Grounded Bonus Episode: This is Not a Drill

Just days after recording our latest podcast episode, “Hanford’s Burping Tank,” the Hanford Nuclear Site experienced a real emergency.

Hanford workers completing a routine check 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.

The situation at Hanford is now stable. In this Bonus podcast, ODOE’s Assistant Director for Nuclear Safety, Ken Niles, shares some info about the incident at Hanford, and Oregon’s response.

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Music: “If” by Broke For Free,

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