|published Wednesday, April 03, 2013 ||393 Views :: 0 Comments|
By Annette Cary
Flammable gases in Hanford's underground tanks holding radioactive waste continue to pose a possible risk of an explosion, according to a letter from the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board.
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, asked the defense board for a rundown of current issues at Hanford as he prepares for a confirmation hearing Tuesday for Ernest Moniz, the energy secretary nominee. Wyden is the new chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
|published Wednesday, March 20, 2013 ||503 Views :: 0 Comments|
By Shannon Dinny
YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — Pink slips went out Monday to nearly 250 workers and more than 2,500 others were notified that they face furloughs of several weeks at the nation's most contaminated nuclear site, where cleanup is likely to be slowed because of automatic federal budget cuts.
About 9,000 people work at south-central Washington's Hanford Nuclear Reservation, which produced plutonium for the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal beginning in World War II and through the Cold War.
|published Friday, March 01, 2013 ||609 Views :: 0 Comments|
By Matthew Daly
The Associated Press
It was not clear Thursday whether cleanup of the leaking tanks would be affected by the spending cuts. Overall cleanup efforts at Hanford — one of the nation’s most contaminated sites — would be curtailed, Energy Department spokesman Dan Leistikow said.
A report by Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee said more than 1,000 mostly private workers at Hanford could be furloughed. Hanford and other Energy Department defense sites where radioactive waste is stored would be forced to suspend or delay cleanup activities and even shut down some facilities, the report said.
|published Tuesday, February 05, 2013 ||5 Views :: 0 Comments|
By Dylan Walsh
New York Times
Management and disposal of radioactive waste at the Hanford nuclear reservation in Washington State, marred by problems for more than two decades, is the focus of a harsh new assessment by the Government Accountability Office.
“By just about any definition,” the auditing agency says, “Hanford has not been a well-planned, well-managed or well-executed major capital construction project.”
Hanford opened in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project and operated almost continuously through 1987 as the country’s largest manufacturer of weapons-grade plutonium. Left behind at the 586-square-mile site are 56 million gallons of highly radioactive waste in aged and corroded underground storage tanks.
|published Tuesday, August 28, 2012 ||3216 Views :: 4 Comments|
For Immediate Release: August 28, 2012
Memo Urges DOE to Remove Bechtel as the Design Authority, Warning Bechtel “is not competent to complete their role”
Seattle, WA: Hanford Challenge today released a high-ranking Director’s memorandum that urges termination of the key duties of government contractor, Bechtel National, Inc. (“Bechtel”; “BNI”). A litany of charges question whether Bechtel should continue its role at the Hanford nuclear site, including a long history of incompetence, misleading the government, overcharging, and unsafe designs.
The memo states, “[t]he number and significance of these issues indicate that Bechtel National Inc. is not competent to complete their role as the Design Authority for the WTP [Waste Treatment Plant], and it is questionable that BNI can provide a contract-compliant design as Design Agent.”
The memo continues, noting that “[t]he behavior and performance of Bechtel Engineering places unnecessarily high risk that the WTP design will not be effectively completed...”
|published Monday, August 06, 2012 ||1847 Views :: 0 Comments|
Aug. 6, 2012
ANA's Director Susan Gordon discusses the possibility of a Manhattan Project National Park on CBS This Morning
|published Monday, July 02, 2012 ||1112 Views :: 0 Comments|
June 30, 2012
By Eric Connor
From the Greenville News (SC)
In America’s capital, a new political realm has emerged in breaking the decades-old stalemate over solving the country’s nuclear waste dilemma — but it’s an impermanent territory that elected leaders in South Carolina, unified in their embrace of nuclear power, say they will not venture into.
Instead, they’ve placed their chips — all in — on a conviction that for 25 years has proved futile.
Sooner than later, they say, an abandoned, multibillion-dollar government project in a desert Nevada mountain must resurrect to become more than the political and geological wasteland that it is.
|published Wednesday, June 27, 2012 ||2131 Views :: 0 Comments|
The following piece explores problems at the radioactive Waste Treatment Plant at the Hanford nuclear reservation in Washington State. Technical problems and management failures at the Waste Treatment Plant have caused ongoing delays and cost overruns. The article quotes long-time ANA member, Tom Carpenter as he discusses work to improve oversight at the project.
June 26, 2012
By Shannon Dininny
From the Associated Press
YAKIMA, Wash. — A new cost estimate and construction schedule for a massive waste plant being built at the nation’s most contaminated nuclear site will be delayed at least a year as workers try to resolve serious technical problems raised by whistleblowers about design and safety, the U.S. Department of Energy said Tuesday.
The announcement seemed certain to spark new fears about the long-term viability of the project that has already been the subject of numerous lawsuits and remains a top priority of Washington and Oregon despite its ballooning budget and delays.
The $12.3 billion waste treatment plant is currently scheduled to begin operating in 2019, under a consent decree with Washington state, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Department. The plant, long considered the cornerstone of the cleanup at Hanford, is being built to convert highly radioactive and toxic waste into a stable glass form for permanent disposal underground.
|published Tuesday, June 19, 2012 ||858 Views :: 2 Comments|
June 15, 2012
By Richard Simon
From the Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON -- Sites of the once super-secret Manhattan Project, which led to the creation of the atomic bomb during World War II, could soon become a national park under legislation expected to pass Congress.
The bill would designate sites at Los Alamos, N.M., Oak Ridge, Tenn., and Hanford, Wash., as the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.
But at least one anti-nuclear activist expressed concern that "such a park, if done in a historically inaccurate and biased way, could end up presenting a false picture of the development of nuclear weapons and the monumental costs and ongoing environmental impacts of the Cold War."
"Given their political influence, those that have profited off nuclear weapons would likely have a disproportionate say in the park's development and could turn it into some kind of nuclear Disneyland," said Tom Clements, nonproliferation policy director of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability.
|published Wednesday, May 23, 2012 ||2044 Views :: 0 Comments|
May 22, 2012
By Annette Cary
From the Tri-City Herald
As the Senate Armed Services Committee is set to mark up the fiscal 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., is emphasizing the importance of environmental cleanup.
She was the lead signer on a letter with eight other senators urging the Senate Armed Services Committee leadership to remember the nation's responsibility toward cleanup at Hanford and other defense sites.
The National Defense Authorization Act sets defense budget priorities, and environmental cleanup poses a tempting account to raid in a bill that deals primarily with the active military.
Fiscal 2013 could be a particularly difficult year because of the looming possibility of sequestration triggered by the failure of a special congressional deficit committee to reach agreement.