Hanford’s McCluskey Room

By: Wednesday July 16, 2014 5:11 pm

On August 30, 1976, as Harold McCluskey and his wife Ella celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary before he reported to his night shift at Hanford’s Plutonium Finishing Plant as a chemical worker, neither of them knew that on that night, Harold would be involved in a spectacular, record-setting traumatic radiation accident so severe that he would be historically called “The Atomic Man,” nor did they know that the room where the accident would occur would be named “The McCluskey Room.” Indeed, they were unaware that Harold would be the subject of a Seattle Times article describing how his body in the room was “too hot to handle,” so he was “removed by remote control” and “put in a steel and concrete isolation chamber.”


Workplace Climate of Retaliation at Hanford

By: Wednesday November 20, 2013 7:03 pm

On Monday, Hanford whistleblower Donna Busche filed a new complaint against her employer, Department of Energy (DOE) contractor Bechtel, alleging retaliation in the workplace after she voiced concerns over safety issues at the huge Cold War era contaminated site. She alleges “URS and Bechtel officials excluded her from meetings and belittled her authority.” She also alleges that “she has experienced continued harassment, isolation, exclusion, and unwarranted criticism as she tries to ensure that one of the largest environmental cleanup efforts in the world is completed safely.”

Hanford’s Cleanup Proposal Invites Public Comment

By: Wednesday July 31, 2013 3:25 pm

As problem-to-problem gridlock unfolds at Hanford with leaking radioactive waste storage tanks, Hanford is holding public meetings in Richland, WA and invites public comment, through August 16, 2013, regarding cleanup proposal for 300 Area. 300 Area is another part of the giant nuclear superfund site.

Hanford’s Radioactive Waste Storage Tank AY-102

By: Wednesday June 19, 2013 4:08 pm

Newly appointed US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz is scheduled to be in southeastern Washington State today, for his first visit to the Hanford site. During his April confirmation hearing he told Oregon Senator Ron Wyden that it would be “unacceptable” to maintain the status quo regarding cleanup, at Hanford. With what has come to light only recently about various government contractors pissing up a rope while collecting bonuses as the tanks leak, this is a massive understatement.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Kate Brown, Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters

By: Saturday June 8, 2013 1:59 pm

Kate Brown’s Plutopia is the tale of two atomic cities — twin siblings of the Cold War, created for the purpose of harvesting the plutonium that fueled the post-war nuclear arms race.

The top-secret reactors at the Pentagon’s Hanford plutonium plant lead to the creation of Richland, a planned city built in the wind-scraped wastelands of Washington State. The residents – all white and privileged – lived in a perfectly landscaped consumers’ paradise complete with federally subsidized housing and free medical care. Russia’s plutopia was called Ozersk. It was built in the Urals, near the plutonium mills of Maiak, and it was so secret it didn’t appear on official maps.

The Treachery at Hanford

By: Wednesday June 5, 2013 5:40 pm

Hanford Nuclear Reservation remains the most contaminated site in the Western Hemisphere, and is a superfund site that, after nearly a quarter of a century has Pacific Northwest residents and officials pressing for answers. The amount of contamination is astonishing, involving 56 million gallons of liquid radioactive sludge in underground containers, six of which have been determined to be leaking. The cleanup is now estimated to take 40 years, at a cost of 100 billion dollars.

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