The Hanford Nuclear Reservation is the largest nuclear waste dump
in the Western Hemisphere and a major Northwest environmental issue.
It is a serious long-term threat to the Columbia River, which Oregon
depends on for power generation, farm irrigation, fishing, transport
Our mission is to educate the public on Hanford cleanup issues,
and work to increase public participation in the Hanford decision
For news updates, please see our Facebook page at:
HW president Paige Knight
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Shipping Hanford's transuranic
(TRU) tank waste to WIPP
Hanford Watch president Paige Knight, March 7, 2013
AN INQUIRER: What is your organization's position on shipping waste
to WIPP? As you know, after years and years of bitter fighting,
the people of New Mexico were assured that only low level waste
would be shipped there. Attempts to change that via the permitting
process have been rebuffed.
Nearly two dozen nuclear facilities have unloaded waste at WIPP.
To date, Hanford waste is not authorized.
I am one of many former New Mexicans living in Washington state.
It's my sincere hope that the DOE and organizations like yours will
press for alternative proposals that will contain the waste at Hanford.
RESPONSE FROM PAIGE KNIGHT:
The fact is that Transurinic waste (TRU) has been coming to New
Mexico's Waste Isolation Pilot Project from many Defense Waste Sites
around the country for years. The "pre-70's" TRU has never
been authorized until now. I have actually visited the salt caves
there. They are pretty impressive in terms of their geology, but
I cannot be assured that they will protect the future. Nothing can
accurately insure that.
I am aware that citizen groups have fought the import of TRU from
other sites. I understand that. After 2 decades of looking at all
the issues of nuclear production and nuclear waste, I have begun
to see things in a different light. The TRU waste that needs to
be sent from Hanford to WIPP is, it seems the best alternative now
because there are no other options than all of the nuclear sites
keeping their waste on site, regardless of the lack of safety and
treatment options. Hanford has taken cesium capsules from other
sites over the years because of the kinds of storage we have available.
Hanford Watch is not supportive of sending all waste to the back
yard of someone else. We basically believe that if you make it here,
you keep it and treat it and store it, however, some places are
better able due to the "safety" of a place (geology and
transportation). The government has long considered that Hanford,
because it is a distant desert, especially to the Eastern U.S.,
is the greatest place to send all waste that other sites don't want
so that they can say that their "cleanup" is complete.
It just doesn't work this way. Right now, with the waste at Hanford
and other places aging and on the verge of causing untold harm to
populations through waterways some accommodations need to be made.
This is an incredibly complex issue with no easy answers. I can
honestly state that at this point there are no alternative proposals
for waste disposal while the state of the sites continues to worsen.
New Mexico's geology stands a much better chance of "protecting
the future" than Hanford's alternative or lack thereof ensure.
I know that this is not an answer that some of you want to hear
or will necessarily respect. It's the best I can give right now.
Sincerely, Paige Knight, HANFORD WATCH
The latest news of 6 leaking tanks at Hanford
Watch president Paige Knight, Feb. 23, 2013
This latest news of the increase in Hanford tank leaks is highly
disturbing. In my 20 years of working on Hanford cleanup issues,
this is not the first time that the truth has come out too late.
DOE and its contractors have in the past fabricated or downplayed
the data about leaks from the tanks to the environment. Their negligence
in assessing the data is an ongoing problem through the last 2 +
decades of the cleanup program through different leaders in the
agency. I believe we really have to look at the lack of intentional
and conscientious oversight of the contractors and labs that test
This issue demands that DOE and Congress appropriate money for
building new tanks to contain the waste while DOE finds its way
to get the Waste Treatment Plant back on track, if that is possible.
We CANNOT fail to treat millions of gallons of radioactive waste
sitting in failing underground tanks, no matter if they sit far
from the Columbia River, the life blood of the Pacific Northwest
or the five miles from the river as they truly do.
The contractors and the DOE have created a cash cow that sucks
the taxpayers dry. It is time for this mentality and practice to
change and for the government and we, the people, to demand a moral
and physical resolution to cleanup of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
Safe storage and treatment of nuclear waste is tantamount to protecting
our waterways, our health, our economy and future generations.
This will require an end to the production of nuclear waste. All
nuclear reactors no matter how "small" will produce deadly
waste. Cleanup is the price we pay, and that we are owed by a nuclear
weapons and nuclear power industry that has been uncontrolled.
KING 5's Gary Chittim on why Hanford matters
to every Washington resident
May 2, 2013
KING 5 environmental reporter Gary
Chittim talks with Susannah Frame about the dangers posed by nuclear
waste at the Hanford Site. He talks about why western Washington
residents should be informed about a site located 200 miles away.
Contractor discounted Hanford leak evidence
for a year
Suzannah Frame, KING5, April
Hanford Determines Double-Shell Tank Leaked Waste
From Inner Tank. This headline on a Department of Energy press
release from last October was bigger news than it appears on first
glance. For the first time, the type of massive storage tank built
to hold some of the most radioactive waste in the world was found
to be slowly leaking. more
Hanford Cleanup Slows While Tanks Leak, Treatment Plant Stalls
Anna King, Northwest News Network, March 25, 2013
RICHLAND, Wash. -- Up to three gallons of radioactive waste
per day at Hanford seeps into the desert sand from underground tanks,
not far from the Columbia River. Thats prompted Washington
State Governor Jay Inslee to tour the remote site along with buses
full of officials and media that roll through a sea of sagebrush.
cells' stall Hanford tank waste cleanup
Scott Learn, The Oregonian, March 17, 2013
"One of the huge design failures is black cells,"
said Tom Carpenter, executive director of the watchdog group Hanford
Challenge. "Everything bad that's flowed out of the waste treatment
plant really started with that decision." more
Q&A: What Went Wrong At Hanford?
Cassandra Profita, OPB, March 11, 2013
The past three weeks have been bumpy for the agency managing
the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in south central Washington.
The Hanford site is still storing nuclear waste leftover from the
World War II and Cold War plutonium production process. News that
at least six storage tanks are leaking has triggered widespread
concern over the massive federal clean-up process. more