Energy chief says hole has been filled at Hanford nuclear waste site

The head of the Department of Energy says a hole that developed in the top of a nuclear waste storage tunnel at the Hanford Reservation has been filled.

An emergency was declared at the southeastern Washington site Tuesday morning after a portion of a tunnel that that contains rail cars full of nuclear waste collapsed.  The DOE said no one was injured in the incident and no radiation was released to the environment.

The rail tunnels are hundreds of feet long, with about eight feet of soil covering them, and the incident caused the soil above the tunnel to sink between 2 and 4 feet.

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced Thursday that the 400-square foot hole was filled swiftly and safely, and the next step is to reduce risks at the aging tunnel.

The cause of the partial collapse of the 1950s-era tunnel has not been determined.  (AP)

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