(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 a home 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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