In 1943, the federal government chose Hanford, in Washington state, to make plutonium for the Manhattan Project, a secret wartime effort to build an atomic bomb. That military mission ended in 1988, launching a cleanup effort that continues to this day. In 1994, S-R reporters Karen Dorn Steele and Jim Lynch wrote a five-day series called Wasteland detailing the money spent on Hanford’s cleanup.
In an agreement reached in the early days of the Manhattan Project, the U.S. government agreed to indemnify the nuclear contractors making plutonium at Hanford, including corporate giants General Electric and E.I. DuPont de Nemours.
That means U.S. taxpayers have also been paying the legal bills for the Hanford contractors’ defense in lawsuits by “downwinders” who say they were sickened by pollution from the facility – over $60 million so far – as well as any settlements to individual plaintiffs and favorable verdicts in the Hanford case.
The B Reactor was the world’s first full-scale nuclear reactor and produced the plutonium used in the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki in 1945. This World War II-era file photograph taken by the federal government shows the B reactor during its early plutonium production days. It was shut down in 1968 and in 2008 it was designated a National Historic Landmark.
A 25-year project to suck up a cancer-causing chemical from the soil in central Hanford has ended in success.
Wednesday a federal court judge is scheduled to hear arguments in Spokane on the state’s request for a preliminary injunction requiring the Department of Energy and its contractor, Washington River …
The demolition of one of the most hazardous buildings at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation is set to begin in coming weeks.
New deadlines for emptying some Hanford nuclear waste tanks might not be met if the government takes steps to better protect workers from chemical vapors.
A judge has awarded two whistleblowers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation more than $216,000, plus legal fees, after finding that the contractor they worked for retaliated against them for raising …
Plans to move about 350 Department of Energy and other employees out of the Richland Federal Building are not intended to save federal dollars.
About 300 Hanford workers become employees of CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co. or its subcontractors Aug. 29. After 11 years, Hanford Washington Closure is wrapping up its contract at the …
State regulators have fined the federal government and one of its contractors $50,000 for mishandling hazardous waste at Hanford.
Two more Hanford Nuclear Reservation workers have received medical evaluations for possible exposure to chemical vapors after reporting a suspicious odor.
A wildfire burning toward the Hanford nuclear reservation scorched about 110 square miles of grassland Monday as it spread from Yakima County into Benton County.
TRI-CITIES – Buddhist monks are set to lead an annual prayer walk to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation as part of an effort to bring an end to nuclear weapons. The …
Washington’s attorney general on Thursday asked a federal judge to immediately take steps to protect Hanford Nuclear Reservation workers from exposure to chemical vapors.
The Department of Energy has been given an extra year to tear down the Hanford Plutonium Finishing Plant.
The DOE’s nuclear program almost never holds its civilian contractors accountable for unlawful retaliation against whistleblowers, according to a highly critical Government Accountability Office report released Thursday, July 14, 2016.
Even while workers on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation are engaged in a job action to protest getting sick from chemical vapors, two more employees reported possible exposure to the vapors.
A rare work stoppage continued Tuesday by Hanford Nuclear Reservation workers who contend that radioactive wastes left from nuclear weapons production are making them sick.
A coalition of labor unions on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation stopped work Monday at some of the radioactive waste tank farms because of health concerns over chemical vapors.
The contractor that operates radioactive waste storage tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation is proposing some reforms after dozens of workers reported becoming sick from chemical vapors associated with the …
The U.S. Department of Energy is proposing a seven-year plan to clean up a radioactive waste spill under a building on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
Federal officials announced Friday they won’t meet a September deadline to start converting 900,000 gallons of high-level radioactive liquid waste to a solid form at the Idaho National Laboratory in …
Topics included a push to buy locally, the possibility of a national lottery, the definition of basic education and radioactive contamination from Hanford.
Two more workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation have reported smelling vapors at the former nuclear weapons production site.
Washington Closure Hanford will lay off its remaining 435 workers starting in July as its U.S. Department of Energy contract comes to an end.
Officials say six more Hanford Nuclear Reservation workers have been evaluated for chemical vapor exposure, bringing the total number to 26.
More workers sought medical evaluations Friday because of potential exposure to chemical vapors at Hanford a day earlier, bringing the total to 20 people.
Eleven workers at a nuclear facility who reported headaches were sent for medical evaluations Thursday after working near an area where waste from a leaking tank was being transferred, U.S. …
Officials for the Hanford Nuclear Reservation are trying to determine if a second giant underground tank containing radioactive waste from the production of plutonium for nuclear weapons is leaking, the …
Workers have succeeded in their first attempt to remove leaked waste from between the shells of the oldest double-shell tank at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
Hanford Nuclear Reservation officials are preparing to pump thousands of gallons of leaked radioactive waste back into a 46-year-old storage tank that contains toxic leftovers from the production of plutonium …
Nuclear waste material was leaking into the containment area of a Hanford tank, but doesn’t pose a risk to the public, a state agency said.
Fluctuations inside a huge tank of radioactive waste are raising concerns on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state, and workers are preparing to pump out the area of the …
The U.S. Department of Energy lists the Idaho National Laboratory as a possible site for storing about 1,300 dump truck loads of low level radioactive waste.