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HYDROGEN FLUORIDE RELEASE AT Y-12 PROMPTS PRECAUTIONARY EVACUATION OF EMPLOYEES

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Emergency crews at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge responded to an emergency at the plant Thursday morning.

In a statement, officials with CNS Y-12 – which operates the facility for the federal government – say shortly before 8 a.m. sensors detected a possible release of hydrogen fluoride within a processing enclosure in Building 9212. No injuries were reported and, in their statement, officials said, “at this time, there is no offsite impact to the public as a result of the incident.”

Hydrogen fluoride is an acidic chemical used in some of the processes at Y-12. The statement also says, “appropriate precautionary protective actions have been initiated for Y-12 employees who are in the vicinity of the incident and who are not involved in the emergency response.”

On-site monitoring found no detectable levels of the chemical outside of the enclosure and systems in place were working properly to reduce the chemical levels within the enclosure.
All nuclear material was deemed safe and there was no indication of a “malevolent event.”

Employees were initially evacuated from the area, but were cleared to return to work for normal operations at around 9:45 am after the emergency was deemed “under control.”


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