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BREAKING NEWS: Leak at Hanford

DOE is headed by Rick Perry

U.S. Department of Energy declares an emergency at a Hanford nuclear site tunnel that contained rail cars full of nuclear waste collapsed.

There apparently has been no release of radiation and no workers were injured, said Randy Bradbury, a spokesman for the Washington state Department of Ecology.

The emergency is especially frightening because  the incident was in the PUREX area of the site,  a massive facility more than three football fields in length that was used to recover plutonium from irradiated fuel rods. The building , has been vacant for nearly 20 years but remains highly contaminated.So far, however, the DOE and local authorities say that there has been no leakage beyond the collapse site.

Workers at the site of the tunnel collapse were evacuated. No workers were in the tunnel. Workers farther away were told to remain indoors.  Officials have not evacuated any employees from nearby buildings, said Lori A., a spokeswoman who would give only her first name. She said she did not know how many employees were asked to stay put while crews investigate the damage.

Nearby roads have not been affected, she said. She had no other information to share and said updates would be posted on the Hanford Emergency Information website.

Residents of Benton and Franklin counties are not required to take any action, the energy department said.

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