hanford nuclear reservation

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."

AP Images

President Barack Obama’s budget would spend $2.3 billion on cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in 2016. But it shifts the focus of cleanup. The proposed budget would spend more on cleanup of the tank waste and a massive plant meant to treat that sludge. The President’s proposed budget would cut about $100 million from the Department of Energy’s Richland Operations office.

When the federal government decided to make plutonium in southeast Washington, early farmers and whole villages of Native Americans were kicked out. Now, a new collection of oral histories tells some of these stories of the Hanford site.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

There’s got to be a better plan for leaking tanks of waste at Washington State’s Hanford Nuclear Reservation. That’s according to a new report by the federal Government Accountability Office.

Tobin Fricke / Wikimedia Commons

For the third time this week there are calls to protect workers from hazardous vapors at Hanford. This time from Washington’s congressional delegation.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Thursday three groups with ties to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation announced they intend to sue the U.S. Department of Energy and its contractor.

Seattle-based watchdog group Hanford Challenge, a Richland workers’ union, and the Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility are piling on. They said there’s been a lack of action at the Hanford site to correct worker exposures to harmful tank vapors.

The groups notified Energy and Hanford contractor Washington River Protection Solutions about the intent to sue in 90 days.

U.S. Department of Energy

Removing and disposing of contaminated soil is one of the biggest jobs at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

So when government officials announced this week they want to look into digging a bit shallower at the southeast Washington site, a lot of people took notice.