Evacuated at Hanford Nuclear Site
August 26, 2005
The U.S. Energy Department evacuated some workers at the Hanford nuclear
reservation in south-central Washington on Wednesday because of a suspected
breach in a container, but initial surveys detected no radioactive contamination,
The incident occurred in an area where workers have been unearthing containers
of waste that had been buried for years. The site is also near a landfill
where some waste is being permanently buried.
A brown absorbent material escaped from a 55-gallon drum, but an inner
drum that contained a small amount of radioactive material was not believed
to have leaked and there was no environmental contamination, said Katie
Larson, a Handford spokeswoman.
Tests also found no contamination on the two workers closest to the container
or on nine others who were in the area, said spokesman Calvin Dudney.
The State Emergency Operations Center was activated to monitor the situation
and assist surrounding counties if needed.