hanford emergency

U.S. Department of Energy

Workers at the Hanford nuclear reservation are starting to install a thick plastic covering over a tunnel that collapsed on May 9. That tunnel holds highly radioactive waste left over from the Cold War.

U.S. Department of Energy

Federal contractors plan to install another level of containment over the tunnel that caved in at the Hanford nuclear site on May 9. The tunnel was used to store old, highly radioactive equipment from a facility that dates back to the Cold War.

Courtesy Michele Gerber

One week ago workers found a tunnel filled with radioactive waste caved in at the Hanford nuclear site in southeast Washington. State officials and tribes are calling for quick cleanup action.

But how did we get here?

U.S. Department of Energy

Washington state is taking legal action against the U.S. government after a tunnel full of radioactive waste collapsed Tuesday at the Hanford nuclear site.


U.S. Department of Energy

Tuesday morning an emergency response was triggered at the Hanford nuclear site when a hole was found in the roof of a buried tunnel nearby a mothballed plutonium processing plant. The tunnel, constructed in the haste of the Cold War, was about 360-feet-long and built out of timbers and concrete.

So what exactly is in that tunnel? 


U.S. Department of Energy

Contractors are building a road to a collapsed train tunnel site at the Hanford nuclear reservation in southeast Washington state. Their goal is to keep any radioactive contamination from escaping the hole that was found Tuesday.

U.S. Department of Energy

The U.S. Department of Energy issued an emergency alert Tuesday morning at the Hanford site north of Richland, Washington, after a tunnel at a radioactive cleanup site caved in. Workers at a former chemical processing plant were evacuated and thousands more across Hanford were directed to take shelter indoors.

State and federal officials said all workers were accounted for, there were no injuries and no indication of “release” of radioactivity into the environment. By early afternoon, the employees taking shelter were given permission to go home except those needed for emergency response.