Hanford, WA — There has been a tunnel collapse at a U.S. nuclear facility that was part of the Manhattan Project — the undertaking that led to the creation of the world’s first nuclear weapons. From an Associated Press (AP) report:
“An emergency has been declared at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeastern Washington after a portion of a tunnel that contained rail cars full of nuclear waste collapsed.
“Workers at the site of the tunnel collapse Tuesday morning were evacuated. No workers were in the tunnel. Workers farther away were told to remain indoors.”
Personnel were told to “secure ventilation in your building” and “refrain from eating or drinking.”
The tunnel is used to transport highly contaminated materials such as radioactive fuel rods to a plutonium extraction site.
According to a source that spoke with local media in western Washington, the collapse may have been due to ground vibrations caused by nearby roadwork.
A spokesman for Washington’s Department of Ecology says that thus far, no radiation leak has been detected.