News & Politics

There Has Been a Nuclear Accident in America, and Experts Say the Exposure Risk Is Real

Department of Energy declared a state of emergency at the Hanford nuclear site.

Radioactive waste ; Chemist in protective suit the disposal of radio active waste,photography
Photo Credit: overcrew/Shutterstock

We are broadcasting from Washington state, where the Department of Energy declared a state of emergency at the Hanford nuclear site after a tunnel storing contaminated radioactive materials collapsed. The collapse, which was discovered Tuesday, forced hundreds of workers to take cover to avoid potential exposure. Hanford is the nation’s most polluted nuclear weapons production site. The site has been leaking radioactive waste on and off for years. The Energy Department claims no radioactive contamination has been reported so far from Tuesday’s tunnel collapse. But Edwin Lyman from the Union of Concerned Scientists said, "Collapse of the earth covering the tunnels could lead to a considerable radiological release." Now the Washington state Department of Ecology’s Nuclear Waste Program has announced on Twitter that it has taken legal action against Hanford. We speak with Tom Carpenter, executive director of Hanford Challenge, which advocates for workers at the Hanford nuclear site.

 

Amy Goodman is the host of Democracy Now!, a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 1,200 stations in North America. She is the co-author of The Silenced Majority, a New York Times best-seller.

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