Reports from the U.S. Department of Energy indicate that Hanford Nuclear Site in Washington state faced a major hitch after a tunnel containing contaminated materials collapsed. Approximately 200 workers at the Hanford Nuclear Site in Washington state were ordered to take cover in the incident that took place on Tuesday.
The Feds said that the alert was declared at 8:26 a.m. local time after the cave-in covered railroad tunnels near a former chemical processing plant.
The plant borders the Columbia River. In response to the incident all workers at the plant, were ordered inside. Access to the affected area is now restricted to protect employees.
Destry Henderson, deputy news manager for the Hanford Joint Information Center reported that there are no reports of injuries, no reports of radiological release. He, however, emphasized that his report was confined to a small area of the Hanford site.
Henderson said that investigations on a small area of soil that had sunken are underway, adding that the soil covers a tunnel used to access a former chemical processing facility.
Reports also claim that the road crews working nearby might have created enough vibration to cause the collapse. This comes after Hanford was dubbed the Most Toxic Place in America last year in an NBC News expose.
Hanford is renowned because it used to be where plutonium was produced for America's nuclear arsenal.
However, currently its run by the Department of Energy and its contractor, Washington River Protection Solutions, and is in the middle of a massive $110 billion cleanup of 56 million gallons of chemical and nuclear waste that is stored in 177 underground tanks. The project is projected to take at least 50 years to complete.