Hanford Nuclear Reservation

Hanford Nuclear Reservation
5:07 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Hanford Lays Off The Layoffs, Keeps 300 Workers After Congress Approves Budget

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AP Photo

About 300 workers who were told they'd be laid off can now keep their jobs at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. 

Because Congress approved the 2014 federal budget for 2014 last week, layoffs announced last year can be avoided.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
7:01 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Hanford Contractor Fails To Check Radioactive Tanks For Months

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Ted S. Warren AP Photo

A federal contractor at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation failed to check some single-shell radioactive waste tanks for the buildup of hydrogen gas. It was an eight-month lapse that could have been dangerous for workers and the public.

Federal contractor Washington River Protection Solutions says some of the radioactive waste tanks should have been checked as far back as last March, and weren’t. The overdue tanks were checked in late December, and no gas buildups were found.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
10:14 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Manhattan Project Park Left Out of Defense Bill

This is a World War II photo of the historic "B Reactor" at Hanford, Wash., which was the world's first plutonium production reactor.
AP Photo

A plan to turn part of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation into a national park has been dropped from a compromise defense authorization bill moving through the U.S. Congress.

The idea is to designate Hanford’s B Reactor as part of the Manhattan Project National Park, along with sites at Los Alamos, New Mexico and Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
11:09 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Hanford Whistleblower Emerges on Timecard Fraud Case

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Associated Press

There is a new whistleblower at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington, but it doesn’t have to do with technical concerns.

It’s the latest twist in an ongoing timecard fraud case.

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
4:15 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Layoffs At Hanford Due to Budget Uncertainty

Associated Press

Three federal contractors at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation say they’ll lay off 450 workers over the next year. The companies say Thursday’s announcement is largely due to federal budget uncertainty.

The three companies work on Hanford’s tank farms cleaning up contaminated groundwater and providing support services at the nuclear site. Many of the 450 workers will be let go in the next few months, and the others will be laid off by next fall.

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hanford cleanup
3:21 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Hanford Managers Focus on Flammable Gas in Waste Tanks

File image
Associated Press

Managers and scientists are working against the clock to solve a new possible problem at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

How much sludge can be dumped into a double-shelled radioactive waste tank before flammable gas might build up in a big bubble?

At a group of waste tanks called the C-Farm, workers are pumping the radioactive sludge out these old single-shelled tanks into the more stable double-hulled ones This radioactive witch’s brew constantly generates hydrogen and other flammable gases.

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
4:50 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

EPA Fines Hanford Contractor for Asbestos Violations

Associated Press

The U.S. Department of Energy faces a $115,000 fine for the way a contractor handled asbestos at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington.

The alleged violations occurred during building demolitions in 2009 and 2010 when federal stimulus money sped up deconstruction projects.

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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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