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Worker’s clothing exposed to radioactive contamination at Decommissioned Nuclear HAZMAT event site, Washington State….(duh?)


According to the Wall Street Journal

Latest incident follows collapse of underground tunnel containing radioactive materials

A worker’s clothing was exposed to radioactive contamination at a former nuclear-weapons production site in Washington state late Thursday, in what Gov. Jay Inslee called an “alarming incident” that should prompt federal officials to expedite their cleanup of the decommissioned facility.

North America – USA | State of Washington, Hanford Nuclear Reservation
Location: 46°38’51.0″N 119°35’55.0″W

Earlier in the day, Mr. Inslee and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, both Democrats, sent a letter to President Donald Trump and other White House officials asking for more funding to accelerate the cleanup of the troubled Hanford nuclear-weapons site, about 200 miles southeast of Seattle.

The letter was sent after the collapse last week of an underground tunnel containing radioactive materials, prompting an emergency declaration and evacuation of some employees.

While there was no indication of radioactive contamination after the collapse, federal officials said, the incident was another setback to a cleanup begun in 1989 of the complex, which contains highly radioactive material from World War II and the Cold War.

“The May 9th incident should serve as an urgent reminder of the challenges in cleaning up the Hanford site that require a rededication of attention and resources in order to ensure progress continues moving forward,” the governors said in their letter to the Republican president. “The longer it takes to clean up the facilities and structures that store mixed chemical and radioactive waste, the farther and farther they get past their useful lives—causing degradation and more risk of failing.”

No injuries were reported in the Thursday incident at Hanford. But U.S. Department of Energy officials said unusually high contamination was discovered when a robotic device used to measure the thickness of tanks containing radioactive waste was being maneuvered by a contractor.

Six workers in the vicinity immediately exited the area, in line with procedure, and contamination was found on the clothing of a male worker, according to agency officials and the contractor, Washington River Protection Solutions.

Rob Roxburgh, a spokesman for the contractor, said the worker, whose name wasn’t released, didn’t require medical treatment.

No other workers were affected and all members of the crew were cleared to resume their duties.

A cleanup of the affected area was completed Friday morning, and work remains under way to pinpoint the source of the contamination, agency officials said. Mr. Roxburgh said Washington River Protections Solution expects to have more information next week.

19 May 2017
WSJ (edited)


BREAKING: Emergency at US nuclear site after collapse — TV: “Fears of radioactive contamination” — Expert: “Could lead to considerable radiological release” — Multiple states activating Emergency Operations Center — Pilots told to avoid flying over area (VIDEOS)

Source: ENENews, 09 May 2017, 6:36 pm ET


Gov’t: “Alarming” release of radioactivity from US nuclear site — AP: “Uncontrolled spread of contamination” — Official: Contains “high levels of radioactive isotopes” (VIDEO)

Published: 24 February 2016 at 8:31 am ET
By ENENews

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