hanford tunnel

Courtesy U.S. Deptartment of Energy

The project to stabilize and seal a large tunnel of radioactive waste has been completed at the Hanford nuclear reservation, according to the U.S. Department of Energy and its contractor.

The so-called Tunnel 2 project started in October 2018, at the massive Washington cleanup site near Richland.

U.S. Department of Energy

The U.S. Department of Energy is about start shoring up another train tunnel full of old radioactive equipment at the Hanford Site in southeast Washington state. This is all happening because a similar train tunnel full of waste—called Tunnel 1—collapsed this spring.

U.S. Department of Energy

Back in May, a train tunnel at the Hanford nuclear site partially collapsed. Federal contractors have now just finished filling it up with grout. It took about 520 truck loads of grout to fill the tunnel.

Crews had been doing the work mostly at night since early October.

U.S. Department of Energy

At the Hanford Site, the job to seal in a tunnel full of radioactive waste is nearly half done according to the federal government. It became a high-priority project when the tunnel partially collapsed this past May, causing an emergency at Hanford.

Tobin Fricke / Wikimedia - tinyurl.com/h99dl7h

This spring, an underground train tunnel full of radioactive waste was discovered partially collapsed at the Hanford Site in southeast Washington state. Now, federal contractors are prepping the site to fill the unstable tunnel with grout. They’re planning to start Tuesday night.

CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company

Crews at the Hanford Site in southeast Washington state are running through rehearsals and last minute details. In early October, they’ll begin pouring grout, a kind of thin cement, into a partially collapsed tunnel full of highly contaminated radioactive waste.

U.S. Department of Energy

Washington state officials have been waiting to see how the U.S. Department of Energy plans to deal with an unstable tunnel filled with radioactive waste at the Hanford nuclear site.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

The U.S. Department of Energy rolled out several options at a public meeting Thursday night to stabilize what’s known as Tunnel 2 at the Hanford nuclear reservation in southeast Washington. Stabilizing the tunnel became a priority after nearby Tunnel 1 was found partially collapsed this spring.

Tunnel 2 is filled with highly-radioactive equipment leftover from a plutonium plant, and the feds say it's also in danger of collapse.

At the meeting, they presented a raft of ideas to stabilize it:

U.S. Department of Energy

In the wake of a tunnel collapse at the Hanford nuclear site in May, the U.S. Department of Energy plans to take public comments at a meeting in the Tri-Cities on July 20 on how it should proceed with the clean-up.

U.S. Department of Energy






The Hanford nuclear reservation in southeast Washington state has two train tunnels full of very hot radioactive waste—and both tunnels are in danger of further collapse. That’s according to a new report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy.

MacGregor Campbell / OPB

This spring, a tunnel at the Hanford nuclear site in southeast Washington caved in, threatening to expose radioactive waste. Declassified blueprints reveal how the failure happened. The tunnel cave-in happened outside of Hanford’s Plutonium Uranium Extraction Plant - PUREX for short. The plant was built from 1953 to 1955 and opened “hot” in January 1956.

U.S. Department of Energy

Grouting up a tunnel that was found collapsed last month at Hanford is the best option according to Washington state’s top expert on Hanford. And it won’t preclude further cleanup of the radioactive waste inside.

U.S. Department of Energy

Leaders and technical experts at the Hanford nuclear site have decided to fill a tunnel that partially collapsed last month with grout. That tunnel is full of radioactive waste.

U.S. Department of Energy

Over the weekend, workers at the Hanford nuclear site finished installing a thick plastic covering over train tunnel full of radioactive waste. The tunnel was found to have collapsed and opened up a hole nearly two weeks ago.

U.S. Department of Energy

Workers at the Hanford nuclear reservation are starting to install a thick plastic covering over a tunnel that collapsed on May 9. That tunnel holds highly radioactive waste left over from the Cold War.

U.S. Department of Energy

Federal contractors plan to install another level of containment over the tunnel that caved in at the Hanford nuclear site on May 9. The tunnel was used to store old, highly radioactive equipment from a facility that dates back to the Cold War.

Courtesy Michele Gerber

One week ago workers found a tunnel filled with radioactive waste caved in at the Hanford nuclear site in southeast Washington. State officials and tribes are calling for quick cleanup action.

But how did we get here?

U.S. Department of Energy

Washington state is taking legal action against the U.S. government after a tunnel full of radioactive waste collapsed Tuesday at the Hanford nuclear site.


U.S. Department of Energy

Tuesday morning an emergency response was triggered at the Hanford nuclear site when a hole was found in the roof of a buried tunnel nearby a mothballed plutonium processing plant. The tunnel, constructed in the haste of the Cold War, was about 360-feet-long and built out of timbers and concrete.

So what exactly is in that tunnel? 


U.S. Department of Energy

Contractors are building a road to a collapsed train tunnel site at the Hanford nuclear reservation in southeast Washington state. Their goal is to keep any radioactive contamination from escaping the hole that was found Tuesday.

U.S. Department of Energy

The U.S. Department of Energy issued an emergency alert Tuesday morning at the Hanford site north of Richland, Washington, after a tunnel at a radioactive cleanup site caved in. Workers at a former chemical processing plant were evacuated and thousands more across Hanford were directed to take shelter indoors.

State and federal officials said all workers were accounted for, there were no injuries and no indication of “release” of radioactivity into the environment. By early afternoon, the employees taking shelter were given permission to go home except those needed for emergency response.