Update May 11, 2017: Yesterday, May 10, crews at the Hanford nuclear site filled in a collapsed section of one of the PUREX tunnels with 53 truckloads of soil. With the situation at Hanford stable and recovery efforts moving forward, the Oregon Department of Energy deactivated our emergency Agency Operations Center. At 11:21 p.m. last night, the Hanford Emergency Operations Center notified our staff that the Site Area Emergency had been terminated. ODOE’s nuclear safety team continues to monitor activities at Hanford. We will provide updates as appropriate on our website.
May 9, 2017:
This morning at about 8:30 a.m., workers completing a routine check at the Hanford Site in Southeast Washington discovered subsidence (ground caving in or sinking) over a tunnel near the now-defunct Plutonium Uranium Extraction Facility (PUREX). Officials reported that the tunnel contains stored contaminated waste. There was no release of radioactive materials and no injuries as a result of the ground collapsing.
The Oregon Department of Energy activated our Agency Operations Center as a precaution. AOC staff are trained to respond to a nuclear accident, and involves several state agencies, including the Oregon Department of Energy, Oregon Health Authority, and Oregon Department of Agriculture.
Today’s incident is not affecting Oregon, but we want Oregonians to know we are closely monitoring the situation to ensure the public remains safe and is aware of ongoing developments.
The tunnel collapse at Hanford has stabilized this afternoon. We will continue to monitor the situation overnight, and will provide updates on:
You can also follow updates from the Hanford Site.
For more background info, please see our morning press release.
Selected media coverage: