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UPDATE: Hanford collapse larger than first believed

Posted at 12:34 PM, May 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-09 14:34:04-04

Officials say a collapsed patch of ground above a nuclear waste storage tunnel in Washington state was larger than first believed.

The U.S. Department of Energy said the Tuesday collapse covered about 400 square feet (37.1 square meters) instead of the 16 square feet (1.4 square meters) first reported at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

Officials detected no release of radiation and say there were no workers inside the tunnel. Nearby workers were evacuated.

The agency says the rail tunnels are hundreds of feet long, with about eight feet of soil covering them. The U.S. Department of Energy says the incident caused the soil above the tunnel to sink between two and four feet.

Hanford for decades made plutonium for the nation's nuclear weapons arsenal.

(by Associated Press)