SPOKANE—A portion of a tunnel containing buried rail cars full of radioactive waste collapsed Tuesday at a sprawling storage facility in a remote area of Washington state, forcing an evacuation of some workers at the site that made plutonium for nuclear weapons for decades after World War II.
Officials detected no release of radiation at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and no workers were injured, said Randy Bradbury, a spokesman for the Washington state Department of Ecology.
No workers were inside the tunnel when soil collapsed two to four feet (half to 1.2 meters) over a 400 square foot (37.1 square meters) area. The tunnels are hundreds of feet long, with about eight feet (2.4 meters) of soil covering them, the agency said.
Nearby workers were evacuated and hundreds of others farther away were told to remain indoors, the US Department of Energy said.