Radioactive waste tunnel at Hanford collapsed a year ago

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — The partial collapse of a radioactive waste storage tunnel at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation a year ago was a wakeup call.

But whether the call has made a difference is up for debate.

The Tri-City Herald reports the tunnel collapse occurred last May 9 at the former plutonium production site.

Hanford watchers say the collapse was the result of limited money to address the most serious risks at the site, as aging facilities — some of them built during World War II — deteriorate.

The collapse prompted thousands of workers to take cover indoors.

Franklin and Benton counties activated their emergency operations centers, and many in the Tri-Cities waited to hear if loved ones at Hanford were OK.

Fortunately, no radioactive waste particles escaped and no worker was injured.