hanford nuclear reservation

KAI-HUEI YAU

Women have played an active role from startup to cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Southeast Washington. For the past year, Northwest Public Radio’s Anna King has been bringing you their stories. Hear from a physicist who made plutonium, from geologists who study the contaminated soil, from women who lived in the site’s shadows and became activists, and from a Native American woman who speaks for her nation.

Find all the stories below:

Federal officials are conducting an investigation after plutonium escaped off the Hanford nuclear site in Washington state. The plutonium is left over from a Cold War era factory at Hanford where plutonium was processed from a liquid into a solid form for bombs.

In 1987, late in the Cold War, in a government reading room in Richland , Washington, a historian was studying newly released documents about the Hanford nuclear reservation. Then, a strange man approached her.

Cleaning up the central part of the Hanford nuclear reservation will take even longer. That’s the bottom line of a series of regional public comment meetings kicking off Wednesday in Richland, Washington.

For the fifth time in 15 years, the state of Washington is fighting the federal government in court over Hanford cleanup. The state’s top cleanup watchdog in Richland -- who grew up just downstream from the nuclear site -- plays a major role in that case

In southeast Washington state, a group of farms has been frozen in time. It’s at Hanford, the area the federal government took over to make plutonium during World War II.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

For decades Patty Murray’s image has been the working mom of the U.S. Senate. Agree with it or not, she’s brought home the bacon: Murray’s funneled billions of federal dollars into Washington and especially to the Hanford nuclear site.

Two branches of the federal government struck a deal Tuesday on when to clean up radioactive sludge near the Columbia River.

Tobin Fricke / Wikimedia Commons

 

Federal courts may force the U.S. Department of Energy to adhere to new timelines to clean up the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington state.

Kai-Huei Yau

In World War Two, the Hanford Nuclear Reservation was brand new. Sue Olson was there as a young secretary. She took shorthand, pumped out calculations and locked up top-secret papers. She's become known as one of the "Daughters of Hanford."

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