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

The slow-moving landslide on Rattlesnake Ridge in Washington's Yakima Valley points to a larger problem plaguing the region—affordable housing. When residents were told to move away from their homes in the slide area, there were few places to go.

Top state health officials are concerned that radioactive waste in the air is spreading around the Hanford site in southeast Washington. It’s mostly from that same demolition site that’s contaminated two workers, dozens of vehicles and closed down nearby offices.

Two Hanford workers have tested positive for radioactive waste in their bodies. It happened at the Plutonium Finishing Plant—a massive factory being demolished at the nuclear cleanup site in southeast Washington state.

The Yakama Nation is asking Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to declare a state of emergency for the Rattlesnake Ridge landslide. It’s a steep slope outside of Yakima that is moving slowly and clings above a small community, a railroad corridor, Interstate 82 and the Yakima River.

The tribes have a lot to lose if it goes down.

The landslide on Rattlesnake Ridge outside of Yakima, Washington, is turning into a slow grind. The land is moving at a constant 1.7 feet per week.

After huge cracks appeared on Rattlesnake Ridge last year, geologists expect a landslide is coming at the mountain near Yakima, Washington. But they are having a hard time nailing down just when it will go.

The discovery of an "overwhelming presence" of radon gas has forced more than 100 workers at the Hanford Site to move their offices Thursday. This follows a series of radioactive contamination issues at that same demolition project on the southeast Washington nuclear site.

Nearly 70 people live on a sliver of land wedged between Interstate 82 and Rattlesnake Ridge in central Washington state. A massive chunk of the ridge is moving, and cracking, and geologists say it will likely cause a landslide.

Emergency meetings are underway to discuss the threat of a possible landslide near Yakima, Washington. Dozens of federal, state, county and tribal officials are trying to work out a plan as this threat looms. 


Near the town of Union Gap in South Central Washington state, a massive chunk of Rattlesnake Ridge is moving ever more quickly.

Geologists say it will likely cause a landslide. And when does come fully down, it could take out roads, infrastructure and in the worst-case scenario, dam up the Yakima River.

Officials in Yakima County, Washington, are strongly urging residents living below a shifting mountainside near Union Gap to evacuate. 



A huge crack that appeared on Rattlesnake Ridge last year is beginning to widen.

The area and amount of stuff contaminated by radioactive waste at the Hanford Site in southeast Washington state keeps getting bigger.

First it was two cars. Then it was eight. The count is now 14 vehicles that are contaminated with radioactive waste. Half of them are personal cars. One is even contaminated on the inside. 

Upper managers didn’t know that some radioactive waste had gotten outside of bounds at a Hanford demolition site for more than a day. And that delay could have worsened the spread of contamination.

When workers found radioactive waste in areas where it shouldn’t have been, they did everything right. Everything, except notify higher managers. And that delay could have worsened the spread.

Monday’s train derailment, is gumming up a several big shipping-distribution centers in DuPont, Washington. Workers are having trouble running their last-minute Santa-truck routes.

There has been another incident of contamination at the Hanford Site. This one involves worker vehicles that were driven off the nuclear cleanup site in southeast Washington state.

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.

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