Chemical Vapors Sicken 20 Nuclear Facility Workers At The Hanford Site
“Twenty workers at the The Hanford Site nuclear facility in Washington state were sent for medical evaluations after inhaling chemical vapors in the vicinity of a leaking nuclear waste tank which was being transferred, according to US Energy Department officials.
Hanford tank workers were performing routine tasks at the vast nuclear waste site when they all started complaining of headaches on Thursday before being sent for medical evaluations, according to local news station KING.
The exposure comes just a week after it was reported that thousands of gallons of radioactive waste were leaking from the AY-102 double-shell tank. The leak was first detected on April 17, which led to workers pumping out the waste and trying to find out why the leak became worse. The tank, which contains 800,000 gallons of nuclear waste has been leaking since 2011. The leak was small when it was first detected, but that was five years ago.
A KING local news investigation found that workers in 50 separate incidents were exposed to vapors leaking from the nuclear waste tanks between January 2014 and April 2015. In one of the incidents, a worker was treated for chemical pneumonitis, an inflammation of the lungs caused by chemical exposure.”