Hanford Nuclear Reservation

Hanford Nuclear Reservation
10:41 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Despite strides, safety culture still in question at Hanford site

Donna Busche is the manager for environmental and nuclear safety at Hanford’s waste treatment plant. Photo by Anna King

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 12:00 am

RICHLAND, Wash. – The Department of Energy says a Hanford contractor tried to interfere with an investigation into nuclear safety at the site. That’s according to letters from top Energy officials in an ongoing debate over the site’s safety culture.

Earlier this month independent investigators within the Department of Energy were conducting interviews about Hanford’s massive waste treatment plant. They wanted to interview Donna Busche, the plant’s nuclear and environmental safety manager and a high level critic.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
10:29 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Hanford needs its treatment plant components reexamined

Donna Busche, in pink, told the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board that she can't vouch for the safety of some of the waste treatment plant's components at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington.

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 12:00 am

KENNEWICK, Wash. – Top managers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation say they’re going to have to reexamine key components of a massive waste treatment plant under construction in southeast Washington. That’s according to testimony at a marathon hearing in Kennewick Thursday.

The federal Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board was there to listen to concerns about the plant being built to treat 56 million gallons of radioactive waste.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
9:32 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Report: Hanford tanks may have more plutonium than estimated

Originally published on Mon January 16, 2012 9:18 pm

RICHLAND, Wash. – The Hanford Nuclear Reservation's tank farms in southeast Washington may have much more plutonium than earlier estimated. That's according to a report by a Hanford contractor that's just been leaked to public radio. At least one high-level Hanford official worries the findings could mean a massive waste treatment plant's design might need to be altered.

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Environment
10:12 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Hanford whistleblower case dismissed against Bechtel

Originally published on Wed January 11, 2012 9:18 am

RICHLAND, Wash. – A Benton County Superior Court judge in southeast Washington has dismissed a Hanford whistleblower's case against a government contractor. That means that whistleblower, Walt Tamosaitis , will have to appeal if he wishes to keep fighting the Hanford contractor.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
3:43 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Hanford whistleblower to appear in court against Bechtel

RICHLAND, Wash. – After more than a year of waiting, a high-profile Hanford whistleblower will argue in court Monday that his case should be heard in front of a jury. But federal contractor Bechtel argues the case should be thrown out.

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Other News
5:54 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Hanford whistleblower seeks stronger protection laws in Senate testimony

Hanford Nuclear Reservation whistleblower Walt Tamosaitis testifies before the Senate Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight. Image via US Senate

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 5:22 pm

The U.S. Senate heard testimony Tuesday on protecting whistleblowers who work on federal projects. A key witness was the well-known Hanford Nuclear Reservation whistleblower Walt Tamosaitis.

He testified he was taken out of his high-level management role on Hanford's waste treatment plant after he raised safety concerns. He now works in a basement office.

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill asked Tamosaitis what effect that has had on the larger project.

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Environment
5:49 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Hanford sets record for groundwater treatment in November

Tanks filled with an ion exchange resin inside the 100-HX groundwater treatment facility. Photo courtesy Dept. of Energy

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 2:41 pm

RICHLAND, Wash. – The Hanford Nuclear Reservation is treating more contaminated groundwater than ever before. In November alone, pumping stations at the southeast Washington site churned out a record 100 million gallons of treated groundwater. That could fill more than 150 Olympic-size swimming pools.

Deep beneath Hanford there are massive plumes of contaminated groundwater inching toward the Columbia River. The plumes carry toxic stuff like radioactive contamination and hexavalent chromium.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
3:57 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Hanford whistleblower launches new lawsuit over safety concerns

Walt Tamosaitis alleges that the U.S. Department of Energy played a role in removing him from the Waste Treatment Plant project after he raised concerns.
Anna King Northwest News Network

KENNEWICK, Wash. – There’s a new lawsuit over safety issues at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The case announced Wednesday comes from the same whistleblower who has raised serious concerns about the waste treatment factory being built at the nuclear site in southeast Washington.

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The Impact of War
1:03 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

One Cold War Era Hanford Worker Remembers His Days On the Site

James Bresina, 64, remembers working on the Hanford Nuclear site during the Cold War. Photo by Anna King.

Originally published on Fri October 28, 2011 5:31 pm

RICHLAND, Wash. — Sunday is the National Day of Remembrance honoring Cold War nuclear workers. In the Tri-Cities, Washington, dozens of the people who worked at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation to help make plutonium for bombs gathered Friday. Correspondent Anna King met James Bresina , and she has this audio postcard about his time on the nuclear site.

When I started out there I was what they call a 'youth opportunity trainee.' I made $1.25 and hour for my wages.

My name is James Bresina, and I worked at Hanford from 1966 to 1995. It was very secretive. Very tense.

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Expect the unexpected
10:30 am
Fri October 21, 2011

Hanford worker taken for ride in portable toilet

RICHLAND, Wash. — A Hanford worker was taken for a ride in a portable toilet when it was picked up by a fork lift driver who didn't realize it was occupied.

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Environment
2:09 pm
Wed October 12, 2011

Hanford ground water cleanup huge challenge, new pumps helping

RICHLAND, Wash. – Workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation are trying to flush and clean contaminated groundwater that runs deep under southeast Washington.

The massive plumes of radioactive and toxic chemicals are leftovers from plutonium production during World War II and the Cold War. Decontaminating all that groundwater is a monumental task. And as correspondent Anna King found out, it will only get harder over time.

Some of the groundwater pumped up from Hanford near the Columbia River is so contaminated it looks like flat Mountain Dew.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
4:12 pm
Mon October 3, 2011

Layoffs add up to a sober week for Hanford workers

More than 1,000 workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation are getting layoff notices. This latest round of downsizing started this week due to reduced federal funding in 2012.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
5:04 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

GAO to study Hanford treatment plant

RICHLAND, Wash. – The Waste Treatment Plant at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation is getting more scrutiny after complaints over its safety culture. The U.S. Government Accountability Office – the investigative arm of Congress – is launching a review.

Representatives Henry Waxman of California and Diana DeGett of Colorado asked for the study. Both are members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
9:48 am
Mon September 19, 2011

Interior’s Salazar makes economic pitch for Hanford B reactor park

Ken Salazar visited Hanford’s B Reactor this past weekend. He supports efforts to make the site a National Park that would be open to the public.
Anna King KPLU

RICHLAND, Wash. – U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says turning a historic piece of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation into a National Park would be good for the Northwest economy. He made the comment during a tour of Eastern Washington this weekend.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
9:36 am
Mon September 19, 2011

Salazar pushes Hanford reactor as national park

Hanford's B reactor.

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says the historic B Reactor at the Hanford nuclear reservation should be part of a national park to tell how the nuclear era was born out of World War II.

Salazar visited the reactor Sunday with Sen. Maria Cantwell, Rep. Doc Hastings and Gov. Chris Gregoire.

The Tri-City Herald reports the B Reactor would be a key attraction in the Manhattan Project National Historical Park along with properties at Los Alamos, N.M., and Oak Ridge. Tenn.

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