U.S. Department of Energy

Miguel Vieira / Flickr

Several Northwest land deals cleared Congress Friday with the Senate's final vote on a defense spending bill.

The land deals were tacked onto a $585 billion military spending package. They included large expansions for Oregon Caves National Monument and Alpine Lakes Wilderness in Washington. They also created a new national historical park at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. 

But Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio said there's one major land deal missing from the package.

Congress has approved a new national park in Washington state that commemorates the Manhattan Project at Hanford.

The defense spending bill passed by Congress Friday included the biggest expansion of the national parks system in decades.

If this bill is signed into law by President Obama, it could bring thousands more visitors to the B Reactor at the Hanford Site. The reactor was the first full scale nuclear reactor and was built during World War II.

100,000 people visited the museum last year through the Department of Energy tours.

U.S. Department of Energy

A bill that passed Thursday in the U.S. House included big changes for the Tri-Cities. The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2015 would create a new set of national parks in honor of the top secret Manhattan Project.

That would include a museum at Hanford and other historical sites.

Officials in the Tri-Cities haven’t broken out the bourbon to toast quite yet. This national defense bill still has to pass the Senate intact. And it must be signed off by President Obama.

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.

Ashley Ahearn / EarthFix

A long-awaited tidal energy project in Puget Sound has come to halt. The project was set to generate tidal energy and connect it to the grid – the first project of its kind in the world. But it just got too expensive.

Bonnevill Power Administration

There's been a management shakeup at the Bonneville Power Administration. The U.S. Department of Energy replaced BPA's agency head and chief operating officer without explanation. The move came just before the Tuesday morning release of a damaging Inspector General report.

Tobin Fricke / Wikimedia Commons

Washington Governor Jay Inslee and the state attorney general say they’re "extremely disappointed" that the U.S. Department of Energy may miss several key deadlines for cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

U.S. Dept. of Energy

A Hanford watchdog group is concerned with what it calls a “revolving door” for top managers at the nuclear site in southeast Washington.

Bechtel National, Inc.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu is bolstering the scientific brain power at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation’s waste treatment plant. A memo released to employees Thursday says the aim is to solve nagging technical problems at the plant more quickly.

U.S. Department of Energy

A new report says plans to get an early start at cleaning up some radioactive waste at Hanford may not work the way managers envisioned. The document is the latest criticism of a project to treat waste at the southeast Washington nuclear site.

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