Energy chief: Tunnel hole filled at Hanford N-waste site

The Energy Department said it activated its emergency operations protocol after reports of a "cave-in" at the 200 East Area in Hanford, a sprawling complex about 200 miles from Seattle where the government has been working to clean up radioactive materials left over from the country's nuclear weapons program.

With a machine blowing mist to keep down dust, workers began filling the gaping 400-square-foot hole in the tunnel holding contaminated nuclear waste. He says the next step is to reduce risks at the aging tunnel.

By GCR Staff0 CommentsA tunnel collapse at the United States' main nuclear waste store caused the US Department of Energy (DOE) to declare an emergency this week.

The rail tunnel was built in 1956 out of timber, concrete and steel, and topped by eight feet of dirt.

Energy Department officials said that there was "no indication of a release of contamination at this point" but that crews were still testing the area for contamination.

The collapse is near PUREX, an old Cold War factory in the center of Hanford that was used to extract plutonium for use in nuclear bombs. It was a nuclear chemical processing plant, as well as a site for radioactive waste disposal.

The agency says the road will give workers a clear path to fill the collapsed portion of the tunnel, which was discovered Tuesday morning.

"The efforts to provide a long-term storage of the sludge and liquid waste is a tremendous challenge and we've got to remain insistent that the federal government comply with its obligations to do that, and we will continue to do that".

Romelu Lukaku 'annoyed' by persistent speculation about his future
Lukaku started the transfer trade winds in March when he announced he would not be signing a new contract at Goodison Park.

He said the federal government has failed over the years to remove the waste in a timely manner and pledged to make progress on a multibillion-dollar problem that has transcended previous administrations.

The tunnel that partially collapsed on Tuesday is one of two used at the site for storage that connects with the Plutonium Uranium Extraction Facility or PUREX - a now defunct facility that was once used to extract plutonium from spent nuclear fuel.

The problem is that the US government rushed to build nuclear weapons during the Cold War with little thought given to how to permanently dispose of the resulting waste.

Governor Jay Inslee said that he is extremely concerned about how the tunnel collapse happened. "This week's incident is a reminder that the men and women who work for the Department of Energy do incredible work, but that work does not come without risk".

On Tuesday, almost 4,800 employees took shelter indoors for five hours after a 20-foot-by-20-foot section of 360-foot-long tunnel containing eight railcars filled with radioactive material caved in.

The cause of the partial roof cave-in of the tunnel is under investigation, said Mark Heeter, a spokesman for the Energy Department at the site in southcentral Washington state.

Luckily, there was no sign of any release of radioactive materials. The work is expected to take until 2060 and cost more than $100 billion.

The task of Hanford cleanup has been contracted to Washington River Protection Solutions which is estimated to take 110 billion to clean up nearly "56 million gallons of chemical and nuclear waste, stored in 177 underground tanks" and could take 50 years.

Related News:

  • Microsoft designs new Windows 10 update

    This capability is facilitated by an iteration of the Microsoft Graph service that was debuted alongside the Fluent Design System. The idea is to maintain a consistent design experience in the same way Google has been able to achieve with its Material Design.

    Navy SEAL From Maine Killed in Somalia

    A US service member who was killed during an operation in Somalia on Friday was a Navy SEAL based out of Virginia Beach. Milliken is the first USA service member to be killed in Somalia since the 1993 Black Hawk Down incident.

    Facebook might launch its own premium TV shows next month

    These new shows will presumably also be viewable through Facebook's video app for the Apple TV and other set-top boxes. While it seems Facebook's original programming plan is in full gear, there is still a spate of questions that loom.
  • Kelly Clarkson joining 'The Voice' as coach for 14th season

    Kelly Clarkson joining 'The Voice' as coach for 14th season

    The X Factor US may have lasted only three seasons, but one of the best judges that show had was Demi Lovato. Kelly Clarkson's team are reportedly already clearing her schedule for the time the show will be taped.
    CBS' Tony Romo admits he'll probably stink on TV at first

    CBS' Tony Romo admits he'll probably stink on TV at first

    Open field will be comprised of players who advance from the sectional, according to USGA spokesperson Brian DePasquale. Then I'm going to go back and be a really good assistant golf club professional back in Burlington, Wisconsin'.
    Philippines, US launch scaled-down military exercises

    Philippines, US launch scaled-down military exercises

    The two countries are long-time treaty allies and have conducted the yearly training to ensure interoperability of their forces. Duterte responded to criticism from then-US president Barack Obama by repeatedly using personal slurs against him.
  • Andy Murray

    Andy Murray "concerned" by manner of Madrid Masters exit

    Djokovic was dominant on serve throughout, facing only one break point in the opening game of the second set. And he rammed home his advantage by breaking the fragile Murray serve again to close out the set.
    Bromwich and Proctor will not be considered for World Cup

    Bromwich and Proctor will not be considered for World Cup

    Bromwich stood down as Kiwis captain and from the Storm's leadership group which includes Kangaroos skipper Cameron Smith. The Melbourne Storm suspended Bromwich for two games and ordered him to undergo counselling and treatment courses.

    Trump on Middle East peace: 'We will get it done'

    On Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence said the White House was giving "serious consideration" to the idea. President, it's about time for Israel to end its occupation of our people and of our land", Abbas said.
  • Mother's Day gifts you can pick up at the grocery store

    Mother's Day gifts you can pick up at the grocery store

    When you have a small business, you tend to think about holidays and when you make skincare, Mother's Day is a great holiday. A mother is there for every single child through the thicks and thins the highs and lows, and the successes and the failures.
    Miley Cyrus releases new single,

    Miley Cyrus releases new single, "Malibu"

    The new Miley wants bigots to listen to her, sounds not unlike a Fox correspondent, and believes we can love our way out of this. This new look is a symbol for Cyrus' overall change, one that Billy Ray says is working very well for his daughter.
    Former Premier League champion Blackburn relegated from the Championship

    Former Premier League champion Blackburn relegated from the Championship

    Mourinho said their cramped schedule, which includes a possible two further Europa League games, means they must win the tournament to qualify for next season's Champions League.


Most liked

Don't Doubt We Can Beat Manchester United - Celta Vigo Star Issues Warning
So to have that record of winning so many matches, to not lose so many matches, it's something that's not normal. In Manchester United's fantastic summer of 2016, Henrikh Mkhitaryan was arguably the best player they signed.

Malta's GDP almost three times that of eurozone
Sterling also suffered from news of falling industrial production in Britain and a widening of the country's trade deficit. The report also highlights that the recovery is supported by "more balanced" growth than in the years prior to 2008.

Why Were US Photographers Absent at the Trump-Lavrov Meeting?
On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said the Kremlin had no interest in Comey's firing. I believe that in this situation everyone understands that it's real hysteria in the U.S. media.

Effort to block Confederate statue's removal goes to court
Two years ago, Mayor Mitch Landrieu signed an ordinance that prompted the removal and relocation of four confederate statues. Jefferson Davis was a U.S. representative and senator from MS who later led the Confederacy during the Civil War.

French Prosecutors Open Probe Into Macron Campaign Hack
The essential thing today is to give a broad and coherent majority.to Emmanuel Macron to allow him to govern", he said. Mr Macron has said the defectors can keep their existing party membership and still run on his parliamentary ticket.

Amazon unveils Alexa-powered, touchscreen-equipped Echo Show home speaker
The Echo Show has two 2-inch Dolby stereo speakers and eight microphones on top of the device near the on/off and volume buttons. Alexa also includes native "assistant" functionality for reminders, timers, music playback, calendar appointments, and so on.

Senate confirms Heather Wilson as Trump's Air Force secretary
As secretary, Wilson will oversee work at Canon, Holloman and Kirtland Air Force bases in New Mexico, among others nationwide. Reed said the call raised the possibility Iglesias may have felt pressured by Congress in an ongoing investigation.

Kelly Clarkson Returning To 'American Idol'? ABC Wants Her To Judge Reboot
Seacrest and his girlfriend was spotted by TMZ in NY on Sunday, and he was asked about a possible "American Idol " return. Last week, longtime host Ryan Seacrest announced that he's the new co-host for Live! with Kelly Ripa . "No, no no.

Afghan Forces Fire on Census Workers, Killing 9
Kabul claims the villages are part of the war-torn country's Spin Boldak district, an assertion Pakistan flatly denies. Replying to another question, he said that Pakistan government was trying its level best to mend the situation.

FCC to reverse net neutrality, rejects 'hysterical prophecies of doom'
In 2014, comedian John Oliver in his HBO show owned by Time Warner Inc (TWX.N) helped galvanize support for net neutrality . Democratic Senator Edward Markey predicted Pai would face a "tsunami of resistance" to overturning the rules.

Nigeria leader meets Chibok girls, leaves for medical trip
Neither Nigeria's government nor Boko Haram, which has links to the Islamic State group, gave details about the exchange. Nigerians gathered in front of newsstands Monday looking at the names of freed schoolgirls in local papers.

Wizards' Oubre suspended for Game 4 for knocking over Olynyk
Members of the Celtics medical staff anticipated the need to replace the temporary bridges, and are prepared at any time to do so. And Jae Crowder seemingly can't make a shot which is why the Wizards have successfully gambled repeatedly in leaving him open.

Ronaldo destroys Atletico with semi-final hat-trick
But Madrid were in front three minutes later as Casemiro chopped a cross into the ground, and as it bounced up Ronaldo rose highest to head into the net.

Syria says Israel attacked Hezbollah arms depot near Damascus airport
But Intelligence Minister Israel Katz, speaking to Army Radio from the United States, appeared to confirm involvement. Hezbollah is a Lebanese terrorist organization that fought a war against Israel in 2006, and is sponsored by Iran.

Ceasefire in Syria from midnight
But analysts say there is much yet to be negotiated on Syria and remaining differences between Turkey and Russian Federation . Russia, Turkey and Iran act as guarantors of the Astana peace process.