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Washington nuclear site issues 'take cover' order after steam release

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Workers at the Hanford site conduct radiological surveys at the tunnel where the steam release occurred Friday. Photo courtesy of the Hanford Site

By Danielle Haynes, UPI

Officials at the Hanford nuclear waste treatment site in central Washington ordered employees to take cover Friday after the release of steam from a building.

The facility's website said radiological surveys show there is no contamination associated with the tunnel or building where the steam released.

Officials told employees to avoid the building as a precautionary measure.

The Department of Energy used the 586-square-mile Hanford site for the production of nuclear weapons, including plutonium production for the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan during World War II, for five decades. Production ramped up in the late 1940s and 1950s during the Cold War as the United States sought to stockpile nuclear weapons. The last reactor was built in 1959 and the site was decommissioned in the late 1980s.

Last month, a settlement between the Department of Energy and the state required testing of new technologies to capture and destroy tank vapors, the installation of vapor monitoring, detection and alarm systems and $925,000 in reimbursed litigation costs to the plaintiffs. The settlement was the result of a lawsuit over decades of reported worker exposures to radioactive vapors.

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U.S. - U.S. Daily News: Washington nuclear site issues 'take cover' order after steam release
Washington nuclear site issues 'take cover' order after steam release
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