Hanford workers begin fixing hole after tunnel collapse

Hanford workers begin fixing hole after tunnel collapse

On Wednesday morning, Workers with the Hanford Nuclear Reservation began working to fill a 400 square foot hole, created when a tunnel containing radioactive waste collapsed Tuesday.

The U.S. Department of Energy said the cause of the collapse is still not known at this time, but said no air contamination has yet been detected.

The Associated Press reported U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry will be conducting a study to determine what led to the collapse of the tunnel, Perry saying it obviously deteriorated and wondering why it was allowed to happen.

DOE Spokesman, Mark Heeter, said non-essential workers have not been cleared to return to work, the department wanting to take all precautionary measures to ensure safety in the area.

“We don’t know exactly know what we’re up against, said Heeter. “We do in a sense that we continue to survey and find there’s no contamination. “

Crews began filling the hole with sand and dirt Wednesday morning. Heeter said he does not know when all workers will be able to return.

He said the last time the Emergency Operations Center was activated was in 2013.