Eugene Residents Weigh in on Hanford Clean Up

The US Department of Energy is planning how and to what extent to clean up Hanford's leaking storage tanks, treat radioactive waste and deal with a contaminated reactor. The current preferred alternatives don't call for a full clean up of the site.

Twenty community members testified. Many, like Marilyn Cohen, also spoke out against having any further waste shipped to Hanford for storage and processing.

“If you can't clean up what you you've got and it's going to be leaching into the water for the next 10,000, 20,000 years, what are we talking about as Americans about putting more into the soil.”

The crowd also voice concerns about the potential for transporting that waste along the highly populated I-5 corridor through Eugene and Springfield. The earliest that could happen is 2022, when a moratorium on further shipments expires.

The DOE cites costs, technological limitations and worker safety as reasons for not doing a complete clean up.