Correspondent Anna King speaks with David Hyde about the firing of Hanford whistleblower Walter Tamosaitis and reports on the Department of Energy’s announcement of more cleanup delays of the Hanford radioactive waste site.
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 11:56 am
Washington officials say they’re disappointed but not surprised by news that the federal government likely will miss several more cleanup deadlines at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
At Hanford, radioactive sludge stews in aging underground tanks not far from the Columbia River. A 1989 agreement created the timeline for treating that caustic gunk. But the task has proven extremely difficult: A waste treatment plant has been plagued by whistleblowers, critical federal investigations, cost overruns and delays.
There’s a new plan for cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The federal government is looking for ways to process certain types of radioactive waste more quickly, while managers there figure out how to solve major technical challenges at its massive Waste Treatment Plant.
Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 4:00 pm
The Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington has inspired documentaries, museum exhibits, art shows and even a book of poetry. Now, a Northwest band call Tangerine is about to release a new song that tackles the leaking tanks of radioactive waste at the federal site.
“I guess it’s a slightly unusual topic for a pop song," admits Marika Justad. "Especially one that has a romantic angle. Justad sings and plays guitar and piano for Tangerine, an alternative pop band from Seattle.
Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 4:56 pm
Washington’s state Attorney General is praising an appeals court decision on a nuclear waste repository in Nevada. The ruling requires the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to get the licensing process back on track for Yucca Mountain.
The state of Washington wants Yucca Mountain to be the permanent waste repository for radioactive waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. But President Obama buried the project because of opposition from Nevada’s political leaders.
Federal officials are trying to figure out what to do about radioactive materials that remain at a place near the Columbia River known as the 300 Area. It’s the subject of a series of public meetings that kick off this week.
The 300 Area was where workers milled uranium rods and tested ways to process plutonium during WWII and the Cold War. They poured about 2 million gallons of radioactive liquid waste a day into sandy ponds and trenches right next to the Columbia River. Cleaning up buildings and material there has kept crews busy for 20 years.
Managers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation say crews have cleaned up 15 million tons of radioactive soil and debris from near the Columbia River. It’s gone to a massive dump at the center of the site.
In central Hanford, a ceremonial load of soil marked 15 million tons of waste disposed of at the 52-football-field-sized dump called ERDF. Dozens of truck horns blared in response.
The U.S. Department of Energy has agreed to pay $136,000 in fines for allegedly mishandling waste left over from plutonium production at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The penalty comes from the Environmental Protection Agency. The Department of Energy doesn’t agree with EPA's findings.
For months now, we’ve known that six underground storage tanks at the Hanford nuclear reservation have been leaking radioactive waste. Now, the worst of these tanks may be leaking contaminated waste into the soil. Yesterday, radioactive material was detected outside the tank. Jeannie Yandel talks with King 5 investigate reporter Susannah Frame, who has been following this story closely.