Investigation into Abnormal Radiological Reading at Hanford

Aug 22, 2013

Crews at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation are investigating increased radiological readings at a tank farm there.

Part of the massive site was shut down following the reading Wednesday night.

It happened around 9:30 p.m. while crews were transferring waste at a tank inside what’s known as the C-Farm, a 9-acre grouping of underground tanks that hold millions of gallons of radioactive sludge.

Operators noticed a big difference in their radiological readings and proceeded to evacuate the entire farm area. Gates were closed to most workers, and areas of Hanford were placed under a “take-cover” status. Special crews surveyed the areas outside of the C-Farm, then got closer to the location where work was being done.

Crews have since given the all-clear for most of the farm, but are working on narrowing down where the high reading came from.

Department of Energy spokeswoman Carrie Meyer says federal contractors and employees were well-prepared as they had just undergone an emergency drill late last week. She says no workers have been contaminated or injured.