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Originally published Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 8:30 AM

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Hanford alert traced to old contamination

Hanford officials say unusual radiation readings that led them to declare an emergency operations alert last month came from old contamination.

The Associated Press

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Relax. That's an old leak, not a new one. It's been around for years. WTF? MORE

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PASCO, Wash. —

PASCO -- Hanford officials say unusual radiation readings that led them to declare an emergency operations alert last month came from old contamination.

Hanford officials told the Tri-City Herald ( http://is.gd/AgkYdO) they found no evidence of a new leak from a waste removal system or its transfer hoses.

They told employees on Tuesday that an investigation found insulating blankets that had been used to shield radiation on a small area had shifted. That caused radiation readings to go up during routine monitoring.

Because the abnormal reading could have been caused by a leak, workers at the C Tank Farm were evacuated overnight on Aug. 21 and workers in central Hanford and near the K Reactors were ordered to take cover indoors.

Before work restarts this week, the hot spot will be recovered.

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Information from: Tri-City Herald, http://www.tri-cityherald.com

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