(CBS Seattle) — Radiation was detected at a tank farm at the nation’s most contaminated nuclear site Wednesday night, causing an alert to be issued and work to be stopped, KING 5 reported.
A clean-up project is currently underway at the Hanford site to move nuclear waste from older tanks to newer double-shell tanks where it will be stored temporarily. The alert was issued Wednesday night around 9:35 at a collection of single-shell tanks as nuclear sludge was being transferred, according to KING. Some workers were evacuated, others were told to “shelter in place.” The order was lifted after an inspection of the tank farm area turned up no detectable radiation.
Earlier this year, state officials announced one of Hanford’s underground tanks was leaking, posing a risk to groundwater and rivers. The tanks, which hold millions of gallons of highly radioactive sludge, are past their intended 20-year life span. The clean-up, which has been underway since the 1980s, isn’t expected to be complete until mid-century and could cost as much as $100 billion, according to KING 5.
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