Health Of Columbia River Draws Crowd To Rare Hanford Public Meeting In Hood River
Many people drove as much as three hours to attend a rare public meeting about Hanford in Hood River Thursday night, Nov. 1. The common thread: concern about the Columbia River, and the health of their communities.
Talking about Hanford can be hard. There’s a whole lot of acronyms and big words and technical phrases. The WIR (Waste Incidental to Reprocessing) to the transuranic, to the alphabet of agencies involved, to the names of some of the radionuclides in the underground waste tanks.
But the about 30 people in the meeting stuck with it – leaning forward in their chairs and raising hands.
And there were just as many government officials on hand as members of the public. They broke off into small groups to discuss big and often concerning topics at Hanford: underground tanks full of radioactive waste; how to treat that waste; how to keep it out of the Columbia River.
Workers at Hanford recently began filling a second radioactive waste-filled tunnel with grout, a highly watched move since another tunnel failed in 2017, prompting safety concerns.
Last week, Hanford safety officials called a “shelter inside” order for workers while investigating steam released while filling the second tunnel with grout.
It’s been several years since the U.S. Department of Energy has trotted out some of its top officials to answer the public’s questions like this. There isn’t yet another such meeting planned.
Under the settlement, Bechtel Corp. and Aecom will pay nearly $58 million over allegations from current or former Hanford employees. The workers said they were retaliated against for blowing the whistle over how labor hours were billed. Continue Reading Hanford Contractors Settle $58 Million Claim Over Fraudulent Labor Billing Practices
It’s been 75 years since the U.S. dropped two atomic bombs on Japan. NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro speaks to Koko Kondo, who was an infant when one of those bombs was dropped on Hiroshima. Continue Reading An Atomic Bomb Survivor On Her Journey From Revenge To Peace
Denin Koch’s trip to the Hanford B Reactor when he was 19 stirred his musical passion. It eventually inspired a full jazz album exploring the complicated history of Hanford, 75 years after the U.S. bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan ended WWII. Continue Reading 75 Years After Bombings, Tri-Cities Musician’s Jazz Album Explores Complicated Hanford History