Nuclear Facility dangers abound during severe Earth Changes

Nuclear plant in Taiwan catches fire

Nuclear plant in Taiwan catches fire
A loud noise was heard at midnight around the plant as the turbine released steam into the sky during the process, Taipower said. (Representative Photo)
BEIJING: Taiwan has shut down two reactors after a fire broke out at a nuclear power station in southern Taiwan shortly before midnight on Sunday.
The incident has caused no radioactive leak and no personnel have needed to be evacuated, Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) said in a statement on its website. 

The fire began inside an auxiliary electrical transformer at the Third Nuclear Power Plant in Pingtung County, setting off an alarm at 11:58pm, Taipower said. It was put out by the plant's own firefighters within 17 minutes of its occurance, it said. 

A loud noise was heard at midnight around the plant as the turbine released steam into the sky during the process, Taipower said. 

Taipower said preliminary investigations suggest that it will take two weeks to get the second reactor operational again. The transformer, which was one of a number of devices supplying electricity to the plant, has been damaged due to short circuit. 

The accident is expected to affect China's ambitious plans that include launching eight new nuclear power plants this year besides granting approvals for another set of six new plants. The government aims to build capabilities for producing 30,000 megawatts by 2020. 

Chinese nuclear experts have argued that the country has the best safety standards in place after the government recently lifted the ban on new plants, which was imposed after Japan's Fukushima accident in 2011. 

Giving details of the accident, Taipower said that another reactor in the affected plant, the No. 1 reactor is unaffected. 

The second reactor, which has a electricity generating capacity of 951 megawatts, has been in operation since May 1985. 

Taiwan has three nuclear power plants in operation and another one under construction. There has been much public debate about whether the island should become a nuclear power-free society, particularly in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

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Egypt nuclear reactor in Cairo to begin June 21st and is already having problems, leaking radiocative materials.  Employees were forbidden to speak of the problems the facility is having.  It's a go.......... to open.views">

Uploaded by NibiruMagick2012 on Jun 6, 2011

The Anshas nuclear reactor, located on the outskirts of Cairo, has leaked ten cubic meters of radioactive water for the second time in a year, according to Samer Mekheimar, the former director of the Nuclear Research Center's atomic reactions department. Mekheimar submitted a note to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, saying the leakage took place on 25 May as a result of operating the reactor without taking into account safety precautions. He also said the Atomic Energy Agency kept the incident secret and threatened to fire the staff if they talked about it. "The fact that the reactor was by mere chance not operated the next day saved the area from environmental disaster," he wrote. "All ministries were changed after the revolution, except the Ministry of Electricity and Energy," he added. "It still kept the same minister and his deputies from the dissolved ruling party." Meanwhile, sources at the Nuclear Safety Authority said they were denied entry to the reactor to conduct an inspection. Director of the Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed al-Kolaly, said that levels of radiation inside the reactor are normal, and that the International Atomic Energy Agency has praised the reactor

Egypt nuclear reactor to begin operation this month
Saturday Jun 4, 2011 - 17:06

Fort Calhoun, NE -- OPPD declares notification of unusual event at the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Station.

Neb. nuke plant declares emergency due to flooding

ZetaTalk: Nuclear Reactor Accidents

Written November 27, 2010

Perhaps that we can expect incidents at nuclear stations during the 7 of 10 events, i.e. in SE Asia on achievement of a 7/10, in the west and the north of the S America during its roll, during rupture of the New Madrid fault line, in the western Europe during a tsunami? I assume that earthquakes and tsunami can present some problems on nuclear pollution even before the pole shift. Any comments of the Zetas?

After the Chernobyl disasters it is understandable that mankind is nervous about the coming pole shift and the potential of nuclear disasters in their nearby power stations. We have encouraged all to contact the operators of these facilities, and advise them of the coming disasters, encouraging them to shut down the facilities at the first sign of major quakes and the like. We have explained that to a certain extent we, as benign aliens under the control of the Council of Worlds, can step in and remove the explosive potential from these power stations, as we have from nuclear bombs held by the US, by Russia, and by other nations. In a shutdown procedure, bolts that inhibit the nuclear reaction are dropped between the reactor rods, stopping the nuclear reaction cold. This is a simplistic explanation, as the power plant controls run on electricity which can surge or fail, thus interfering with a shutdown. Such electrical surges or failure, happening during a shutdown, has been associated with nuclear accidents at Chernobyl, and SL-1 for example. As the hosing from the magnetic tail of Planet X continues to waft over the Earth, such surge and brownout can be expected. We predict that many nuclear power plants will be shut down, permanently, during the Earth changes leading into the pole shift, due to a combination of earthquake threats or damage and electrical surge and brownout. The grid will, in any case, be down after the pole shift, so this is only an early loss. As to flooding of reactors during the Earth changes or the pole shift tides, other than interfering with the electrical controls, this does not create, in and of itself, a disaster. Water is used to cool the reactor rods. It is the absence of water, due to the pumps being inoperable, that is a problem.

All rights reserved:

ZetaTalk: Nuclear Call
written February 4, 2012

The issue of whether benign alien assistance will come during disasters, neutralizing nuclear facilities, comes up often, understandably. Those who currently live near nuclear facilities worry constantly about sudden earthquakes or operator neglect, which can cause a meltdown with consequent radiation pollution far and wide. Fukushima is the latest example. As the earthquakes are on the increase, and the 7 of 10 scenarios about to afflict those countries which have utilized nuclear power extensively, this concern will only increase.

The answer in these matters, which we have repeatedly explained, is first that the Element of Doubt must be maintained. This is an aspect of the gradual awakening of mankind to the alien presence that ensures that contactees will not be savaged by those in panic, fearing for their lives. In the past, the establishment - MJ12 composed of the CIA, military intelligence, and the very wealthy - withheld information on their preliminary contact with aliens. Where they claimed they were saving the public from panic, this move was self serving as they wanted alien technology for themselves, and also did not want to be knocked from their perch in the eyes of the public.

Rather than reassure the public about the alien presence, the old MJ12 deliberately moved to foster fear in the public. Hollywood has been enlisted to produce a stream of movies showing aliens landing to eat people, colonize the Earth, and infect and takeover human bodies and minds. The old MJ12 likewise harassed and monitored contactees, to control the plethora of books and videos being produced by enthusiastic contactees. The Element of Doubt at base is to protect the growing army of contactees, whom the establishment fears. What it their threat? That they challenge the legitimacy of the establishment to lead, creating a secret network, an information exchange taking place on space ships among contactees, which the establishment is powerless to stop.

Enter the nuclear power plant issue, which is a legitimate concern even among those in the establishment. As the pace of the Earth changes has picked up, our answers have moved from being vague in 2008, stressing that this is in the hands of man, to hinting by 2010 that the collective Call from many in the Service-to-Other would make a difference and that alien interference would be allowed, to admitting after Fukushima in 2011 that some interference had occurred.

Has the degree of concern from Service-to-Other souls on Earth, giving a collective Call on this matter, made a difference? Unquestionably. From the start of ZetaTalk we have stressed that matters such as a healing only take place as a result of a Service-to-Other call. Those who Call for themselves, out of self interest, are ignored. The collective Call out of concern for others, made by those in the Service-to-Other on Earth, have and will make a difference on the nuclear power plant issue.

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Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on February 16, 2018 at 10:27pm

Indian Point reactor automatically shuts down again, feds investigating

Published 3:08 p.m. ET Feb. 16, 2018

Unit 3 shut down after a generator failed on the non-nuclear side of the power plant.

One of Indian Point’s two nuclear reactors automatically shut down early Friday when a generator failed, prompting an inquiry by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

This is the second time in four months that Indian Point’s Unit 3 shut down after an issue with a generator on the non-nuclear side of the pressurized water reactor.

A spokesman for Indian Point's owner, Entergy, said no radiation was released during the shutdown. “Engineers are investigating to more fully understand the cause of the shutdown before the unit is returned to service,” spokesman Jerry Nappi said.

SHUTDOWN: Indian Point reactor back up and running after six-day sh...

LEAKS: Nuclear Regulatory Commission says Indian Point must resolve...

WASTE: Nuclear waste stranded at Indian Point

In both shutdowns, a component in the electrical generator system failed.

Indian Point’s second reactor, Unit 2, was functioning at 100 percent of its capacity.

NRC’s resident inspector for Indian Point visited the plant shortly after being notified of the shutdown, NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said.

“He traveled to the control room, where he observed shutdown activities and independently verified plant safety conditions,” Sheehan said “No immediate safety concerns were identified.”

The NRC will continue monitoring repairs and plans to restart the unit. It took six days to restore power following the November shutdown.

Nappi said officials will try to determine whether there are any common issues between the two shutdowns.

During a test of Indian Point's emergency warning system Wednesday, two of 172 sirens -- one in Putnam County, the other in Rockland County -- failed to sound. Both sirens have since been repaired. 

Entergy has plans to shut down Indian Point by 2021.

Comment by Stanislav on November 21, 2017 at 8:49am

Russia confirms 'extremely high' readings of radioactive pollution

A map provided by the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety shows the detection of ruthenium-106 in France and Europe. (INRS via AP) Image source:

20 November, 2017. "Russia's meteorological service confirmed on Monday "extremely high" concentrations of the radioactive isotope ruthenium-106 in parts of the country in late September, following European reports about the contamination this month.

"Probes of radioactive aerosols from monitoring stations Argayash and Novogorny were found to contain radioisotope Ru-106" between September 25 and October 1, the Rosgidromet service said.

The highest concentration was registered at the station in Argayash, a village in the Chelyabinsk region in the southern Urals, which had "extremely high pollution" of Ru-106, exceeding natural background pollution by 986 times, the service said.

It did not point to any specific source of the pollution, but the Argayash station is about 30 kilometres from the Mayak nuclear facility, which in 1957 was the site of one of the worst nuclear disasters in history.

Today Mayak is a reprocessing site for spent nuclear fuel.

On November 9, France's Institute for Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety issued a report saying Ruthenium-106 had been detected in France between September 27 and October 13.

It said that the source of the pollution was probably an accident somewhere between the Volga River and the Ural Mountains, adding that the concentrations measured in Europe were not a danger to public health.

Ruthenium-106 is a product of splitting atoms in a reactor and does not occur naturally.

Russia's nuclear corporation Rosatom said at the time that "radiation around all objects of Russian nuclear infrastructure are within the norm and are at the level of background radiation.""

Russia confirms 'extremely high' readings of radioactive pollution. (n.d.). Retrieved November 21, 2017, from

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on November 14, 2017 at 10:38pm

Unusual event declared at NPPD’s Cooper Nuclear Station


AUBURN, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District is responding to an unusual event at its Cooper Nuclear Station due to a hydrogen leak into a main plant area.

The utility declared a “Notification of Unusual Event” (NOUE) today at 11:18 a.m. due to a hydrogen leak into a main plant area. The leak was discovered by a maintenance crew working on the non-nuclear system, and repairs to fix the leak are in progress.

The plant is stable and continues to operate at this time. There is no threat to the public. NPPD has notified the appropriate local, county, state, and federal agencies.

A NOUE is defined as unusual events, minor in nature, which have occurred or are in progress which indicate a potential degradation in the level of safety at the station. If placed on a scale of 1 to 4, with 1 being the least serious level of an emergency and 4 being the most serious level of an emergency, a NOUE would equal a 1.

Cooper Nuclear Station is located three miles southeast of Brownville near the Missouri River. It is owned and operated by the Nebraska Public Power District, with headquarters in Columbus. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on September 22, 2017 at 4:38am

Nuclear Plants Plus Hurricanes: Disasters Waiting to Happen

September 21, 2017

St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant at Port St. Lucie, Florida

Although the mainstream media said next to nothing about it, independent experts have made it clear that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma threatened six U.S. nuclear plants with major destruction, and therefore all of us with apocalyptic disaster. It is a danger that remains for the inevitable hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis and other natural disasters yet to come.

During Harvey and Irma, six holdovers from a dying reactor industry—two on the Gulf Coast at South Texas, two at Key Largo and two more north of Miami at Port St. Lucie—were under severe threat of catastrophic failure. All of them rely on off-site power systems that were extremely vulnerable throughout the storms. At St. Lucie Unit One, an NRC official reported a salt buildup on electrical equipment requiring a power downgrade in the midst of the storm.

Loss of backup electricity was at the core of the 2011 catastrophe at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan when the tsunami there and ensuing flood shorted out critical systems. The reactor cores could not be cooled. Three melted. Their cores have yet to be found. Water pouring over them flooded into the Pacific, carrying away unprecedented quantities of cesium and other radioactive isotopes. In 2015, scientists detected radioactive contamination from Fukushima along the coast near British Columbia and California.

Four of six Fukushima Daichi reactors suffered hydrogen explosions, releasing radioactive fallout far in excess of what came down after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Extreme danger still surrounds Fukushima’s highly radioactive fuel pools, which are in varied stages of ruin.

“In addition to reactors, which at least are within containment structures, high-level radioactive waste storage pools are not within containment, and are also mega-catastrophes waiting to happen, as in the event of a natural disaster like a hurricane,” says Kevin Kamps of the activist group Beyond Nuclear.

In 1992 Hurricane Andrew paralyzed fire protection systems at Florida’s Turkey Point and so severely damaged a 350-foot-high tower it had to be demolished. The eye of that storm went directly over the reactor, sweeping away support buildings valued at $100 million or more.

There’s no reason to rule out a future storm negating fire protection systems, flinging airborne debris into critical support buildings, killing off-site backup power, and more.

As during Andrew, the owners of the nuclear plants under assault from Harvey and Irma had an interest in dragging their feet on timely shut-downs. Because they are not liable for downwind damage done in a major disaster, the utilities can profit by keeping the reactors operating as long as they can, despite the obvious public danger.

Viable evacuation plans are a legal requirement for continued reactor operation. But such planning has been a major bone of contention, prompting prolonged court battles at Seabrook, New Hampshire, and playing a critical role in the shutdown of the Shoreham reactor on Long Island. After a 1986 earthquake damaged the Perry reactor in Ohio, then-Governor Richard Celeste sued to delay issuance of the plant’s operating license. A state commission later concluded evacuation during a disaster there was not possible. After Andrew, nuclear opponents like Greenpeace questioned the right of the plant to continue operating in light of what could occur during a hurricane.

Throughout the world, some 430 reactors are in various stages of vulnerability to natural disaster, including ninety-nine in the United States. Numerous nuclear plants have already been damaged by earthquakes, storms, tsunamis, and floods. The complete blackout of any serious discussion of what Harvey and Irma threatened to do to these six Texas and Florida reactors is cause for deep concern.

Harvey Wasserman’s California Solartopia show airs at KPFK-FM in Los Angeles; his Green Power & Wellness Show is podcast at He is the author of Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth and co-author of Killing Our Own: The Disaster of America’s Experience with Atomic Radiation.

Comment by M. Difato on September 7, 2017 at 3:03pm

 Exelon Corporation: Nine Mile Point Unit 1 Offline

 OSWEGO, N.Y. - Nine Mile Point Unit 1 automatically shut down at 11:58 a.m. Wednesday when a component failed in the system that regulates water level during normal operation. Operators responded and all safety systems functioned as designed.

Technicians will repair and fully test the system before returning Unit 1 to service. Nine Mile Point Unit 2 remains online. The Unit 1 outage will not impact electrical service to customers..."

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on June 11, 2017 at 7:28pm

Seventy “new cracks” discovered at Belgium’s ageing Tihange nuclear power plant

Seventy “new cracks” discovered at Belgium’s ageing Tihange nuclear power plant

Published On: Sun, Jun 11th, 2017

nsnbc : Experts discovered new, additional cracks in reactor 2 at the Tihange nuclear power plant, located near the city of Liege, said Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon. The discovery of some 70 new cracks contradicts claims by some experts who said  previously discovered cracks had been there since the reactor was built and irrelevant for the reactors operational safety. The reactor’s designed lifespan has been substantially extended despite warnings from experts and protests by neighboring communities in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.

Responding to an inquiry from the parliamentary group of Belgium’s Green Party, Interior Minister Jan Jambon admitted that experts discovered 70 more cracks in the pressure vessel of reactor two at the Tihange nuclear power plant (NPP) than during a previous inspection in 2014. However, Jambon claimed that the discovery of these additional cracks had no impact on the operational safety of the reactor at all.

Jambon stated that the additional 70 cracks had been discovered because the ultra-sound probes used to inspect  the reactor vesselhad been placed at different locations than during inspections in 2014. Previously discovered cracks were no longer considered as damage or as posing a risk to operational security — The results of the latest inspection, in their entirety, prompted Belgium’s nuclear safety agency to state that it has no reason to oppose the operation of the reactor, said Interior Minister Jambon.

In 2015 Belgium’s Federal Nuclear Agency (FANC) registered a total of 3,149 reports about damages and incidents at reactor 2 at the Tihange NPP. This number had risen by 2.2 percent to 3,219 after the latest inspection, noted the NGO Nucléaire Stop. The NGO as well as experts from neighboring municipalities stress that it is no longer safe to operate the aging reactor.

Neighboring communities in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands have long criticized the Belgian government for extending the life-span of the reactors at Tihange and Doel beyond their design limits. On June 25 concerned citizens and grassroots movements from Germany will travel to Tihange to create a human-chain around the Tihange NPP. Activists and critics have begun describing the Tihange NPP as “The Mummy”, stressing that a disaster that could force Belgium to build a Chernobyl-style “Sarcophagus” could happen any time. Continues.......

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on June 11, 2017 at 9:19am

Hanford radiation alarm prompts order for workers to seek cover

Originally published June 8, 2017 at 1:43 pm

The order was lifted about four hours later after low levels of radiation were detected at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, the site of a massive cleanup.

SPOKANE — Radiation warning alarms sounded Thursday at a former plutonium-production plant in Washington state, prompting a take-cover order that sent about 350 workers seeking cover indoors during the demolition of a plant that for decades had helped make nuclear weapons.

The order was lifted about four hours later after low levels of radiation were detected at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, the site of a massive cleanup.

The Energy Department said no injuries were reported, and workers had applied an adhesive product to the contamination to prevent it from spreading from locations on sidewalks and near a vehicle access gate at the Plutonium Finishing Plant.

Workers were continuing to monitor the air for any further contamination. No other details were provided about the incident.

“Air monitoring alarms during demolition are not unexpected,” the Energy Department said in a news release, noting the alarms are used to ensure demolition of the plant proceeds safely.

The incident followed the collapse last month of a tunnel at the facility that contained nuclear waste, prompting another evacuation. The Energy Department has said no injuries or contamination was reported as a result of the collapse.

The alarm Thursday rang as crews were removing outdoor equipment at the highly contaminated 580-square-mile (1,502 square kilometer) facility near Richland, Washington.

Hanford made about two-thirds of the plutonium for the nation’s nuclear arsenal, and now is engaged in cleaning up the huge volume of resulting radioactive waste at the site established by the Manhattan Project during World War II.

The tunnel collapse occurred on May 9 in a 360-foot long (110-meter) rail tunnel built in 1956 from timber, concrete and steel. Radioactive waste was stored inside, and the entrance was sealed in 1965.

The tunnel contains a mixture of radioactive and chemical waste and irradiated equipment, including eight contaminated rail cars.

The ground above the collapse has been entirely covered by a huge tarp and will be filled with a cement-like grout to prevent future problems.

The cleanup at Hanford is expected to last until 2060 and cost $100 billion more than the $19 billion already spent.

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on June 11, 2017 at 8:33am

Japan nuclear workers inhale plutonium after bag breaks

Safety and security concerns raised after equipment inspection at research facility just north of Tokyo goes wrong

Oarai Research & Development Center, a nuclear research facility in japan                                                                                                                                                                                   

Five workers at a Japanese nuclear facility have been exposed to high levels of radiation after a bag containing plutonium apparently broke during an equipment inspection.

Contamination was found inside the nostrils of three of the five men, a sign they had inhaled radioactive dust, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) said on Wednesday. All five also had radioactive material on their limbs after removing protective gear and taking a shower.

Agency spokesman Masataka Tanimoto said one of the men had high levels of plutonium exposure in his lungs. The worker, in his 50s, had opened the lid of the container when some of the 300g of plutonium and uranium in the broken bag flew out.

The incident occurred on Tuesday at the agency’s Oarai research and development centre, a facility for nuclear fuel study that uses plutonium. It lies in Ibaraki prefecture, just north of Tokyo.

The cause of the accident is under investigation, the state-run agency said. It raised nuclear security concerns as well as questions about whether the workers were adequately protected.

Internal exposure creates the greatest concern because of the risk of cancer. The man’s exposure, 22,000 Becquerels, could mean the effect on his lungs may not be immediately life-threatening but would add up over time, and he would need to be regularly monitored, said Makoto Akashi, a doctor at the National Institute of Radiological Sciences, where the workers are being treated.

Shunichi Tanaka, the chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, blamed work routine complacency as a possible cause. Regulators have started investigating possible violations of safety standards at the facility.

JAEA has a poor safety record at another site – Monju, a plutonium-burning fast breeder reactor that it oversees. There was a major accident there in 1995 and has since hardly operated. The government recently decided to close the facility.

Japan’s possession of large plutonium stockpiles, from the country’s spent-fuel recycling program, has faced international criticism. Critics say Japan should stop extracting plutonium, which could be used to develop nuclear weapons.

To reduce the stockpile, Japan plans to burn plutonium in the form of Mox fuel – a mixture of plutonium and uranium – in conventional reactors. But the restarting of halted nuclear plants has proceeded slowly amid persistent anti-nuclear sentiment since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear reactor meltdown caused by a massive earthquake and tsunami.

The nuclear research workers were injured at Japan’s Oarai research and development centre just north of Tokyo. Photograph: AP

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on May 20, 2017 at 8:59am

Another incident at Hanford Nuclear in less than two weeks

Another Hanford emergency: Signs of another leaking tank

8:49 PM. PDT May 19, 2017

For the second time in less than two weeks, there's been a major incident at the Hanford nuclear site.

Hanford’s owner, The U.S. Department of Energy, is scrambling to deal with the second emergency at the nuclear site in 10 days’ time.

Signs have emerged that a massive underground double shell nuclear waste holding tank may be leaking.

The tank is known as AZ 101 and was put into service in 1976. The tank’s life was expected to be 20 years. Now it has been holding hot, boiling radioactive and chemically contaminated waste for 41 years.

A seven-person crew was undertaking a routine job around 7 p.m. Thursday night. They had deployed a remote controlled devise into the safety space of what is known as a double shell tank. The device is used to evaluate structural integrity of the aging tanks. Normally, equipment lowered in this two-foot wide outer shell of the tank comes up clean. But not this time. A radiation specialist on the crew detected higher than expected readings.

“Radiological monitoring showed contamination on the unit that was three times the planned limit. Workers immediately stopped working and exited the area according to procedure,” said Rob Roxburgh, deputy manager of WRPS Communications & Public Relations, the government contractor in charge of all 177 underground storage tanks at the nuclear site.

Detection equipment was then used to check for contamination that might have become airborne and adhered to the workers. They found radioactive material on one worker in three spots: on one shoe, on his shirt, and on his pants in the knee area. According to workers in the field, the contaminated items were removed, bagged and appropriately disposed of.

“Everybody was freaked, shocked, surprised,” said a veteran worker, who is in direct contact with crew members. “(The contamination) was not expected. They’re not supposed to find contamination in the annulus (safety perimeter) of the double shell tanks.”

Of Hanford’s 177 underground tanks, 28 of them are double-shells. They were built to withstand the test of time – a more robust model that was supposed to hold the worst nuclear waste on the reservation until a permanent solution for disposal is developed. But Thursday night’s incident means this could be the second double shell tank to fail.

"We are of course concerned it might be a leak," a Washington state Department of Ecology spokesperson said.

In 2013 the KING 5 Investigators exposed how the federal government and its contractor misled the public and lawmakers about the first double shell tank to leak – AY 102. The series, “Hanford’s Dirty Secrets,” showed how Hanford managers ignored major red flags that AY 102 was leaking, and instead insisted “rainwater” had seeped into the safety space. AY 102 is located about 100 feet from AZ 101.

The AZ 101 contamination event comes just 10 days after a tunnel collapse at Hanford that caused a site wide emergency. On May 9, workers found a 20 by 20 foot cave in of a tunnel used to store highly radioactive and chemically contaminated equipment from the Cold War-era. That event could have spewed radioactive particles across the site and beyond, but due to stagnant air at the time, monitoring has shown no contamination blew out of the huge hole, according to Hanford officials.

Governor Jay Inslee called on the federal government to investigate after the contamination was discovered.

"Today's alarming incident at Hanford elevates the urgency of the federal government to prioritize and fund all critical cleanup at this aging nuclear reservation," Inslee said in a statement. "We are not aware of any nuclear waste leaking outside the AZ-101 double-shelled tank, but we expect the U.S. Department of Energy to immediately investigate and report on the source of contamination. 

"This comes on the heels of last week's tunnel collapse. It is another urgent reminder that Congress needs to act, and they need to act quickly." 

Attorney General Bob Ferguson sent out a statement on the potential leak as well.

“Today’s news of another potential leak in a tank at Hanford only strengthens my resolve to hold the Department of Energy accountable for its responsibility to clean up this contaminated site,” Ferguson said. “This isn’t the first potential leak, and it won’t be the last. The risks at Hanford to workers and the environment are all too real, and today’s news is just another illustration of how tenuous the situation is.”

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on May 9, 2017 at 9:49pm

Hanford nuclear emergency: Workers take cover at 'most toxic place in America' after tunnel collapse

The site was previously described by nuclear experts as 'an underground Chernobyl waiting to happen'

  • Tuesday 9 May 2017 20:20 BST

Hundreds of workers have been forced to "take cover" after a tunnel in a nuclear finishing plant collapsed in Washington state.

Following the incident Tuesday morning, which a spokesperson told the Independent is still being investigated, a manager sent a message to workers telling them to “secure ventilation in your building” and to “refrain from eating or drinking.” The US Department of Energy activated its Emergency Operations Center Tuesday following the collapse. Some workers were reportedly told to evacuate while others were told to shelter-in-place as officials investigated the severity of the situation.

"The Department of Energy informed us this morning that a tunnel was breached that was used to bury radioactive waste from the production of plutonium at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation," Governor Jay Inslee said in a statement. He said that the White House had reached out to his office as well.

"This is a serious situation, and ensuring the safety of the workers and the community is the top priority," Mr Inslee said. "Our understanding is that the site went into immediate lock down, in which workers were told to seek shelter, and all access to the area has been closed."

A spokesperson for the Hanford site said during a live broadcast that the tunnel collapse was discovered by workers on patrol in the area.

"Crews noticed that a portion of that tunnel had fallen," Destry Henderson, the spokesperson, said, emphasizing that researchers had not found spilled or leaked radioactive materials. "The roof had caved in about a 20 foot section of that tunnel."

The tunnel reportedly contained highly contaminated materials including nuclear waste trains that are used to transport radioactive fuel rods.  A spokesperson said that there was no evidence to suggest that radioactive materials had been released and that all of the workers in the area were accounted for. An official tally of those with orders to shelter-in-place was not immediately available, a spokesperson said but there were no reported injuries.

“The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Richland Operations Office activated the Hanford Emergency Operations Center at 8:26 a.m,” the Department of Energy said in an earlier statement. “There are concerns about subsidence in the soil covering railroad tunnels near a former chemical processing facility. The tunnels contain contaminated materials.”

The nuclear site, located in the city of Hanford, is a former plutonium production site that was used to help develop the American nuclear arsenal 70 years ago. More recently, however, a private contractor hired by the Department of Energy is working on a $110 billion project to clean up 56 million gallons of chemical and nuclear waste stored in as many as 177 underground tanks there.

Before the Tuesday collapse, those tanks were reportedly leaking toxic and radioactive vapours and chemicals that have been linked to cancer, brain damage, and lung damage. There were at least 61 workers exposed to those deadly vapours last year. Experts have called the location "the most toxic place in America" and "an underground Chernobyl waiting to happen."

Cleaning up the Hanford nuclear site has been a priority for the Energy Department for years. The site hasn't produced plutonium since 1980 and a cleanup program was started there in 1989.

Hanford is a small agricultural community in south-central Washington about 200 miles from Seattle.

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