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Tunnel Collapse at a Former Nuclear Production Site in Washington State Forces Workers to Take Cover

A tunnel collapsed this morning at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in south-central Washington State. There were no injuries, but, because the tunnel contained radioactive material, workers near the tunnel were evacuated and employees all over the site were told to "take cover," a source told KING5, a local news station. Reporter Susannah Frame tweeted photos of the collapsed tunnel and the facility:

The Hanford Nuclear Reservation dates back to the Manhattan Project. It produced plutonium that went into the atomic bomb that the United States dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945, according to an archived version of a Department of Energy webpage. Today, Hanford holds the greatest volume of nuclear waste in the nation, according to the Associated Press.

Plutonium production at Hanford ended in 1980. Hanford was officially designated a Superfund site in 1988; by 1989, clean-up efforts began in the area.