A Hanford electrician working at the nuclear reservation’s SY Tank Farm reported symptoms of possible chemical vapor exposure Wednesday.
The worker was the 44th person at Hanford this spring and summer to be medically evaluated for possible exposure to vapors from waste held in underground tanks.
A second worker who was in the SY Tank Farm had no symptoms and declined a medical evaluation, according to Washington River Protection Solutions.
The two workers left the tank farm and access to the area has been restricted until sampling results are available
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The Department of Energy’s onsite medical provider has cleared the worker it evaluated Wednesday to return to work.
Although the worker’s symptoms were not made public, typical symptoms include headaches, coughing and shortness of breath. Workers are concerned that the exposure could lead to serious longterm health issues.
SY Tank Farm has been associated with some of the other possible vapor exposure issues this year.
No waste was being moved at the double-shell tank farm Wednesday, according to the tank farm contractor. Disturbing waste can increase the possibility of vapor releases.
A team led by the Savannah River National Laboratory is investigating vapor issues at Hanford and could release an interim report in about a month.