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 Another Hanford Tunnel at High Risk of Collapse 
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Nearly two months after a decades-old tunnel containing irradiated equipment was found to have partially collapsed at the Energy Department’s Hanford Site in Washington state, the Energy Department said Friday a similar tunnel is also at risk of collapse.

“Tunnel 2 has been in service over 50 years, which exceeds its design life,” Douglas Shoop, manager of DOE’s Richland Operations Office, said in a webcast press conference from Hanford. “The risk of a future collapse of Tunnel 2 is considered high, based on the stresses on some of the structural components of the facility.”

Tunnel 2, like Tunnel 1, contains railcars full of irradiated equipment from Hanford’s plutonium production days during the Cold War. Most of this equipment came from the PUREX — Plutonium Uranium Extraction — facility, and most of it probably still contains radioactive debris, Shoop said.


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Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:43 pm
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