WA: Hanford 'take-cover' alarm sounds after workers smell sulfur

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WA: Hanford 'take-cover' alarm sounds after workers smell sulfur

Wednesday, May 17, 2000


RICHLAND -- The Energy Department sounded a take-cover alarm Wednesday at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation after employees reported a sulfur smell.

The source of the smell was not found, but the alarm was canceled at about 11:50 a.m., four hours after it was sounded as a precaution, Energy Department spokesman Mike Talbott said.

"We haven't found a specific source, but we don't have an emergency happening at the Hanford site right now," he said.

Five employees were being checked for possible exposure at a medical facility on the 560-square-mile nuclear reservation.

There was no release of radioactivity and the incident was not expected to have any impact outside the reservation's boundaries, Talbott said.

The alarm means as many as 2,500 employees working in the 200 East area in the center of the reservation were told to stay indoors until the source of the smell could be identified, Talbott said.

The 200 East area, in the middle of the reservation, is where plutonium was chemically processed for nuclear weapons and where 177 underground high-level waste storage tanks are located.


-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), May 17, 2000

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