Federal regulators say the Northwest’s only commercial nuclear power plant is now back on course after an 11-year safety miscalculation. The new designation means the Columbia Generating Station in southeast Washington gets a more relaxed inspection and oversight status.
Between 2000 and 2011, workers at the nuclear plant used faulty estimates for how much radiation could escape during a crisis. That mistake and others were found in an inspection just last year.
Cleanup of a hazardous chemical called hexavalent chromium in the groundwater at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington is going faster than expected.
Hexavalent chromium is the nasty stuff that made Erin Brockovich famous down in California. The chemical was used to inhibit rust in coolant water in Hanford’s reactors. But that water was dumped into the desert, and now the cancer-causer is making its way toward the Columbia River in large groundwater plumes.
A century’s worth of contamination in Seattle's only river is about to get a $305 million cleanup. Before finalizing a decision on the proposed plan, the Environmental Protection Agency is asking the public to weigh in.
Field technicians with the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe catch steelhead in a murky side channel near the mouth of the Elwha and prepare them to be transferred into pristine habitat above the former site of the lower dam.
From where Mike McHenry stands he can see several gray, torpedo-shaped bodies moving slowly through the brown water of this side channel of the Elwha River, not too far from the site of the largest dam removal project in US history.
One of the two dams on the Elwha River has been completely removed and there are about 50 feet of the remaining Glines Canyon dam left. Already so much sediment has been released that it's clogged up and shut down one of the water treatment plants in nearby Port Angeles, temporarily halting the largest dam removal project in US history.
Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien wants Seattle carbon neutral by 2050. The plan to make Seattle carbon neutral is bound to be expensive, but O’Brien says carbon neutrality has benefits beyond just reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. Mike O’Brien joins Ross Reynolds today to talk about this proposal.
Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 11:40 am
Nothing spoils a summer swim in your favorite lake like an algae bloom. These become more common as the weather warms up. A lake in Federal Way, Washington -- near Seattle -- is serving as a proving ground for a possible new tool to combat toxic blooms.
Almost every summer until last summer, Lake Lorene would turn pea soup green.
THUD. It’s the sickening sound of a bird hitting your window. You hope it’s just stunned; that it will fly off. But there it is: A motionless lump of feathers on the ground. Before you bury it or toss it in the trash, consider an alternative. Some Seattle residents are donating these avian casualties to science.
Jeff Cram, a mechanical engineer at University of Washington's Applied Physics Laboratory, oversees the engineering of a set of 12 devices like this one, which will gather information from the bottom of the Pacific off the Northwest coast.
Want to see a volcano explode hundreds of meters below the surface of the Pacific Ocean? How about in real-time streaming video, online, from the comfort of your own iPad? Well, there’s a massive scientific project underway that could help you with that and more.
A giant Pacific octopus on display at the Seattle Aquarium. The species' population is considered healthy in Puget Sound. Public outcry over legal octopus hunting near Seattle's Alki Beach has prompted possible restrictions.
Right now it’s legal to hunt octopuses in Puget Sound – unless you’re in a marine preserve or conservation area. In fact, if you have a state fishing license you can harvest one every day.
But the killing of a giant Pacific octopus off Alki Beach in Seattle last October prompted a public outcry. Hundreds of scuba divers and members of the public submitted petitions to the state of Washington asking for better protection for the giant Pacific octopus in Puget Sound.
Macaque monkeys are the distant relatives of an ancient species that roamed the lush rainforests of the Northwest during the early Paleocene – about 60 million years ago. Climate change models project a possible return to Paleocene conditions in the near future. One local scientist says it’s time to bring back the macaque – and the Cascade Mountains are the perfect place to do it.