No-Fly Zone Issued for HANFORD Nuclear Site, Collapse Is Five Times Larger Than First Estimated
Responders on scene at the buried railroad tunnel next to the Hanford Site's Plutonium Uranium Extraction facility (PUREX) report that the soil collapse over the tunnel is actually 20 feet by 20 feet, much larger than initial estimates of 4 feet by 4 feet.
The depth of the soil collapse appears to have reached the tunnel, Hanford's emergency information site says. There still appears to be no contamination released from the cave-in.
Crews are continuing to survey the area for contamination, the website says: "All personnel in the vicinity of the PUREX facility have been accounted for and there are no reports of injuries."
As a precaution, the site says, workers in the vicinity of the PUREX facility as well as the Hanford Site north of the Wye Barricade (southern entrance to the site) have been told to shelter in-place.
The tunnels to the PUREX facility are located to the east of the facility, extending south, the website explains.
There are two tunnels: One is approximately 360 feet long and the other is approximately 1,700 feet long. The tunnels were used beginning in the 1950s to store contaminated equipment. The 20 foot wide by 20 foot long cave-in is in an area where the two tunnels join together.