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RICHLAND, Wash. -- KING 5 News has learned that contractors at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation have discovered the cause of an alert that sent some workers to the hospital and others scrambling for cover.

The alert last week was issued after a technician discovered radiation near a piece of equipment being used in the transfer of high level nuclear and chemical waste from old underground storage tanks to newer stronger tanks.

It was feared that piece of equipment was leaking radiation that could contact workers.

Sources said the technician was actually picking up a reading from of known piece of contaminated equipment nearby and there was no leak.

Some workers were sent to the hospital as a precaution, others were ordered to evacuate or seek shelter in place. Nobody was injured and the alert was lifted a short time later.

Contractors are expected to announce the findings of the investigation in the next few days.


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