depression or sunken area.

A sunken area would indicate a breach or collapse of the tunnel.  Our source on site says workers, as of 11:30am or so, are being moved to trailers with plumbing in case they need to be kept there for a while. Workers were being scanned as a precaution as they moved. The tunnel is not considered a safe environment due to present contamination that still has to be dealt with.

More information expected to be coming later.  The reason for  the extreme caution is to make sure no contamination released due to the soil being disturbed or moved in an uncontrolled manner.

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