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Jim Kershner’s This Day in History

Sat., May 22, 2010

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From our archives, 50 years ago

The Spokesman-Review continued its series on the effects of radioactive exposure from the Hanford atomic project near Richland.

The story said that the Columbia River and its tributaries are carefully monitored for radioactivity. The results indicated that drinking water in Pasco, pumped from the river, was “well within safe limits.” The study also showed that swimming in the river downstream from the plant was perfectly safe and that exposure to sunlight was probably more dangerous.

A “radio-ecology” scientist also did extensive surveys of Columbia River wildlife and determined that there was no significant contamination of salmon or waterfowl and both were safe for sportsmen to eat. Also, the study showed that the Hanford project and related nuclear activity had no effect on fish habitat and life cycle.

In other words: There was nothing to worry about from Hanford.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1960: An earthquake of magnitude 9.5, the strongest on record, struck southern Chile. … 2000: A committee of the Arkansas Supreme Court recommended that President Bill Clinton be disbarred for giving false testimony about Monica Lewinsky in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case. Clinton later agreed to give up his Arkansas law license for five years.

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