NPR — The Department of Energy has declared an emergency at a nuclear-contaminated site in Washington state, after soil caved in over a portion of a tunnel containing rail cars contaminated with nuclear waste.
“All personnel in the immediate area have been accounted for — they are safe — and there is no evidence of a radiological release,” Destry Henderson, spokesperson for the Hanford site’s emergency operations center, said in a brief statement on Facebook.
Some employees were evacuated and others were told to move indoors as a “precaution,” officials say. Anna King of the Northwest News Network, a public radio station collaboration, reports that approximately 3,000 other workers in the area were originally taking cover indoors. Nonessential employees have since been sent home, and essential employees were instructed to avoid the site of the tunnel.
There are no reports of injuries.
The Hanford Site, about 150 miles southeast of Seattle, is a former nuclear production complex and home to a long-running, challenging and sometimes troubled cleanup operation.
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