Anna King | KUOW News and Information

Anna King

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Triââ

Since December 8, six workers at the Hanford Site have shown up as possibly contaminated. One worker was possibly contaminated twice.

It happened at the Plutonium Finishing Plant—a massive building that used to make so-called plutonium buttons for bombs since 1949.

You might be in the market for a Christmas tree right about now, but have you thought about what type of Christmas tree you want in eight years?

Believe it or not, it might be hard to find one. That’s because of a tree seedling shortage happening right now across the West.

A new report about the radioactive tank waste at Hanford says the cleanup could take decades longer and cost billions more than estimated. The document, called “System Plan 8”, proposes 11 complex scenarios for how the 56 million gallons of radioactive tank waste could be moved out of those tanks and treated. 


The U.S. Department of Energy is about start shoring up another train tunnel full of old radioactive equipment at the Hanford Site in southeast Washington state. This is all happening because a similar train tunnel full of waste—called Tunnel 1—collapsed this spring.

A Colorado case before the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday could have major implications for a similar case in Washington state. That case involves a Richland florist who’s been waging a multi-year legal battle.

Cleaning up radioactive waste contained in tanks at the Hanford nuclear reservation is one of the top challenges facing the U.S. Department of Energy. That’s according a new special report by the department’s Inspector General.

A major milestone is approaching at the Hanford Site in southeast Washington state. After nearly two decades of work, contractors have just finished cleaning out the first group of 16 radioactive waste tanks.

After the tank farm is officially declared cleaned out by Washington’s Department of Ecology, the federal government has to decide what to do with the tanks themselves.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is one of the government watchdogs monitoring the cleanup of the Hanford nuclear reservation. But recently the EPA’s Hanford office has shrunk in half.

Back in May, a train tunnel at the Hanford nuclear site partially collapsed. Federal contractors have now just finished filling it up with grout. It took about 520 truck loads of grout to fill the tunnel.

Crews had been doing the work mostly at night since early October.

Washington state is proposing changes to how winery wastewater is handled. And that could mean consumers are in for some “bottle shock” when their favorite Washington wine gets more expensive.

While you're focused on getting that last-minute costume and candy ready, Northwest tree farmers are sharpening their blades to cut and bale your Christmas tree.

But be warned: you might not get that noble fir of your dreams this year due to a Christmas tree crunch in the Northwest.

As heavy rains move into the Northwest, geologists are watching the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge. This summer’s wildfires have made slopes that are already prone to landslides even more treacherous.

Government experts are warning that landslides, rockfall and downed trees are likely in the Columbia River Gorge this fall and winter as the rains come. But one Gorge businesswoman worries that she can’t afford another natural disaster.

Now that the fall rains have begun, the fire danger at Multnomah Falls has declined. But Oregon’s popular gem still won’t open anytime soon.

At the Hanford Site, the job to seal in a tunnel full of radioactive waste is nearly half done according to the federal government. It became a high-priority project when the tunnel partially collapsed this past May, causing an emergency at Hanford.

At the Hanford Site in southeast Washington state, a powerful group of citizens who keep watch on the nuclear reservation hasn’t met in months. Northwest tribes, environmental watchdogs and nuclear cleanup experts all sit on the Hanford Advisory Board—nicknamed the HAB. 


This spring, an underground train tunnel full of radioactive waste was discovered partially collapsed at the Hanford Site in southeast Washington state. Now, federal contractors are prepping the site to fill the unstable tunnel with grout. They’re planning to start Tuesday night.

Crews at the Hanford Site in southeast Washington state are running through rehearsals and last minute details. In early October, they’ll begin pouring grout, a kind of thin cement, into a partially collapsed tunnel full of highly contaminated radioactive waste.

Geologists for the state of Oregon are warning of the risk of major landslides in parts of the Columbia River Gorge that were hit by wildfires this year.

A new report released Thursday focuses on areas of the Gorge that are highly susceptible to landslides—which also happen to overlap with some of the areas hit by this year’s wildfires.

Two small-town hospitals in the Palouse have announced they plan to offer gender confirmation surgeries. The same surgeon would offer the procedure at Pullman Regional Hospital and Gritman Medical Center in nearby Moscow, Idaho.

Federal workers say they are trying their best to keep the water flowing and the power going at Bonneville Dam in the Columbia River Gorge despite the wildfires.

The forest fires raging in the Columbia River Gorge are unlikely to disturb adult coho salmon right now. But Northwest tribal fishers are worried about what will happen in the fall.

Several uncontrolled wildfires in the Columbia River Gorge burning near Bonneville Dam are challenging the Bonneville Power Administration.

Eclipse revelers whooped and hollered as the sun went black at a major encampment in the remote town of Durkee on the Burnt River Ranch in eastern Oregon.

As the sun slipped more and more behind the moon, the revelers whooped and screamed. A black shadow zoomed across the deep valley and people exclaimed as they took off their glasses.

Hundreds of eclipse revelers from all over the nation have flocked to a remote ranch outside of Durkee in eastern Oregon. They’re camping in yurts, tents and RVs.

Cell phone towers in Oregon’s path of totality are expected to overload. That’s because of selfies-with-the-sun that thousands of visitors might try to upload.

But there’s an unexpected consequence of cell coverage going down: farm irrigation circles could go dry.

Ranchers in eastern Oregon are trying to cash in on eclipse visitors by opening their spreads to campers. Some have already signed on hundreds of visitors while others are hoping for a rush of last-minute eclipse-ers.

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry toured the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Hanford site outside of Richland, Washington, Tuesday.

The president of the WSU College Republicans, James Allsup of Bothell, Washington, said Monday he would resign after attending the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Back in June, there was an emergency at the Hanford nuclear site where workers were ordered to take cover. A sensor was detecting airborne radioactive particles.

Now KING-TV reports several workers have tested positive for those particles inside their bodies.

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