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Radiation Detected At Hanford, Alert Issued

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One of the double-shell tank farms containing six underground tanks on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation (credit: Jeff T. Green/Getty Images)

One of the double-shell tank farms containing six underground tanks on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation (credit: Jeff T. Green/Getty Images)

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(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.

Related: 250 Workers Laid Off At Nation’s Most Contaminated Nuclear Site

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.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. KING 5 News contributed to this report.)

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