Hanford Nuclear Reservation

HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
2:19 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Let-Go Hanford Whistleblower: 'My Career is Dead'

Rajah Bose

In early November, a federal appeals court will consider the case of a well-known Hanford whistleblower. Walter Tamosaitis argues his career was essentially killed after he voiced safety concerns at the nuclear cleanup site.

Earlier this month, the high-level manager was laid off for good. It wasn’t retaliation according to the federal contractor that employed him. But U.S. senators and watchdog groups fear this turn will make other workers with safety concerns clam up.

Tamosaitis has had, as he puts it, a lot of stomach acid these past couple of weeks.

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government shutdown
10:31 am
Tue October 15, 2013

For Hanford Workers, Furlough Notices Could Come Wednesday

Associated Press

Workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation could start receiving furlough notices on Wednesday because of the partial shutdown of the federal government.

The Tri-City Development Council estimates that about 9,000 Hanford and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory workers could eventually be put on temporary leave or laid off.

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
3:54 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Watchdogs Disappointed Hanford Deadlines Likely to be Missed

AP Photo

State officials say they’re disappointed but not surprised by news that the federal government will likely 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. 

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
2:35 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Inslee: Hanford Plan Doesn’t Include Immediate Solution for Leaky Tanks of Waste

Ted S. Warren AP Photo

A new proposal to phase-in portions of cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation is an intriguing idea, but it doesn’t solve immediate problems of leaking waste tanks, said Gov. Jay Inslee during a visit Thursday.

The Democrat was responding to a new plan this week from U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. 

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
5:01 am
Thu September 26, 2013

JFK Visited Hanford 50 Years Ago, Trying to De-Escalate Cold War

Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Fifty years ago today, President John F. Kennedy stepped off a Marine helicopter into the dry heat of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington.

He was there to see the massive new N Reactor. The reactor was the first to produce both plutonium and power in the U.S. The visit was also part of Kennedy’s efforts to de-escalate the Cold War.

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
12:17 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Feds Propose Plan for Hanford’s Tank Waste Challenges

Ted S. Warrena Associated Press

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.

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz released the new framework Tuesday after a year of study.

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
9:53 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Hanford: Tank Farm Closure Given Federal All-Clear to Resume Work

The tank farms at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington are cleared to resume work after a high-radiation incident briefly shut down much of the site last month.

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
3:26 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Seattle Band to Release Pop Song Inspired by Hanford Tank Waste

From left to right, the band members are: Toby Kuhn, guitar, Miro Justad, drums, Ryan Baker, bass, and Marika Justad, vocals, guitar and keyboard.

The Hanford Nuclear Reservation has inspired documentaries, museum exhibits, art shows, and even a book of poetry.

Now, a Seattle 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, especially one that has a romantic angle,” said Marika Justad, who sings, plays the guitar and the piano for the alternative-pop band.

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
10:01 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Investigation into Abnormal Radiological Reading at Hanford

Crews at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation are investigating increased radiological readings at a tank farm there.

Part of the massive site was shut down following the reading Wednesday night.

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
9:19 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Judge Rules Yucca Mountain Must Move Forward with Licensing

U.S. Department of Energy

Washington’s state attorney 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 Barack Obama buried the project because of opposition from Nevada’s political leaders. Now, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has ruled that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has to continue forward with the licensing of the facility. 

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
4:42 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Massive Hanford waste dump reaches 15 million-ton mark

Crews at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation say have cleaned up 15 million tons of radioactive soil and debris from near the Columbia River, managers announced on Tuesday.  

The debris has gone to a massive dump at the center of the site. The Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility, called ERDF for short, is the size of 52 football fields.

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
8:36 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

EPA fines Hanford for improperly handling radioactive waste

Ted S. Warren Associated Press

The U.S. Department of Energy has agreed to pay $136,000 in fines allegedly mishandling certain lab waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The penalty comes from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Energy contractors allegedly stored some radioactive waste without permits, and placed some of it in a landfill before treating it. We’re talking about contaminated science glove boxes, lab equipment and concrete. Environmental regulators studied records from the late 1980s through 2011 in this investigation.

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
7:56 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Possible leak at Hanford nuclear site, no immediate threat seen

Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee answers questions about a potential leak in a tank at Hanford Nuclear Reservation, on Friday, June 21, 2013, in Olympia, Wash.
Rachel La Corte Associated Press

Gov. Jay Inslee says it will likely take a few days to confirm whether radioactive waste has leaked through the outer shell of a double-hulled underground tank at Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

Earlier Friday, the U.S. Department of Energy disclosed it detected heightened radioactivity levels beneath a tank that holds some of the nation's worst nuclear waste. Inslee said he spoke directly to the new secretary of energy to say how unhappy he is with agency's pace of stabilizing half a dozen different leaking tanks.

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Hanford nuclear reservation
10:50 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Swallows Bring Radioactive Soil Into Hanford Waste Plant

Bechtel

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 10:07 am

Workers are back on the job at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation’s waste treatment plant. Work stopped this week when radioactive soil was found under the nests of some swallows.

Swallows used some radioactive mud to make nests on exposed beamwork in Hanford’s waste treatment plant. That’s the $12 billion factory designed to bind-up radioactive sludge in glass logs. The nests were found during routine tests, but this is the first radioactive contamination of the new plant.

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
1:17 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Japanese officials visit Hanford to learn nuclear cleanup strategies

Bags of decontamination waste from cleanup of tennis courts at the Tomioka Town Sports Complex in Japan.
Mark Triplett PNNL

The people overseeing the cleanup of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster are learning some valuable lessons from the long-running cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. A Japanese government delegation recently toured some of the southeast Washington site this week.

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