The site that helped build the first U.S. nuclear arsenal 70 years ago has suffered a possible leak.
An investigation has begun at a U.S. nuclear facility after radioactive material was found on a worker’s clothing. A contractor with Washington River Protection Solutions also noticed a spike in radiation levels on a device called a “crawler” that had been taken out of a nuclear waste tank.
“Established decontamination procedures were followed, which involves removing the contaminated clothing. Further surveying the worker showed no contamination remained. No other workers were affected, and all members of the crew were cleared for normal duty,” said WRPS spokesman Peter Bengtson, reported The Independent.
At the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hanford site, is the Double-Shell Tank AZ-101, which contains 800,000 gallons of nuclear waste, according to the Washington Department of Ecology, which oversees it.
Washington governor Jay Inslee called it a “serious situation,” and a message was sent to workers
telling them to “secure ventilation in your building” and to “refrain from eating or drinking.”
Just last week, workers were told to “take cover” after a tunnel in the nuclear finishing plant collapsed. It did not leak or spill radioactive materials but still caused an uproar.
Spokesperson Shaylyn Hynes told media that the U.S. Department of Energy is continuing to monitor the situation.