The noise of the gun made the Hanford site close

The reason for this was a concrete pistol, not a firearm Hanford Nuclear Reservation close on Tuesday amid reports of an active shooter on the spot.

About 10:40 from the office building in the center of the plot of 580 square meters.

One man heard a noise resembling several shots and went to another office to discuss it with another person, and it was decided to report what they heard, said Lieutenant Jason Erickson of the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.

Their report sent the Hanford Patrol and dozens of law enforcement officers from across the Three City area to race at the 2750E Building, a large concrete office building used primarily by Hanford contractor Washington River Protection Solutions.

A strange message came Hanford workers warn of an active shooter at Building 2750E in Hanford: “Injured officers are preparing for battle. Workers in nearby buildings must close and prepare for battle. Everyone else stay away. ”

Officers began a search of Building 2750E, where some workers barricaded themselves in the premises. Others began looking for cars.

At one point in the car, according to unconfirmed reports that arose as a result of chatter about police scanners, it seemed the gun was found in the car, possibly a rifle.

It turned out to be an ice scraper, Erickson said.

As a result of a thorough inspection of the 2750E building, no one was injured and no shots were fired.

Shots were reportedly fired Tuesday morning at the 2750E office building at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation Center in eastern Washington. Provided by the Department of Energy

The site remained closed until the early hours of the day, and only law enforcement officers were allowed through inaccessible checkpoints. the site area was once used for plutonium production for the National Nuclear Weapons Program.

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, also a facility of the Department of Energy, in Richland is also closed. The southern fringe of the nuclear reservation is adjacent to Richland, one of the three cities of East Washington.

Tri-Cities was already on the brink after an accidental shooting three weeks earlier in Richland by Fred Meyer, owned by Kroger, killed an Instacart shopper, severely injured a store employee and sent shoppers to hide or flee the building.

Noisy construction

An investigation by the Benton County Sheriff’s Office and the Hanford Patrol found that workers heard a loud noise from the construction work.

Numerous construction projects are underway in the center of the site, as the Ministry of Energy is preparing to recycle the radioactive waste, which is now in underground tanks, by the end of 2023.

Information on which construction site used a concrete gun and what type it was, has not been published.

Some use compressed air to drive in a nail and others powered by single cartridges similar to those used in firearms.

Brian Vance, a manager at Hanford’s Department of Health, sent a message to 11,000 employees of the site after the incident, saying that those who thought they heard the shots did the right thing.

“Those who made the first reports did so with great caution, and we should all be proud that they chose to do the right thing,” he said.

He told staff that security issues are no different than security and ethics issues: “If you see something, say something. If you hear anything, say it. “

He also praised the Hanford Patrol, the Hanford Fire Department and the Three City District Law Enforcement for responding to the incident.

“Their willingness to serve and defend in potentially dangerous situations is something we should all be grateful for,” he said.

Hanford explained

Hanford produced about two-thirds of the plutonium for the national nuclear weapons program from World War II to the Cold War.

Nine production reactors have not operated since the Cold War, and weapons-grade plutonium produced there has been sent off-site.

Building 2750E is located in Zone 200 East in the Hanford Nuclear Reservation Center in eastern Washington. Provided by the Oregon Department of Energy

The only reactor in Hanford is this The only commercial nuclear reactor in the Northwest and it is on previously unused, leased land in a nuclear reservation and has nothing to do with the former armaments project and the waste and pollution it has generated.

The country now spends about $ 2.5 billion a year on maintaining and maintaining the safety of the Hanford site and on cleaning up the environment. Cleaning is expected to continue for decades to come.

The nuclear reservation contains 56 million gallons of radioactive waste stored in underground tanks, including other radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel on the site. There are also buildings, soil and groundwater contaminated with radioactive and hazardous chemical waste.

The site’s security buffer is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Hanford Rich National Monumentsome are open to the public, and Reactor B. Hanfordthe country’s first full-scale nuclear reactor, is part of the Manhattan National Historical Park.

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Senior staff writer Annette Carey covers Hanford, energy, environment, science and health for the Tri-City Herald. She has been a news reporter for more than 30 years in the Northwest Pacific.

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